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Craft an Iron Core with the Cross-Body Dumbbell Clean and Press

·2-min read

Already revered as a total-body exercise, the dumbbell clean and press recruits all of your major muscle groups for a head-to-toe pump. By working in an added ‘contralateral’ element, the move will fire up even more of your core, improving your stability and balance.

‘Adapting the basic move to bring the weight across your body increases rotational strength,’ says MH fitness editor Andrew Tracey. ‘This has functional everyday benefits, as well as being transferable across a range of sports.’ Think swinging a golf club, throwing a right hook or lifting up your kid.

Unilateral training (working each side of your body separately) can help to iron out muscle imbalances by preventing you overusing your dominant side. "Plus, training in different planes is always a good idea," says Tracey; consider this an antidote to up-and-down movements, such as the squat or deadlift.

As a full-body move, it also offers the secondary benefits of increasing your heart rate and upping your calorie burn. But don’t go too heavy too soon. "The weakest link for most people is the overhead press," says Tracey, "Use your 15-rep-max weight." Perform 10 reps on one side, rest, then do 10 on the other.

Photo credit: Philip Haynes
Photo credit: Philip Haynes

The Set-up

Stand with your hips shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell outside of your left foot. Make a fist with your left hand. This causes irradiation: tensing your surrounding muscles while you lift.

Photo credit: Philip Haynes
Photo credit: Philip Haynes

The Cross

Do a shallow squat, hinge at the hips and bring your right hand across your body to grab the DB. Maintain a flat back. Turn your chest towards the dumbbell so you have a nice rotation as you come up.

The Clean

Hinge back up explosively and in one movement pull the dumbbell across the mid-line of your body and up on to your shoulder.

Photo credit: Philip Haynes
Photo credit: Philip Haynes

The Press

Finally, dip at the knees and press the dumbbell away and back to the shoulder and then back down. Tap the dumbbell down and then do 10 reps each side, back to back.

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