EXERCISE 2: DEAD LIFTS
What It Works: Buttocks (glutes), backs of thighs (hamstrings), and lower back
How-To: Stand tall with heavy dumbbells in both hands, this time resting them on the fronts of your thighs. With your legs hips-width apart, toes turned out naturally, bend your knees and pull your hips back like a slingshot. Make sure your knees track in the same direction as your toes. Draw your buttocks toward the back wall and feel your weight pull back into your heels, not the forefoot. Your back will transition to a horizontal position as you do this, and your ribcage will nearly rest on your thighs at the bottom of the dead lift. It is crucial to tighten your abs to prevent rounding your back and putting too much workload on the muscles of your lower back. Look about 3 feet in front of you on the ground to keep your head and neck in line with the rest of the spinal column. Hold that posture for 3 seconds, then quickly lift back up and squeeze your buttocks tightly. At the top of your deadlift, be sure to keep abs tight and knees straight, and look ahead with your shoulders directly in line with your hips, knees, and ankles.