Whether you do the kettlebell man maker at-home, outdoors, in Crossfit, or in the gym, they suck! But we love exercises that suck the right way and also happen to be a full-body exercise. Now, there is the dumbbell man maker, the barbell man maker, and the kettlebell man maker. The latter is the best out of all and I’ll tell you why in a bit, and I’ll also show you how to do a kettlebell man maker correctly.
Jump straight to the good stuff or read on:
What is a man maker exercise?
A man maker exercise is a combination of the following exercises that are performed seamlessly one after the other:
Plank and row also known as renegade rows.
Why is it called Man Maker?
Well, I’m too lazy to research it, but after a man maker ladder today with other killer exercises in between each step of the ladder I once again felt that awesome manly feeling afterward. So, I can only guess that the reference is to the misconception that men are stronger than all women, and completing the exercise will not only make you feel like a man but turn you into one as well.
We can’t ignore the fact that one of the two below has an expression of “Yeah!” and the other of “Nooooo, I want my mommy”. I’m just kidding of course, that’s my wife and she’s a beast (in the good sense of the word).
How to do the kettlebell man maker correctly
Following is how you correctly perform a kettlebell man maker:
- Plank position
- Triceps push-up
- Renegade row
If you want the full and detailed 49 steps then unlock the content below, free and already unlocked for registered members of the website.
- Place the kettlebells at a comfortable arm’s length (but not so far where you have to over reach)
- Shoulder width apart
- Hinge at the hips (hip flexion)
- Grab the kettlebell handles
- Place the handle under the butt of the thumb
- Lock your elbows
- Contract your lats
- Brace your chest
- Kick your legs out
- Brace your core
- Lock your knees
- Land on the ball of your feet
- Lower into triceps push-up
- Push back up
- Slightly widen the distance between the feet for more stability
- Place your weight on one arm
- Row one kettlebell into the hips
- Move nothing but the upper arm
- Relax the forearm and make sure not to curl the weight
- Create shoulder extension (pull the elbow up)
- Lower the weight back
- Place the weight on the arm that just performed the row
- Perform a row on the other side
- Slightly lower the hips
- Pop the hips up
- Pull the legs in and under
- Land on flat feet
- The same position you obtained in step 1 to 5
- Pull the kettlebells in
- Pull all the way till the arms connect with the body
- Do not create ankle dorsiflexion
- Keep the spine neutral
- Let the kettlebells come out
- Pull them in through an acceleration jerk (shoulders coming up and back)
- Create an arc-like path
- Flex the elbows but don’t pull the weight in
- The kettlebells should float
- Open up and insert
- Squat (another 30 steps could be added here to describe the squat)
- Thrust the kettlebells up by coming out of the squat as explosively as possible (it’s not a squat and press)
- End up overhead with the kettlebells
- Full extension
- Full lockout
- Drop into rack
- Drop into backswing
- Lower to dead
Those 49 steps are just the basics of this exercise, I could triple the steps to help you understand this movement, and to understand what muscles to engage etc. If you’re interested in kettlebell training or kettlebell workouts with good form and technique, then I highly recommend you check out the Cavemantraining library of kettlebell books (also available on Amazon).
Why is the kettlebell man maker better than the dumbbell man maker? I’ll touch upon a few details here and further below. If you watched the video of the kb and db version, compare the way you get into position, with the db it’s very awkward to get into the plank position, you can’t get explosive. The same applies to the clean, compare both and you’ll see the major differences.
By the way, if you want to make it harder then add another push-up before the second row, I think it’s torture enough with just one. There are many variations out there, some don’t even have a push-up at all. To us, this is the kb man maker.
How to do the kettlebell man maker with one kettlebell?
If you only have one kettlebell then you could work as follows:
- Kettlebell dead on the ground
- Hands beside the kettlebell in plank position
- Tap your hip on one side
- Tap your hip on the other side
- Come up
- Double arm clean the kettlebell into open palm horn grip
- Front squat
- Thrust the kettlebell overhead (only if you have good shoulder flexibility)
- Return the kettlebell to the ground
Got questions? Join our kettlebell group here.
The dumbbell man maker
If you look at the video you’ll see that the dumbbells (handles) are low to the ground, this requires good flexibility which most people in a regular group class just don’t have, so, a recipe for disaster. The clean also becomes awkward if you compare it with the kettlebell clean you can see how the shoulders in the kb clean remain above the hips and with the db version they come below the hips. This is a position that becomes even more dangerous when working with heavy weight.
Of course, the dumbbell man maker can be performed flawlessly by those who have all the right attributes, but my point is, the kettlebell version of the man maker is much safer and can be performed with much more grace.
The barbell man maker
I’ll let you decide for yourself why the kettlebell man maker is better than the barbell man maker.
The bodyweight man maker
There are plenty of bodyweight man maker variations out there, but in my eyes, the true and closest variation would be as follows:
- Come into plank
- Triceps push-up
- Tap the hip with one hand
- Tap the hip with the other hand
- Stand up
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If you’re after a great kettlebell workout with the man maker then come and join our Caveman Inner Circle, there is a full-length kettlebell workout with the kettlebell man maker in it. It’s week 16! Once you’re a member you’ll get access to all previous weeks too, so you’ll have plenty of workouts to complete with full-length video, PDF with details, and it includes coaching as well as the group is private so you can post your form-check videos and get feedback from the kettlebell coaches. The great thing is, you get to vote for next weeks workout. If you want a book with kettlebell workouts I highly suggest you check out Kettlebell Workouts and Challenges 1.0 and the newly released 2.0.