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Man Poll of the Month-Below

If You Had to Sleep with a Woman Other Than
Your Wife or Girlfriend, Who Would It Be?-Vote
Fitness, Sports, Money-Nuff Said
This Month's Man Polls
Man Poll Number 1:

If you had to choose a
woman to sleep with other
than your wife or girlfriend,
who would it be?

Top Choices (So far):

Jessica Alba        79%
Eva Mendez           0%
Jessica Biehl          0%
Beyonce                11%
Rihanna                11%

Man Poll Number 2:

Should Eliot Spitzer Have
Resigned for Sleeping With

No        64%
Yes        36%

Man Poll Number 3:

Is Barack Obama manly
enough to be

No                73%
Yes                  26%

How to Improve Your Dead Lift
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August 12, 2012

By L. Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

Few exercises will test your body and mind to the limit like
the dead lift. This powerful exercise works your back,
core, quads, hamstrings and gluteus like no other, except
perhaps the squat. The dead lift is an impressive show of
strength and power. But the dead lift is difficult to master.

Pulling a great dead lift requires technique as well as
strength. Nothing is more frustrating in weightlifting than
getting stuck on the same weight every session. How can
you beat the dead lift dip? What can you do to improve
your dead lift?

How to Complete a Dead Lift

To complete a dead lift you need a barbell and weights,
adjusted to match your strength and fitness level.

Stand at the bar with your feet around shoulder-width
apart, pointing forward or slightly outward under the bar
so the bar is positioned over the balls of the feet.

Squat and grip the bar with your hands a little more than
shoulder-width apart (your hands are on the outside of
your legs). The choice of grip depends on your personal
preference and what you are comfortable with (see below
for grip tips).

Lower your hips until your thighs rest parallel to the floor,
with your lower leg and foot at an angle of 90 degrees.

Look straight ahead and flatten your back without losing
the natural arch of the back. Pick up the bar from the
ground by standing up – raise your shoulders and your
hips at the same speed and keep your back flat. This leaves
the weight hanging while you keep your arms straight.

Lower the bar back to the floor in a controlled manner.
Easy, right? Wrong! To complete a successful dead lift you
need to read the following tips.

Master the Correct Dead Lift Technique

Take note of the fundamental technique behind the dead
lift, without which you could be heading off on the wrong
path when it comes to improving your lift. Technique is
vital and it becomes more important the stronger you get.

Some advice – never pull or lift with your arms. You need
to power the lift with your hip and leg muscles.

Visualize trying to force your legs through the floor
instead of visualizing lifting the bar.

Drive through your heels and push your hips forward as
the weight reaches the level of your knees.

Always keep your back straight – a rounded back causes
stress on the discs in the spine and can lead to a slipped

Look straight ahead or a little towards the ground to help
your balance.

Increase Power in Your Back

The first step you can take to improve your dead lift is to
strengthen the muscle groups that allow you to complete
this challenging exercise.

Building strength in your back and the shoulders is a must.
Exercises to help you build back strength include bent-
over rows using dumbbells, shoulder shrugs, behind-the-
neck presses and upright rows.

A strong back is important for safety as well as style.
Never round-out your back and don’t lose your natural
arch as you lift.

One way to check your back is in the proper position as
you set up is to visualize touching an invisible wall behind
you with your butt, and an invisible wall in front of you
with your chin. Do the same as you lower the weight.

Wear a Belt

Some weightlifters wear a belt to stabilize the back and
improve the dead lift. However, the jury is out on belts as
many people say they can prevent you from properly
developing the stabilizer muscles in your back which
increases the risk of injury as you increase your weight. If
you choose to wear a belt, breathe into your belly, pushing
the air against the belt, which increases the pressure in
your abs and leads to greater dead lift strength.

Increase Strength in Your Legs

Don’t forget that the power of your dead lift is in your legs
so increasing the strength in your legs can rapidly improve
your dead lift. Work your legs with half squats using heavy
weights. You will improve your strength as you increase
the weight. You can improve stamina, which is also a
useful skill for dead lifts, by increasing the repetitions.

Increase Grip Strength

An alternate grip, where you hold the bar with one palm
facing you and the other palm facing away, is effective at
stabilizing the bar if you suffer from poor grip but this may
just be a way of papering over the cracks in your

To improve your dead lift, you  need to improve your grip
strength. Try exercises with a gripper or a simple tennis
ball to improve your grip.

You can also do the Plate Pinch in the gym – stand two
weight plates on their edges next to each other. You now
need to pick them both up by gripping with the fingers of
one hand. Hold for as long as possible before carefully
lowering the weights to the floor.
You may also like to look at your diet to improve your grip

According to a 2008 study by the University of
Southampton, UK your grip strength increases by 0.43kg
for every portion of fatty fish you eat in a week – omega-3
fatty acids may play a part in building your muscle strength
and helping you improve your dead lift.

Romanian Dead Lift

Improve your dead lift by working the same muscles with
a different exercise.

The Romanian dead lift is a good place to start.

A Romanian dead lift has you grabbing the bar with your
legs rigid, almost locked out but with a slight flex in your
knees. You lift using your back, which helps increase
strength in your back for the purpose of improving your
dead lift. Keep your back flat as you drive your hips
forward and lift the weight. Don’t look up as you lift as this
can place excessive strain on your lower back.

Sumo Dead Lift

The sumo-style dead lift differs from the conventional dead
lift as your grip is on the inside of your legs. You use a
wider stance than when you attempt a conventional dead
lift and your feet point out at about a 45 degree angle. The
sumo dead lift scores points because it is said to decrease
the stress placed on the lower back by as much as 10
percent, according to a 2000 study by Duke University
Medical Center, Durham. Sumo style also requires less hip
flexion but more flexing of the knee and ankle joints –
your quadriceps are likely to be more active when you lift
sumo style. Practicing a sumo dead lift can improve your
performance by effectively working extra muscle groups
that allow you to excel in the conventional dead lift.

Take Yoga Classes

It may not be the first thing you think of but yoga can help
you become a better lifter. You may not reach your dead
lift goals if you are not sufficiently flexible in your hip
joints, knees and legs.

Step out of the gym and visit the yoga studio –
complement your workout with some flexibility training.

A 2012 study from the Department of Health and Exercise
Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins found 24
90-minute sessions of Bikram yoga training increased dead
lift strength, substantially increased lower back and
hamstring flexibility, and increased shoulder flexibility.

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A strong back and grip are essential to executing a
proper dead lift.
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