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Build Explosive Power & Strength With Emelye Dwyer’s Functional Fitness Workout

Build Explosive Power & Strength With Emelye Dwyer’s Functional Fitness Workout
Evangeline Howarth
Editor3 years ago
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Pro functional fitness athlete, Emelye Dwyer is here to take you through this explosive workout and has even provided top tips from her coach to help you make the most of each exercise. 

Can you match Emelye’s speed and accuracy as you blast through these exercises? All you’ll need is a set of dumbbells and some desire. 

It’s 12 minutes, as many reps as possible (AMRAP) — see if you can beat Emelye’s 7 rounds and 1 rep. 

Her coach’s advice: 

  • Choose a weight that you can move unbroken for each set the whole way through the workout. The full 10 reps each time should feel tough, but you’ve got maybe 1-2 more in there at best. 
  • Use the burpees as a chance to rest your grip. 
  • Keep good form on the power cleans, make sure you bend your legs and sit your hips back, trying to stay extended, as there is a lot of added spinal flexion on the burpees. 
  • As the workout progresses, your Shoulder to Overhead might change from a strict press, to a push press to a jerk and that’s ok 
  • Don’t forget to breathe! 

12-Minute AMRAP

1. 10 dumbbell power cleans

This move is great for building full-body strength and power, working just about all of the muscles along the posterior and anterior chains. 1. With your feet hip-width apart and the dumbbells outside of them, bend your legs and hinge at the hips to pick up the dumbbells.2. You can also start from a standing position with the dumbbells hanging by your knees, keeping your knees bent and hips back. In both positions, keep your chest up and shoulders back.

3. Squeezing your abs and glutes, push your feet into the floor and extend yourhips and legsto bring the dumbbells up past your knees and shrug them up, using the momentum to bring them up in front of you. 

4. Thrust your elbows under the dumbbells so that you’re now holding the weights upwards at shoulder level. To absorb the force, bend your knees as you “catch” the dumbbells.  

2. 5 burpees over the dumbbell

Burpees in between each exercise is perfect for resting your grip while still keeping your heartrate up and working on building explosive power.1. Jump into a high plank position and then lower your chest to the floor.2. Push back up to high plank and then jump your feet in towards your hands. 3. Push your hands off the floor to reach standing position and then jump over the dumbbells to perform on the other side. 

3. 10 dumbbell front squats

Perfect for building strength and power in the glutes, quads, and hamstrings, this move is the basis for many functional fitness exercises.1. Stack the dumbbells onto your shoulders and position your feet just wider than should width apart.2. Keeping your chest proud and back straight, bend at the knees and push your hips backwards into a squat position.3. Push back upwards through your heels to standing position and repeat. 

4. 5 burpees over the dumbbell

Another set of burpees over the dumbbells to recover your grip strength and break up the strength exercises. 


5. 10 dumbbell shoulder to overhead

1. Rack the dumbbells up onto your shoulders and stand with your feet hip-width apart.2. Brace your core and push thedumbbells straight up overhead, using your legs to increase the power.3. Slowly lower back down to your shoulders and then repeat the movement. 

6. 5 burpees over the dumbbell

Rest your grip with a final set of burpees before you start all over again. 

Repeat as many times as you can manage before 12 minutes is up. 


Take home message

If you managed as many reps as Emelye, then that’s pretty exceptional work. If not, this workout is a great benchmark to measure your improvements, so keep building your fitness and give it another go in a week or two. 

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Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you're concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

Evangeline has taken part in competitive sports since a young age. As a qualified RYA Dinghy Instructor, she understands the importance of proper nutrition for fuelling extreme and endurance sports, especially due to her experience in Team GBR Squads and captaining and coaching her University first team.

In her spare time, Evangeline loves running – especially marathons. On the weekends, you’ll find her taking on water sports or hiking up a hill. Her favourite evenings are spent taking on a HIIT session or squats in the gym before digging into some spicy food and a ton of vegetables – yum!

Find out more about Evie's experience here.