Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Body Targeting of Deadlift Exercises

Dead lift exercises target your hamstrings, back, hips and thighs. Incorporating these exercises into your current fitness program strengthens these muscles while increasing your core strength and lower body flexibility. A benefit of performing dead lifts is the decreased risk of lower back injury. There are a variety of ways to perform these exercises to help you meet your individual performance needs. Choose a weight with which you can complete three sets of eight to 10 repetitions.
Dumbbell Dead Lift Exercise
This exercise targets your quadriceps, erector spinae and glute muscles. Begin by placing two dumbbells on the floor, one on each side of your feet. Position your feet shoulder-width apart and point your toes forward. Contracting your core, extend your chest and align your spine in a neutral position. Shift your weight backward and squat down to pick up both dumbbells by hinging at your knees. Your chest remains extended throughout this movement with your eyes focused forward. Stabilize your spine to return to the standing position by raising both your hips and shoulders while keeping the dumbbells close to your body. Return to the downward position and repeat.
Dumbbell Stiff Leg Dead Lift Exercise
The main muscle groups targeted in this exercise are your hamstrings, gluteus maximus, erector spinae and rectus abdominis. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, chest extended and core contracted. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms in front of your quadriceps. Inhale and lean forward, keeping your back in a neutral position, eyes forward and knees straight. Extend as far as comfortable without rounding your back. Exhale and return to the starting position by extending your hips. To modify this exercise, slightly bend your knees.
Barbell Dead Lift Exercise
This dead lift exercise is advanced from the dumbbell dead lift. Place a barbell on the floor and stand facing it with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes under the barbell. Contracting your core, extend your chest and squat down to grasp the barbell, lifting it in front of your shins. Keeping your back neutral and eyes facing forward, lift the barbell off of the floor, extending into a full standing position. Slowly lower the barbell back to the floor hinging at your hips and slightly bending your knees. Modify this exercise by decreasing the weight of the barbell.
Single Arm/Single Leg Romanian Dead Lift Exercise
This exercise challenges your balance, core stability and muscular strength. Begin in a standing position holding one dumbbell in your left hand with your palm facing inward. Keeping your core contracted and chest extended, slowly lower your chest toward the floor while extending your left leg and lowering the dumbbell. With a neutral spine, return to the starting position and complete all your repetitions on this side before switching to the opposite side.