We all love the deadlift, don’t we? Of course we do, the venerable “king of exercises” and all that. I have always said that you can tell something is worthwhile by looking at how many variations on the basic formula there are. The more the better.
This goes for exercises too! The fundamental exercises have a julienne of ariations while specialized isolation exercises are typically “stand alone”—and naturally the more isolated the muscle is, the fewer exercises target it.
And why shouldn’t there be a julienne of variations for this exercise?
The deadlift essentially works all of the muscles of the lower body, and many of the upper body muscles as well. I’ve said it before and I will say it again; if you’re not deadlifting, get on it. But we’ve already discussed that.
And once you’ve mastered the basic deadlift, try a few of these variations:
1. Romanian Deadlift
This is a deadlift variation that hits the hamstrings to a greater extent than the standard deadlift, because it involves the legs being mostly, if not entirely, straight and extended.
To do this, hold a bar at hip level with the palms facing down. Your shoulders should be back, your back properly locked and hollowed, and your knees slightly bent. This will be your starting position.
Lower the bar by moving your butt back as far as you can. Keep the bar close to your body, your head looking forward, and your shoulders back. Lower the bar down to your knees or slightly below it. You should feel it in your hamstrings. Any further movement will put stress upon the spine and thus should be avoided for this exercise.
Once you have lowered the bar, the actual lift is done by returning to the ...
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