Two Bang for Your Buck Movements, By Joe Giandonato, MS, CSCS

 Sumo Split-Stance Dumbbell Row

 New Year’s Resolutionists occupying all of the benches while they perform seated curls and partial range of motion flat dumbbell presses? No problem.

 Or are you just too damn lazy to set up a bench for a few sets of dumbbell rows? Well guess what? This bad ass exercise (well, actually it’s a great back exercise) offers many wonders, which range from convenience to challenging core stability.

 Set Up


  1. Assume a sumo stance. An optimal sumo stance is no wider than you can get your knees.
  2. After you’ve established a comfortable sumo stance, drop one foot behind the other, striving for a heel-toe relation between feet. Remember, the width of your sumo stance will impact your staggered stance foot placement. The wide your stance, the closer your feet will be at a heel-toe relation, whereas if you adopt a narrower stance, you’ll have to stagger your stance to the point it starts resembling a split-squat upon completion.
  3. Grasp a dumbbell with the hand of your back leg side.
  4. Brace your core and shoot the hips back to prevent lumbar flexion from occurring. There will be great degree of pelvic-on-femoral flexion, as the case with any hip dominant movement patterns and that’s what we’re looking for. We want to limit as much movement at the lumbar spine as we can.
  5. Lower your torso. Try to get your torso parallel with the floor.
  6. Lock the neck into neutral (simultaneous cervical retrusion and capital neck flexion).
  7. Take a big breath and rip the dumbbell from the floor, pulling it towards your hip.
  8. Return to the floor and pull again for the prescribed amount of reps.


















Unilateral Floating Hip Dumbbell Bench Press

 If you’re lucky enough to procure a bench in the midst of a gym crowded full of resolutionists and newbies, you’ll be able to perform the next exercise. Alternatively, you may use a plyo box or aerobic stepper with 3-4 risers stacked beneath it, but a bench provides the most support and comfort.

 Essentially what you’re doing here is performing a press with four points of body contact, instead of five, because you’re jutting the hips off the bench.  Throughout the movement, brace the core and lock the hips into extension, or slight hyperextension. Research indicated that your hips can safely achieve 10 degrees of hyperextension during bent knee activities, such as hip thrusts and glute bridges. But don’t take it too far — allow your hips to come up a little bit as they normally would when you get a little leg drive behind your presses.












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Todd Bumgardner
M.S./ CSCS/ Owner of Beyond Strength Performance/ Ginger
Todd Bumgardner

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Todd Bumgardner
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M.S./ CSCS/ Owner of Beyond Strength Performance/ Ginger

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