How to do Surrenders

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chris Freytag demonstrating Surrenders

Surrenders is an underestimated exercise that works the entire body. The move looks simple, but it completely challenges your quads, hamstrings, glutes and shoulders when you lower to the ground (as if in surrender) and push your bodyweight—plus whatever dumbbells you are holding—back up to standing. You will definitely feel these the next day, but learning how to do surrenders is such an effective way to whip your behind into shape, and quickly!

We recommend starting with five-pound dumbbells, but pick a weight that is appropriate for your strength. You want this to be a challenging exercise, but don’t sacrifice your form for it! First try for 6 repetitions on each side—12 total surrenders. You’ll be surprised by how much that will fire up your muscles! If you’re feeling worked but energized, try just one more rep!

Before you get started, here are some tips to perfect your Surrenders: Find a cushioned surface like a yoga mat to protect your knees (maybe even double it over). Try to keep a steady pace to make this not only a strength exercise but a cardio one as well. And remember to keep your back straight and arms extended throughout each surrender.

Are you looking to add Surrenders to a more robust workout? To switch up your workout routine and get yourself into shape fast, try these 8 Exercises You Should Be Doing (But Probably Aren’t): Surrenders, Renegade Row, Plie V-Raise, Spiderman Push-Up, Shoulder T, Stationary Lunge and Overhead Pull and Reverse Plank. All of these exercises use either your own bodyweight or dumbbells to create resistance and work the whole body!

1) Start kneeling holding dumbbells at your sides.

2) Step forward with one foot and stand all the way up while press the weights overhead.

3) Kneel down one knee at a time returning the weights to your sides.  Repeat starting with the opposite leg.

Targets: glutes, quads, hamstrings, shoulders

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