Tone Up Tuesday

Are you bored from your current work out routine?

Do you need a new exercise to spice up your next gym power hour?

How about adding an exercise that will tone your muscles and prevent injury?

Perform a Dead Lift!

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Image source:

Dead Lifts:

  • Can be performed in varying ways and using different modalities, so you will never get bored.
  • Can be incorporated into any exercise program, regardless of client age, gender, or fitness level and ability.
  • Will tone your glutes, hamstrings, calves, and core!
  • Will prevent injury as this exercise is functionally-based – applies a movement pattern we perform throughout our activities of daily living, such as picking up an item off the floor!

*Safety First*

Engage your core muscles by pulling in your belly button towards your spine to prevent back injury.

Lower your shoulders, keeping them down and away from your ears.

Maintain a slight pinch between your shoulder blades.

Hinge at your hips, and breathe!

Master 3 Types of Dead Lifts!

Traditional Dead Lift:  *Perform with minimal to no weight before increasing load. Start with a barbell at the floor. Feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. With toes under bar, squat down and lean forward slightly. Grasp the bar with hands slightly wider than thighs. With chest lifted, head aligned with spine, and core engaged, push through heels to begin lift. Stand and pull the bar so the hips and bar rise at the same tempo. Keep the bar close to body. Complete the movement with a glute squeeze, pressing hips forward. Slowly lower the bar to the floor, simultaneously bending knees so the hips and bar lower at the same tempo. Keep weight in heels. Complete the movement with the bar on the floor over toes, and chest lifted and head aligned with spine.

Stiff-Legged Dead Lift:  *Perform with minimal to no weight before increasing load. Start with holding a barbell (overhand grip). Feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Maintain a very slight bend to knees. Do not lock out knees. Bar remains close to body during entire movement. Hinging at hips, slowly push hips back, pull shoulders down and back, and engage core to stabilize spine. Lower the bar until a stretch is felt in the hamstrings. Slight pause. Engage glutes and slowly pull the bar up. Pull the bar until body it is completely straight (vertical). Complete movement with a glute squeeze at top of lift, pressing hips forward.

Single-Legged Dead Lift:  Apply the same principles as a Stiff-Legged Dead Lift, however perform the movement pattern on one (1) leg. Only practice this progression after you have mastered the standard (both feet on floor) Stiff-Legged Dead Lift.  Beginners perform the single-leg version without weight (regress by holding onto stable surface during movement pattern). Gradually add weight as stability, form, and posture improve. May use one (1) kettle bell or dumbbell as weight

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Image source:



Mercola. (2015). Deadlift: The best workout move you’re not doing. Peak Fitness. Accessed on April 5, 2015.

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