Written by Sandy Punia
Use offset dumbbell training for strength, size, and muscle function and to help improve lower-body mobility, flexibility and coordination.
Sets x Reps: 2-3 x 12-16 reps per side.
- Offset DB Clean, Squat + Press
- Offset DB Squat + Hold
- Single Leg Split Squat + RDL
- Bulgarian Split Squat
- Step-Ups with DB or KB
- Single Leg Hip Thrust
OFFSET DB CLEAN, SQUAT + PRESS:
A) Starting from a standing position, bend your hips back and allow your knees to bend as needed until the dumbbells hang just outsides your knee.
B) Draw your shoulders back and downward (think “proud chest”), so that someone standing in front of you could read the front of your T-shirt.
C) Push your feet hard into the floor and squeeze your abs and glutes. Extend your hips and knees to get the dumbbells moving upward.
D) As the weights pass knee level, shrug your shoulders hard, squeeze your glutes again, and allow the momentum to carry the dumbbells up in front of you.
E) Thrust your elbows forward so that they come under the dumbbells and you “catch” the weights at shoulder level, bending your knees to drop into a quarter squat to absorb the force.
OFFSET DB SQUAT + HOLD:
A) Hold a dumbbell in one hand, and stand with your feet about shoulder width apart. Inhale, lightly brace your core and squat down as deep as possible.
B) Reverse the movement, and return to a standing position. Exhale on the way up.
SINGLE LEG SPLIT SQUAT:
A) Keeping your knee and toe straight and your back upright, squat down in a slow and controlled motion until just before your knee touches the ground.
B) Using your weight-bearing leg (not your elevated leg), push yourself back up to the starting position.
C) When you are squatting, make sure your knee does not extend over your toe. If it does, lengthen your stance.
D) Stand balancing on your right leg and hold a dumbbell / KB with your left hand in front of your thigh.
+ INTO SINGLE LEG RDL:
A) Sit your hips back as if you were being pulled by a rope attached to your waist., and allow your right knee to bend slightly. Your left leg should be straight (it’s OK if there’s a slight bend in the knee) and in line with your body throughout the rep.
B) Keeping your back flat, continue to bend at the waist until the dumbbell is at about mid-shin height (this ultimately depends on your hamstring flexibility).
C) Drive through your heel and push your hips forward to stand up to the starting position.
BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT:
A) Stand with your back to a bench or box that is knee-high.
B) Get into a split squat position with your back foot on top of the bench or box.
C) Keeping your knee and toe straight and your back upright, squat down in a slow and controlled motion until just before your knee touches the ground.
D) Using your weight-bearing leg (not your elevated leg), push yourself back up to the starting position.
STEP-UPS WITH DB or KB:
A) Stand with a step, plyo box, or bench directly in front of you. Hold a set of dumbbells in your hands at shoulder height.
B) Step up with the right foot, pressing through the heel to straighten your right leg.
C) Bring the left foot to meet your right foot on top of the step.
D) Bend your right knee and step back down with the left foot.
E) Bring the right foot down to meet the left foot on the ground.
SINGLE LEG HIP THRUST:
A) Set up a flat bench, or a soft box. (Note: if you’re working out from home, a couch also works great for this).
B) Prop yourself up on the bench, so that the bottom of your shoulder blades are on the corner of the bench, and your feet are on the floor. Your butt will not be able to reach the floor here.
C) Lift one leg off the ground, and just hold it in the air. Keep your chin tucked, and eyes forward.
D) Push through the heel of the foot that is on the ground, and push your hips up to the ceiling by squeezing your glutes.
E) Lower your hips back towards the ground, and go again.