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My favorite group exercise class at LA Fitness is Body Works Plus Abs.  It’s a 60-minute long full body workout with lightweight dumbbells.  The key to achieving improved muscle tone, posture, balance and strength from this class is repetition, repetition, repetition.  However, after the third set of 8-16 reps of Romanian Deadlifts (also called the Stiff-Legged Dumbbell Deadlift), I am about ready to scream!
 
Here’s the scoop…the Romanian Deadlift is a compound strength exercise that primarily targets your hamstrings, but also works the glutes and lower back.  Who doesn’t want sexy gams and glutes, right?  In order to properly execute the Romanian Deadlift and avoid injury, do the following:
  • Stand shoulder-width apart with dumbbells in hand, by your sides at arm’s length
  • Keep knees slightly bent and your back straight, exhale and lower the dumbbells over your feet by bending at the waist and moving your butt back slightly until you feel a stretch in your hamstring.  Return to the starting position by inhaling and reversing the previous movement.  Force the hips through and squeeze the glutes at the top of the movement. 
  • Repeat

NOTE:  This exercise is not recommended for those with lower back problems.  Take special care not to round the back as you lower the torso.  It helps to keep your chin up by focusing on a spot on the floor a few feet ahead of you.

Happy Hamstrings!

Photo Courtesy of Yourpartnerforchange.com

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