The deadlift is perfect for building strength, not just in your lower body but in your upper body as well. Add them to your routine to build functional fitness and get a total body workout – core included. Here’s how to do a deadlift, and why you should.

How to do a deadlift with dumbbells
• Start by holding a weight in each hand. Your arms should be fully extended in front and knees slightly bent.
• Slowly bend forward from your hip joint, lowering the weights as far as possible without rounding your back. Be sure your back is straight and your gaze is forward.
• Keep the weights close to your legs, almost touching them.
• Engage your glutes to pull yourself up in about half the time you took to bend down. Remember your glutes, not your back should do the work.
• Choose a weight that allows you to complete three sets of 12 to 15 reps before fatiguing your muscles and maintain form throughout.

Why deadlifts should be part of your fitness regimen
You already know deadlifts can help you get the full body tone and muscle you want – especially with swimsuit season on the horizon. Deadlifts help strengthen your whole body by:

• Helping you build more muscle. As you build more muscle you boost metabolism and burn more fat. So why do deadlifts? To convert your body into a lean, mean, fat burning machine.
• Getting every major muscle in the workout game. Have you ever tried a new workout or activity and “discovered” a muscle you didn’t know you had? Deadlifts help you get acquainted with more muscles so you are better able to tackle new physical challenges.
• Boosting cardiovascular strength. More stamina means more power to get through the kind of workouts that help you nail new personal bests.
• Strengthening your back. Say goodbye to back fat and hello to more back tone and strength. As you strengthen your back you’ll also be less vulnerable to back pain and injury.

If you’re looking for a way to boost total body fitness, deadlifts are the way to go. You’ll build upper and lower body strength, improve balance and flexibility (deadlifts also strengthen your core), get a great cardio workout and extend your functional fitness. Look great, feel great and be independent longer – that’s the power of deadlifts. Add them to your routine to do your whole body good.