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Exercise Spotlight: Dumbbell Touchdown Exercise

The UW Health Sports Medicine Fitness Center presents two movement ideas that can be done anywhere. With growing concerns about the consequences of falling, having a program that incorporates movement combinations having strength and balance can serve to prevent falls.




Find a convenient open space. You may want to practice the movements with a stable support to hold onto in order to determine your ability to perform them when you are out in "free space" without using additional equipment.


Equipment – Hand-Held Object


The video presentation uses hand held dumbbells. However, any home object (e.g. a can of soup from your cupboard) can serve as an appropriate choice. You will notice differences depending on the floor surface you use. A concrete, tile or wood floor with a non-skid surface would provide the most stability, while having carpeting or some other surface with a "cushioning" feel will add to the level of difficulty.

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Performing these exercises will enhance your ability to coordinate your upper and lower body.


Progression Ideas


Consider the OPPOSITE Side version to be the "Beginner" choice and the SAME Side version to be the "Intermediate" choice. So, if these are new to you, try the "Beginner" version first until mastered before proceeding to the "Intermediate" version. In both cases, allow the focus to first be how well you can balance on one leg, and then adjust the range of motion accordingly.


A training progression would likely occur over the course of weeks or months depending on your initial level of fitness and your ability to pick up some of the nuances of each movement.


Start by doing one set of five to six repetitions of each exercise, as long as you can do them successfully. Be sure to evaluate your body's response and use that feedback as a guide to help you determine how aggressively you can advance. Upon mastery of either exercise, consider adding two to three repetitions every couple of weeks. Once you reach 12 to 15 repetitions, you can then consider reaching even higher above your head and/or closer to the floor.


Touchdown Exercise Opposite Side



Touchdown Exercise Same Sides