Fresh off the press tour of Black Adam, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is back in his home gym—a.k.a. his "Iron Paradise" — and just shared a clip of himself executing a challenging set of dumbbell sumo squats during his latest leg training session.
"Killer finisher. 5 monster sets," he wrote, adding: "It's a bitch. Give it a shot. Have fun." The "monster set" he's referring to includes the leg press, hack squat, and chain lunges, before concluding with the dumbbell sumo squat, all performed back-to-back with no rest in between.
The dumbbell sumo squat is a great alternative to the traditional form of the exercise as you can still load up the weight, but because you're ditching the barbell, you're taking the pressure off your shoulders and spine, making it a must-try for anyone who has experienced back pain or injury.
"By widening your feet out into the sumo position, you'll put more focus onto your adductors, increase the engagement of your quads, and force yourself to work with a more upright torso position, which can help to ease up on your lower back," explains Men's Health fitness editor Brett Williams. "You're also cutting down some of your range of motion by lengthening your levers, so you won't have to squat down as deep. All the while, you're still working your glutes, honing hip mobility, and keeping your core engaged as you hold the weight."
Here, Johnson is using a 100-pound dumbbell and performing the squat with 3-second negatives and a 1-second pause at the bottom of the rep. This is a technique he has been using across his lifts, in order to maximise time under tension and achieve the highest quality of eccentric contraction possible, meaning he is getting the most bang for his buck on every single repetition.
This means that Johnson isn't necessarily lifting heavy in every workout: the priority is slowing down and controlling the movement, with the weight secondary to how long his muscles spend in a state of tension.
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