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I love a strong workout. Especially for deadlifts (one of my absolute favs)! 5 things need to be in check for an effective deadlift day:

  1. Program and workout for the day in hand
  2. Ask myself: How was my sleep the night before?
  3. Ask myself: what my nutrition was like in the last 24 hours?
  4. Ask myself: How is my body feeling today?
  5. A solid warm up to get my body and mind ready

How do I get my body and mind right? A solid warm up:

1. Get Your Head in the Game
Deadlifts can be very taxing on the body and nervous system.  I always feel like I need to be in the right headspace for such a complex movement.  This is why I started incorporating breath work into my warm up – lying on my back, legs elevated when possible, and as relaxed as can be. One hand on my chest and the other on my belly, I focus on breathing in and out through my nose and ensuring I breathe into mostly my belly.

I’ll take about a minute to do this, but I recommend taking as long as your body needs – 5 deep breaths could be sufficient.  Throwing this into the beginning of my warm up has allowed me to feel less anxiety for big lifts and focus on my training.

2. Stretch
I like to stretch whatever is feeling tight that day. Having a short, static stretch (no longer than 15 seconds per muscle). 

Hip flexors – Sitting down shortens the hip flexors and can cause them to be tight – loosening these up helps activate the glutes (another important muscle for the deadlift)!

Go-To Couch Stretch  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3ZanLgAxM4

3. SMFR (Self-Myofascial Release)
A quick rollout can also help relieve any tension and also wake up the muscles so they’re ready to fire in movement. Roughly 8-10 rolls over each of the 4 areas. 

Lats 
Hamstrings 
Glutes
Quads

4. Mobility
Neck circles to help me relax
90/90  and Frogs for my hips
Side-lying windmills 

5. Activation
3 musts for activation for the deadlift: glutes, core, and lats!

X-Walks – These get a glute activation while on your feet, which helps your body feel out what it’s like to wake up the glutes in the beginning of a deadlift. It also helps to keep an open chest for some lat activation!

Deadbugs – My go-to core warm up. Especially banded OH deadbugs (or kettlebugs) for a lat and core combo

Again, I like to take time in my warm up.  I make sure I feel ready to go for heavy weights.  If you are short on time, pick what you feel like your body really needs that day, ensuring you have at least 1 exercise from each section.  Hope this helps you feeling stronger in your deadlift!

Please comment below if you found any of these exercises have helped, or if you are already doing them now!

Happy Deadlifting,
Carolyn

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