Fit Friday Issue #20
Exercise Spotlight: Deadlift like a Pro
Deadlifts are one of our favorite exercises at Studio in the Heights, and for good reason! All deadlift variations are great for strengthening the musculature of the posterior chain (glutes and hamstrings), hips, and core. Heavier deadlifts also strengthen the muscles of the lower, mid, and upper back, scapula stabilizers, upper arms, and forearms. This all adds up to one great workout tool!
How to Safely and Effectively Deadlift

What you need
Deadlifts are traditionally done with barbells, but can easily be done with sandbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, trap bars, resistance bands, or even a broomstick!
Proper form
The basic movement of the deadlift involves the hips hinging back to bend and then forward to lift.
  1. Start with feet under the bar/stick (the bar should go right about where your shoelaces fall). Set your feet so they are about hip-width apart and facing straight ahead. Keep a slight bend in your knees.
  2. Hinge the hips back, bend the knees, and reach to grip the bar. It is important to keep straight spinal alignment and to not hunch over!
  3. Push through the heels to activate the glutes (keep the whole foot planted) and shift the hips forward. The bar should graze your shin to thigh as you come to stand erect.
  4. Return to the starting position by pushing the hips back, as you let the bar come down the front of the body until it reaches the floor.
Using your breath
As a rule of thumb, you should always exhale during the hard part, or the execution, of the exercise. For the deadlift, take a deep belly breath in at the bottom and exhale as you push through the heels and come to stand.
Variation: Hinge Hip
If you aren't quite ready to take on the full deadlift or want to focus on the hip movement for a warmup, the hip hinge should be your go to.
  1. Position a stick so it is running down your spine and is touching your tailbone, upper back, and head.
  2. Hold onto the stick with one hand at the base of the back and one at the head.
  3. Set your feet so they are about hip-width apart and facing straight ahead, and keep a slight bend in your knees.
  4. Before you begin the movement, take a deep breath into your belly, brace your core, and gently tuck your rib cage towards your hips.
  5. Push/hinge your hips backwards as far as you can (while maintaining a neutral spine!).
  6. If you are hinging your hips properly, the broomstick will remain in contact with your tailbone, upper back and head.
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Fit Friday Credits:
Content author: Katelynn Cooper
Editing/Design: Jacqui Zaydel
Image 1:
Image 2: American Council on Exercise (ACE)

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