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Man Makers: How To Do Them And Benefits

There’s always one movement in a WOD, that you know is going to make the rest of your workout significantly more difficult. For me, that one movement, is the man maker. The man maker, is essentially a renegade row, combined with a CrossFit cluster. If you don’t know what a CrossFit cluster is, let me enlighten you, it’s when you combine two exercises complexes together. And in the case of the man maker, those two exercises are the dumbbell squat clean and thruster. Fun! We’re going to talk more about this brutal and highly effective exercise, benefits of the man maker, and how to do it.

What Are Man Makers

The man maker is a full-body functional strength training movement, that combines a push-up, and a renegade row with a dumbbell squat clean thruster in a single complex. This is by no means a beginner’s exercise, and requires strength, coordination, and core stability to perform.

Man makers are what’s considered a compound exercise. Compound exercises work multiple muscle groups and joints simultaneously. Movements, such as the squat, lunge, or deadlift are considered compound movements. However, the man maker takes the definition of a compound movement, to a whole new level.

Man Maker Muscles Worked

The man maker is a combination of the renegade row and dumbbell squat clean thruster, so with just one rep, you’re working every muscle group and joint in your entire body. Mobility, core strength, and overall functional strength and coordination are key in this movement. 

A man maker starts with a pushup, which engages your chest, triceps, and core. Next you single-arm dumbbell row, which works your lats, rear delts, biceps, and core.

From here, you jump into a squat clean engaging your posterior chain, which includes your glutes, hamstrings, calves, and quads. Not to mention your clean, which recruits your shoulders and traps. Top that off with a thruster, which works your anterior and medial delts, as well as your hips and legs for the push. As you can imagine, the man maker, is one challenging and effective full body movement.  

Make Maker Benefits

1. Functional Strength

First and foremost, the man maker will benefit your training by making you stronger. From the top down, you’ll build more strength and muscle mass in your shoulders, chest, arms, and posterior chain. The push up, press, squat clean, and essentially a burpee is a combination of functional strength training, plyometrics, and resistance training. If there was an exercise to build strength, this is it. 

2. Burns Calories

If the goal is body optimization, losing body fat and dropping some lbs, the man maker can turn you into a calorie burning machine. Considering the complexity, intensity, and max effort this movement requires, you’ll be burning twice the number of calories with one man maker, as opposed to a standard resistance training exercise.  

3. Boosts Muscular Endurance

The man maker is a whole-body cardiovascular workout. You’ll test your aerobic and anaerobic threshold, in a hurry and build more muscular endurance. Combining a push-up, burpee, squat clean, planks, renegade rows, and a press all into one movement, is bound to improve all aspects of your athletic performance, let alone your endurance.

How To Do Man Makers 

Grab a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells that will be challenging yet can perform more volume with.
Get into push up position, with your hands gripping each dumbbell or kettlebell, one in each hand on the ground.
From this plank or push up position, do a single push up.
Row, your right arm, fully, then place the dumbbell/kettlebell back on the ground, and switch and row with the other arm.
Jump your feet and frog hop your feet, as you would in a burpee towards the weights.
Try and position your dumbbells closer together and jump on the outside of the weights.
Clean the weights, pulling with your traps, then turning your wrists, with the dumbbells, landing in squat position, for a full squat clean.
From the bottom of the squat, stand up, and push press the weight overhead for the thruster.
Set the weights back down to starting position.
Perform for the prescribed number of reps.

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