Exercise of the Week: Dumbbell Step-Ups With Hold

Every Wednesday, STACK features an Exercise of the Week to help you improve your overall sports performanceincluding strength, speed, size and flexibility. This week we highlight Step-Ups With Hold, a multi-joint lower body exercise that develops strength in the quads and glutes.

Who's Doing It

  • Heather Mitts

Muscular Benefits

  • Increases quad and glute strength
  • Increases core muscle strength to stabilize the hips and spine
  • Develops range of motion, movement coordination and ankle stability

Sports Performance Benefits

  • Improves powerful leg drive for increased jumping ability, explosive speed and lower body power
  • Develops functional single-leg strength—i.e., in a way similar to game-time use
  • Improves single-leg balance, which is critical for changing direction

Dumbbell Step-Ups Description

  • Holding dumbbells on shoulders, assume athletic stance in front of knee-high box
  • Step onto box with right foot
  • Explosively extend right hip and knee to raise body onto box
  • Drive up with left knee so thigh is parallel to floor; hold for two seconds
  • Return left foot to ground; repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 4x8-10 each leg

Coaching Points

  • Keep back straight, chest up and shoulders back
  • Maintain good posture and keep core tight
  • Drive off front foot


Andy Haley Andy Haley - Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami University...
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