by Matt Wiggins – MMAWeekly.com
1 Left, 1 Right with the DB Clean
My last tip on “1 Left, 1 Right” was
pretty well received, so I thought my next tip should be an exercise you could
apply it to – the Dumbbell (DB) Clean & Press.
We’ve all seen Olympic Lifting
competitions where the lifter grabs the bar, in one motion, cleans it to his
shoulders, and then snaps it overhead. Well, this is a similar move, only with
DBs, and a lot less technique-intensive.
The DB Clean & Press is such a
good exercise because it is so all-inclusive. The clean portion develops
strong hips, hamstrings, and legs, as well as upper back. The press portion
develops a strong shoulder girdle, upper chest, and arms. And when you go
heavy, grip also becomes a factor.
Being a full-body exercise, it is
very metabolically demanding, meaning you do a lot of heavy breathing. This
will challenge and develop your strength-endurance as well as your
cardiovascular and muscular conditioning.
In fact, you could almost utilize
the DB Clean & Press as your sole exercise, and not need to do much else.
You always see those “If you could only do a couple exercises, what would they
be?” questions being asked. These questions are never realistic, as you’ll
never be limited to just a couple different movements, and it’s best to
incorporate change into your workouts so that your body is constantly adapting
and improving, but if you *had* to only pick a couple different exercises, the
DB Clean & Press would be at the top of my list.
To perform a DB Clean & Press,
grab a moderately weighted DB and place it on the floor between your feet, with
the handle in a neutral position (perpendicular to your body). With the back
of the DB roughly at your heels, squat down and grab the DB with your left
hand. Keep your butt down, chest spread, and head up.
Begin the rep by driving the heels
through the floor and thrusting forward with the hips. As your lower body
extends, continue to thrust with the hips, coming up on your toes. This is
known as “triple-extension” (i.e. – extension of three joints –
ankles, knees, and hips).
At the same time, shrug the shoulder
and pull the DB upwards. As the DB reaches chest level, dip down and under it
to “catch” it. If the DB is light enough, you won’t need much of a dip, as you’ll
be able to just rip it to your shoulder.
At this point, you’re standing with
the DB resting on your left shoulder, with the handle still in the neutral
position. From here, to get it overhead, you have three options – you
can press it, push-press it, or jerk it.
To press it, keep your body still
and tight. Using simply the muscles of your shoulder girdle and arms, press
the DB overhead.
To push-press it, dip your body down
slightly (just a few inches) and sort of “buck” it off your shoulder. Using
the momentum as a starting point, once your body is straight, tighten it up,
and finish the movement as if doing a normal press.
To jerk it, start as if in a
push-press, but dip down a little further to utilize the legs/hips more.
You’ll use more momentum to get the DB up this way. Once you’re near the top
of the movement, dip a second time under the DB so that your arm is extended
just before your lower body comes to full extension.
In all three variations, keep the DB
in the neutral position throughout. This keeps the elbows pointing forward
(rather than to the side) and is much easier – especially in the long
term – on your rotator cuff and shoulder girdle.
At this point, lower the DB back
down to your shoulder. Dipping slightly, drop the weight (don’t actually let
go of the DB and “drop” it, but lowering it quickly/safely) back down to the
floor. As you drop it to the floor, be sure to keep body posture correct
– butt back, head up, and chest spread. Put the DB down, and repeat with
the other side.
Utilizing the “1 Left, 1 Right”
method for strength, pick a very heavy DB and do 4-5 sets of 5-6 reps each
side. For conditioning or as a great “finisher” to a workout, pick moderate to
heavy DB and go “1 Left, 1 Right” until you’ve done 20+ reps each side.
Train Hard, Rest Hard, Play Hard.
Matt "Wiggy" Wiggins is a strength coach and
author living in Cameron, NC. Having trained 15+ years, Wiggy is a strength
moderator at mma.tv, columnist for MMA Weekly, and an avid fan of Mixed Martial Arts Training. His site, Working
Class Fitness.com, is dedicated to designing low-tech, high-result MMA
Workouts, Navy SEAL Workouts, and programs for
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