Be Well: One-Leg Deadlift to Row

This week I'm excited to continue my streak of combining exercise concepts that we've already discussed. This week, we're combining deadlifts and rows. This is one of my absolute favorite exercises - I love how it works your whole body while making you feel like a ballerina as you focus on your leg extension and balance. I can't recommend it enough!

(Also, please disregard the torture-chamber looking pilates machine next to me. Photogenic space was limited!)

DSC_6329Start with weight shifted to one foot, holding relatively heavy weights (I suggest 15 lb. dumbells and wouldn't do smaller than 12 lb. ones).

DSC_6326Start to hinge forward, keeping your standing leg slightly bent. Send weights towards the ground as you send your elevated foot towards the wall behind you.

DSC_6318Pause with arms extended to the floor, leg extended to the back of the room, and body and leg parallel to the floor. DSC_6321Pull your elbows up to the ceiling while maintaining your position parallel to the floor. Try to pull your elbows up past your body. DSC_6323Drop your arms back down as you begin to drop your foot.DSC_6314End in the same position you started in. Repeat on one side for one minute then switch to the other side.

This week is turning into a pretty good week for me - I'm getting back into the workout groove, I won a cool handheld receiver in Jacey's giveaway today, and my sister comes to visit on Friday! I hope your week is going well!

Be Well: Deadlifts

In honor of Halloween, I've decided to feature deadlifts (get it? GET IT?) as my weekly workout. They're great for your hamstrings and glutes, two areas of my body where I could always use a bit more toning.

#1 most important thing about deadlifts: your back should be flat THE WHOLE TIME. Sourcing your power from your legs and not your back will give your legs a great workout while protecting your back. Whenever I can I do deadlifts at a 90-degree angle from a mirror - that way you can look over your shoulder and monitor the position of your back.

Start with a heavy barbell on the floor in front of you. I used a 30 lb. bar for this demonstration, but I try to do 40 lbs. whenever a barbell that size is available. I should really push myself to do even more. Choose the heaviest weight you can lift without rounding your back while picking it up.

Stand up slowly, keeping your back flat and lifting from your legs.

Now slowly lower the bar back down to the ground, controlling your pace with your legs and not your back.

With each rep you should set the bar back down on the floor and then pick it right back up to complete a second, third, fourth, etc. rep. You want to set the bar all the way down on the floor so it forces you to expend the energy to pick it up each time.

Do three sets of ten reps each and you should feel it in your hamstrings the next day!

I hope anyone from the East coast who happens to stumble on this blog is staying safe, dry, and entertained. I know firsthand from growing up in hurricane country that things can get mighty boring once your power has been off for hours or even days. Here's hoping you've got a stack of good books to keep you company!