Strong Legs, Strong Abs: Offset Dumbbell Rotational Squat

I’m not a fan of novelty for novelty’s sake.

That guy doing squats on a Bosu ball while juggling kettlebells? It looks cool, and will get a lot of likes on the Gram, but it’s probably a pretty stupid idea for just about everyone (read: everyone).

People think “new” and “inventive” are synonymous with better. When it comes to exercise, that’s often not the case.

(Looking for intelligent workouts that are focused on developing strength without needing to be an acrobat? Let’s chat about that.)

That being said, sometimes I run across something I haven’t seen before that makes me go, “that makes a lot of sense.”

The Offset Dumbbell Rotational Squat is one of those exercises.

I swiped these from Nick Tuminello, who has a penchant for coming up with inventive exercises that actually make sense.

The Offset Dumbbell Rotational Squat does several things that I like. First, it’s sort of a hybrid of a single leg and double leg exercise. The offset load challenges the weighted side much more, but you have the benefit of the stability you get with two legs. Second, the offset load creates a unique demand in your abs. Uneven loading forces your abs to stabilize your torso, so you don’t lean to one side. Third, the rotational component gets people moving in ways that they tend to not move very much. We’re good at forward and backward, but rotating? We don’t do that very often. And when we do, we tend to put all that movement in our low backs. This exercise doesn’t just get people rotating, but rotating correctly.

OK, enough of the “why”, let’s get to the “how”.

Offset Dumbbell Rotational Squat


  • Keep your chest tall, and abs tight throughout the movement.
  • Keep your knees and torso square. The uneven weight will try to shift you to one side. This is where the abdominal work comes in.
  • Drive through your feet, and rotate the weighted leg as you stand up.
  • At the top of the movement, your hips, torso, chest and head should all be pointing in the same direction.
  • Do not rotate through your low back. You’ll know you’re doing this if your hips aren’t facing the same direction as your torso.

I like to have clients do 8-12 of these per side.

Give them a shot, and let me know what you think!

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