Deadlifts are a favorite of mine because they target so many different body parts (back, legs, abs) and have so many variations. This week I put together a Deadlift and ab workout, trying out a couple different variations of the exercise. Grab a bar and a kettlebell and get to work!
Traditional Deadlift: Set Up the bar with appropriate weights. Stand with feet about shoulder width apart and hands gripping the bar slightly wider than that. With knees bent, butt back and back flat, stand up tall. Squeeze your butt on the way up, engaging your glutes, hamstrings, and back. Return slowly.
Kettlebell Swing: Start in a squat position with chest up, butt back and legs wide. Knees should not go past your toes. Hold kettlebell with both hands between legs. Swing the weight up by squeezing your butt. Keep your arms straight, they shouldn’t be doing much lifting. This works legs and core.
Sumo Deadlift: With legs wide, much wider than shoulders and toe pointed out, grab the bar narrow. This exercise is designed to open up the hips, so keep that in mind throughout the movement. Keep your back flat, open up your hips, knees should follow toes pointed out, push up through your butt and inner thighs.
Kneeling KB Wood Choppers: Start kneeling with kB held by both hand Overhead. The kB should be on the side over the knee that is in front. Swing the weight from that right side down across the body towards the left knee. Bend forward slightly to really crunch those abs. This one hits the abdominals, obliques and little bit of shoulders.
Straight Leg Dead Lift (SLDL): Start with feet shoulder width apart and arms on the bar slightly wider. Try to keep your legs fairly straight, butt back and back flat. Hinge forward at the hips, keeping your arms straight. Squeeze your butt on the way up, this one really targets the butt and hamstrings. You should feel almost like your hamstrings are stretching, but don’t lock your knees out.
KB Overhead Sit Up: Hook your feet under a bar. With straight arms, hold the weight directly Over chest. Use your abs to sit-up, as the weight moves directly overhead. Control the weight on the way down as you really control those abs!
Hip Abduction Machine:Sit on Machine with knees as close as possible and pads against knees. Push out using your abductor muscles in your “side booty.”
Hip Adduction Machine: Sit on the Machine with the pads on your inner thigh. Spread legs as wide as you can and set the legs. Squeeze your inner thighs all the way together.
Roman Chair Back Extension: adjust hip pads so they hit just below your hips bones; you want full flexibility in your hips, not the pads digging into your stomach. Tuck your heels behind the feet pads. Legs should be fairly straight but not locked out. I cross my arms across my torso. Then hinge forward as you feel a stretch in those hamstrings. Keep the back flat and the chest up. As you come back up so your body is in a straight line, you should pull with your posterior chain (hamstrings, butt and lower back) and also all the little spinal erector muscles up your spine.