Exercises You Should be Doing (Suitcase Deadlift)

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I feel that everyone (read: this includes you) needs to learn how to deadlift. Thing is, many trainees are just not ready (lack proper flexibility and/or mobility) or just aren’t strong enough yet to perform a traditional barbell deadlift from the floor; otherwise known as a conventional deadlift. I’m often dumbfounded when I hear other trainers tell me that they don’t teach their clients to deadlift because it’s too dangerous. Lets be clear, getting in a car with Britney Spears is dangerous. Teaching someone a movement pattern that’s a part of everyday life is not.

As I have stated in past writings, the deadlift is a great exercise because it’s one of the rare movements that can be conformed to the lifter and not vice versa. Whether I’m working with a high school athlete or a 40 year old “soccer mom” you can bet that I’m going to teach them both how to deadlift; I just may take a different approach to both.

One movement that I like to use for “newbies” is the Suitcase Deadlift:

1. Grab a dumbbell and hold on one side of the body.

2. Chest high, neutral spine, elbows locked.

3. Breaking first with the hips (not the knees), continue pushing your butt back while maintaining your arch.

4. Stop at mid-shin level and return to the starting position.

5. You should end the movement by squeezing your glutes (hip extension).

Not only is this a great way to introduce the deadlift to beginners, but it also serves as a superb way to train anti-rotation because you have to brace the opposite side of the body so as not to tip over.

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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