Today’s booty-crazed world has shifted the focus behind us, and we’re not complaining: Your posterior chain is a powerful partnership between glutes and hamstrings that propel you to faster sprints, bigger lifts and higher jumps. Use these deadlift variations to master the all important hip-hinge technique and create that sexy strength and power you need to lift some seriously heavy stuff— and of course fill in those jeans quite nicely, thank you very much.
LEVEL 1: BSTANCE DUMBBELL ROMANIAN DEADLIFT
This move is a great way to target one leg at a time, which can help reveal and then overcome strength imbalances. Since you still have the support of your “kickstand” (back) leg, you can go a little heavier without being limited by your ability to balance on a single ankle.
Hold a set of dumbbells in front of you and assume a split stance — one foot forward and one back — with your feet placed about hip-width apart. Shift most of your weight into your working (forward) leg, keeping your knee straight but soft. Your supporting (non-working) leg should be about a half a foot’s length behind you on your tiptoes, knee bent — like a kickstand for balance. Maintain a straight back as you fold forward and press your hips back to lower the weights, keeping them close to your thighs and bending your knee as you descend. Pull yourself back to standing with the backside of your working leg. Do all reps on one side, then switch.
You can hold the dumbbells in front of you or at your sides, but don’t let them drift too far forward, which can torque your lower back and sacroiliac joint. If your hamstrings are tight and you can’t properly hinge forward, your lower back might round, which puts your erector spinae and spine at risk. Prevent rounding — as well as shrugging or hunching — by engaging your upper back to lock your shoulder blades into place and lower down only as far as you can while maintaining a neutral spine. All the work should be focused on one leg while the other simply works to maintain balance. Shift your bodyweight forward and distribute it evenly throughout your entire foot to ensure your rear foot is mostly passive.
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September - October 2019