A fun way to tackle balance and strength is by incorporating exercises into your workout that you normally don’t do or better yet, have ever done. For this week’s Workout Wednesday, we are going to combine balance as it meets strength in single leg deadlifts. What’s so awesome about this exercise is that the single leg deadlift tones your hamstrings but it also recruits your glutes and lower back as well. It’s a compound exercise which means that it targets the use of more than one joint and muscle group, ultimately maximizing your time in the gym. But we aren’t going to stop there! We are going to add a row to hit your upper body. More specifically your back; but in particular the lats, delts, and spinal erectors which are the muscles used and needed to strengthen and rotate the back.
Remember this will be challenging at first. You have a lot going on so be patient with yourself. If you feel like your form is being compromised then use less weight. If you have never done this exercise before, I recommend you take a run through with no weight to acquire some muscle memory and to familiarize yourself with the movements and transitions.
Click here or on the video below to view one round of this week’s exercises (note, the video does not have any sound).
Two exercises total, 10-12 reps of each exercise on each leg into the row for 10-12 reps with no rest between movements. Complete both movements, rest 30-45 seconds, then repeat.
Exercise 1: Single Leg Deadlift
Place your dumbbells in your hands, with your standing leg slightly bent, lift your free leg as you lower your chest so that it’s parallel to the ground. Remember to bend at the hip as opposed to diving the chest towards the ground. Keep the dumbbells close to the body as you return to the upright position and don’t let the free leg touch the ground. Repeat for 10-12 reps on each leg.
Exercise 2: Single Leg Deadlift Row
With the free leg and chest parallel to the ground, lift your dumbbells in towards your shoulders. With control extend the arms towards the ground, then repeat the rows for 10-12 reps.
Rest 30-45 seconds then REPEAT 3x—or try 4x if you’re feeling frisky!
New exercises always present new and exciting challenges. It’s ok to falter, topple over, or reduce the repetitions. Every time you revisit this exercise it won’t become easier per say, but I promise it will become more accessible.
And for those of you who are more advanced, try heavier weight and instead of 3 rounds—aim for 4 to push yourself. Fitness should always be fun and help you discover new things about this body you occupy; have fun and enjoy this journey you are on!
Enjoy and Happy #WorkoutWednesday!