Whether it’s walking your dog or running a half-marathon, having leg strength is essential. It also provides a stable base for holding up your upper body. “This exercise trains movements that are used in everyday activities and sports,” says Mike Boyle, owner of Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning in the US. “It also boosts your explosiveness,” which can be useful for badminton and basketball players.
This exercise targets your hamstrings like never before. By isolating each leg, this version of the Romanian deadlift demands additional effort in terms of balance and form.
HOW TO DO IT
1 Place two objects, such as cones or dumbbells, at 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock, and within reach of your hands.
2 Facing the objects, stand on your left foot and use your right hand to reach for the object on your left. Bend at the hips. Keep your back flat and your hips pushed back.
3 Raise your upper body back to the starting position without your right foot touching the ground. Do 10 reps, then switch legs and repeat.
OUR EXPERT’S TIPS
- When using a single dumbbell, reach for it with the opposite hand of the leg you’re working on.
- Raise the back leg to help counter balance.
- Keep the knee slightly bent and push your hips backwards, looking up, shoulders back and lower back arched.
- Complete all prescribed reps and then switch to the other leg.