Of everything you do in the gym, this lift most closely resembles the one you do in real life whenever you reach down to pick up a kid or a couch.
- TIP: To target your hamstrings, stand with your forefoot on a block or weight plate about an inch thick, keeping your heels on the floor.
- Step 1: When you’ve completed the set, don’t drop the barbell. Bend your knees and squat down until you can gently put it on the floor.
- FACT: Lifting 45 pounds during a stiff leg dead lift puts the equivalent pressure of three times your body weight on your spine.
- Step 2: Slowly lower yourself until your back is parallel to the floor.
- TIP: To help keep your back straight, keep your head up and look straight ahead while sticking your butt out.
- Step 3: Keep your back straight, bend forward from your hips, and grab the barbell with a wide overhand grip.
- Step 4: Keep your back absolutely straight and your legs slightly bent as you raise yourself upright. If you have to bend your back, stop—you’re lifting too much weight.
- Step 5: Stand behind the barbell with your feet straight ahead, shoulder width apart.