One of the best exercises to build lower body strength and slimming muscle tone is the dumbbell deadlift.
Exercises like the deadlift work all the core muscles at the same time, including smaller abdominal muscles that are hard to reach.
The core works with other muscles that support the lower back which helps you maintain movement control for better balance and less chance of a back injury.
The Dumbbell Deadlift
Start by holding the dumbbells by your sides at arm's length and your feet shoulder width apart with your knees slightly bent.
Keeping your back straight, engage your abs and push your hips back, bend your knees as you lower yourself.
As you move lower make sure to keep your back straight. You can lean slightly forward.
Lower yourself as far your comfort level allows, put your weight on the back of your heels, and push yourself back up to your starting position.
Dumbbell Deadlift with Overhead Press
As you are pushing yourself up toward your starting position, bring the dumbbells up to shoulder level with your palms facing forward and push the weights up over your head as pictured below.
Kyle Demonstrating the Dumbbell Deadlift with Overhead Press
The overhead press also works many of the larger muscles of the upper body like your arms, upper back, and shoulders. Doing two different upper back exercises with no rest in between is considered a "super-set". Doing both of these exercises at the same time can quickly increase your lean muscle mass and burn a ton of extra calories.
To get the most work out of your hamstrings and glutes, and to protect your back, it is important for you to keep your weight on your heels and not the middle area of your foot.
Make sure to push your hips back as you are bending your knees. Don't just bend over, this would put too much pressure on your spine.
Keep the dumbbells close to your body and keep your eyes looking forward at all times.
Dumbbell Deadlift Benefits
Posture - Participating in regular exercises like the dumbbell deadlift two or three times a week can also correct bad posture. By strengthening your lower back you will improve your spines position and you will be less likely to slouch.
Core Stability - The deadlift will strengthen your back and surrounding muscles. It is one of the most effective exercises for building core strength for better balance and stability.
Compound Exercise - Working multi-muscle groups at one time will burn more calories and let you finish your workout faster than you would have thought possible.
Daily Functions - Think of how many times a day that you bend over and pick something up. The dumbbell deadlift will stretch out and strengthen your back, hamstrings, and calves to help make daily activities easier.
I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.