LL Cool J said, “when adversity strikes, that’s when you have to be the most calm. Take a step back, stay strong, stay grounded and press on.” Sometimes adversity sneaks up on us and will derail the enthusiasm and momentum we have made in pursuing an active and healthy lifestyle. More common than not, adversity doesn’t take the form of a serious event but often is the combination of small events that change our attitude and perspective for the worst. For example, the mishmash of having car troubles, a cold and a few other inconveniences can completely change how we see the world and ourselves. With that type of disposition, the first thing to go out the window is heading to the gym or cooking healthy meals.
Now, there are times in our lives when we get hit with something big, and it is okay like Mr. Cool J said, “take a step back,” go ahead and order that pizza and watch a romantic comedy and chill. But more often than not, what is really going to derail us from making good health choices is the combination of common inconveniences, that is when we need to fight back. If that is where you are right now, then I have a great suggestion for you: the dumbbell clean and press! One of the things that will certainly put you in the fighting spirit is picking up something heavy off the ground and putting it above your head. So if you are feeling blue and down and out, try this exercise out and like Mr. Cool J also said, “I am gonna knock you out, Momma said to knock you out!”
Benefits of the dumbbell clean and press:
- increased full body strength
- increased general athleticism and mobility
- increased muscle gain
- knocks out bad moods, attitudes and dispositions
Muscles worked in the dumbbell clean and press:
- upper body: back, arms, traps and shoulders
- lower body: calves, glutes, hamstrings, lower back, quadriceps
How to clean and press with dumbbells:
- Place a pair of dumbbell beside your feet, parallel to your shoes, bend down with your hips and grip the dumbbells.
- In this squatted position holding the dumbbells tight and quickly raise up: pull hard, shrug your shoulders and perform a movement like a bicep curl, while lifting the dumbbells with your upper body lower yourself under the dumbbells by dipping your hips, at the end of this first movement the dumbbells should be by your shoulders.
- Stand up straight, pause for a moment and then press the dumbbells overhead. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to your shoulders and then slowly lower the dumbbells back to the floor (think negative bicep curl as you squat back down with your hips).
- Repeat for the desired repetitions.
Like other compound movements, the clean and press is something you need to practice with lighter weights until you can get the technique down. It is a very rewarding exercise though, and if performed properly, will benefit not only your body but your attitude. Helping you knock out any frustrations, disappointments and bad moods that might be bothering you. My hope for you though is that you won’t practice this movement because life has got you down, but you will do it because it is awesome and you feel awesome. But if that is not the case, knock out those bad feelings with this exercise!
Thank you so much for reading and as always, cheers to your health!