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Dumbbell Sprawl 101 Video Tutorial

Gym Main Variation Core Exercise


Dumbbell Sprawl
Dumbbell Sprawl

Exercise Synopsis

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The Dumbbell Sprawl is a dynamic exercise primarily targeting the abdominal muscles, with secondary engagement of the glutes. Utilizing a dumbbell for added resistance, this exercise involves starting in a standing position holding the dumbbell at chest height. From there, the individual transitions into a plank position by placing the dumbbell on the ground, extending the legs back, and assuming a push-up position. After a brief pause, the legs are brought back in towards the hands, returning to the starting standing position. This movement pattern engages the core muscles intensely throughout, promoting strength and stability in the abdominals while also activating the glutes to a lesser extent.

How to Perform

  1. Setup: Begin by standing upright with your feet positioned hip-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in both hands at chest height, elbows bent, and palms facing inward.

  2. Engage Core: Tighten your abdominal muscles to brace your core and stabilize your spine throughout the exercise.

  3. Lower Dumbbell: Inhale as you lower the dumbbell towards the ground, bending at the hips and knees. Keep your back straight and chest lifted as you lower the dumbbell towards the floor.

  4. Place Dumbbell: Once the dumbbell reaches the ground, place it on the floor directly beneath your chest while simultaneously extending your legs back behind you.

  5. Assume Plank Position: Your body should now be in a plank position, with your hands directly under your shoulders, arms extended, and body forming a straight line from head to heels. Engage your glutes and keep your core tight to maintain stability.

  6. Hold Position: Hold the plank position for a brief moment, ensuring your body remains aligned and stable.

  7. Return to Standing: Exhale as you reverse the movement by bending your knees and bringing your legs back in towards your hands, while simultaneously reaching down to grab the dumbbell.

  8. Stand Up: Once you've retrieved the dumbbell, push through your heels to stand back up to the starting position, bringing the dumbbell back to chest height.

  9. Repeat: Complete the desired number of repetitions, maintaining proper form and control throughout the exercise.

  10. Focus on Breathing: Remember to inhale as you lower into the plank position and exhale as you return to standing. This helps to maintain proper breathing rhythm and support your core engagement.

  11. Maintain Form: Throughout the exercise, focus on keeping your spine neutral, avoiding any excessive rounding or arching. Additionally, keep your shoulders away from your ears to prevent tension in the neck and upper back.

  12. Progression: As you become more comfortable with the exercise, you can increase the intensity by using heavier dumbbells or incorporating a push-up after assuming the plank position.


  1. Begin in a standing position with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell at chest height.

  2. Lower the dumbbell towards the floor by bending at the hips and knees, keeping the back straight.

  3. Place the dumbbell on the ground directly beneath the chest while extending the legs back into a plank position.

  4. Maintain a straight line from head to heels in the plank position, engaging the core and glutes for stability.

  5. Hold the plank position briefly, ensuring proper alignment and tension in the muscles.

  6. Return to the starting position by bending the knees and bringing the legs back towards the hands while reaching for the dumbbell.

  7. Stand up by pushing through the heels and bringing the dumbbell back to chest height.

  8. Focus on controlled movements throughout the exercise to maximize muscle engagement and prevent injury.

  9. Keep the core tight and the spine neutral at all times to protect the lower back and promote proper form.

  10. Breathe steadily, inhaling as you lower into the plank and exhaling as you return to standing, to maintain proper oxygen flow and support core stability.

How Not to Perform