Dumbbell Side Step-Up

February 18, 2015 | John Paul Catanzaro

Start with a low step beside you and bodyweight only. Over time you can hold on to a pair of dumbbells as your strength and stability improve. Keep the hips level throughout the movement. If the step is too high, it will be difficult to accomplish this. A common mistake is to push off with the non-working side either by extending the knee and/or ankle. To correct this “cheat” tendency, keep the knee locked and ankle dorsiflexed (i.e., toes up) – tap the floor with the heel only. Due to the short range of motion, a higher rep range (15-20) works well. On the last repetition of each set, stop just shy of touching the ground and hold this position for 5-10 seconds. Performing an isometric contraction in this manner will increase intramuscular tension and fatigue any remaining fibers.