*That, for some reason, I, being my narcissistic self, think you ought to know about
Whoa, two posts in a day? GTFO, mate. I know, shit’s getting a little wild at Health Heralds and you’re probably wondering what crazy shit we’re going to do next. Well, Peter and I scrapped the idea of holding a political protest, so we’re just going to keep up the casual blogging. You’re so excited.
So what do I bring to you in this post? Only the beastliest posterior chain movement in existence. Exaggeration? Yes, but this exercise is pretty badass and I can guarantee that you’ve never heard of it. Why? Because I made it up.** I’ve used it in the last two months with marked increases is strength and size. But enough about my groundbreaking discoveries and onto the “how-are-you-going-to-help-me” part of the post.
The exercise that will change your life: the single-leg abducted dumbbell deadlift. Yeah, that just happened. The good news: If you can say it, then you’re halfway there. The bad news: you still have no idea what this exercise looks like. Allow me to explain.
This exercise is a variation of Bret Contreras’ exercise, the single-leg abducted deadlift. You can consider Contreras’ deadlift variation to be to the deadlift with the rear-foot elevated split squat is to the squat. In other words, you turn the exercise into a unilateral movement by resting your non-working leg on a bench or box, so the core is no longer a limiting factor. This adjustment (may) allows you to target the hamstrings and glutes better than a conventional deadlift. For example, Bret could conventional deadlift 550 lbs, but he could S-LA Deadlift 300 lbs with one leg, so one would expect that S-LA offers some unique benefits in terms of hamstring and glute development. Below is Bret’s awesome tutorial of his variation, which will give you an idea of what this exercise looks like:
So how does my version differ? Rather than using a barbell, you use dumbbells. Why? Because using a barbell makes it more difficult to maintain good posture throughout the lift. When I perform the lift with a barbell, I have to focus more on keeping my shoulder blades down and back, a problem I don’t have with the dumbbell variation. In the barbell variation, your hands are pronated, whereas they’re neutral in the dumbbell variation. Neutral = Dope. Below is a video of Dean Somerset’s version:
Somerset’s version is different from mine in a few respects: he holds a single dumbbell in the contralateral arm in the pronated position, while I hold two dumbbells in neutral to maximize the load. I also put two short boxes on each side of my working leg so that I have something to touch the dumbbells to on each rep, which ensures consistent range of motion. (If I had a video of me performing the exercise this post would have been a lot short and understandable, but Health Heralds is working with a limited budget, so…)
My most recent workout demonstrates the awesomeness of this exercise. I performed 3 sets of 6 reps with 95 lbs dumbbells. Think of it this way: I loaded each leg with 190 lbs, which would be 380 lbs in a bilateral lift, a weight I know I can’t get close to. The moral of the story: my hamstring and glutes are getting bigger and stronger, and my back isn’t complaining.
The single-leg abducted dumbbell deadlift is here to stay. If anyone can remember its name, that is. Now go forth and make merry.
**Okay, I technically did not invent this exercise; Dean Somerset did. His version is similar to mine, although I didn’t know until recently that he had come up with it. So can I take credit? Eh, not really. Kudos to Dean.