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Front and Back Grip Straddle Deadlifts, a.k.a. Jefferson Lifts, For Unique Lower Back and Core Training

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The deadlift is without question, one of THE very best exercises you can do. There are a ton of different variations of the deadlift a person can do. I've got a good one for you to try out!

This version of the deadlift turns everything 90 degrees. Literally!

Note that you should be comfortable with the standard deadlift before trying this one. And definitely start LIGHT when you try it for the first time. You're going to be doing a deadlift in an awkward position and we don't want any injuries.

But the nice thing is, BECAUSE you're doing the deadlift in a strange position like this, it's going to really build up your core to deal with exerting tension in awkward positions such as this. GREAT for injury prevention!

Instead of lining up with the bar in front of your legs, you will instead straddle the bar (one leg on either side of it). Because of this change in your position, your grip on the bar will be a bit different...you'll be gripping one hand in front of you and one hand behind you.

Note: You may also know this exercise as the Jefferson Lift. Bob Hoffman made them quite popular in his Health and Fitness magazine a number of years ago (thanks to Danny O'Dell for passing that info along to me!)

Here's what it looks like - standing on either side of the bar and gripping in front. In this case, my left is gripping the bar with a palms-forward grip.

You'll notice (when you watch the video especially) how the bar is at an angle and not completely perpendicular to my foot placement. This happens naturally because of your body position during the lift. You can start with the bar perpendicular and it'll naturally rotate.

Front and Back Grip Straddle Deadlifts, a.k.a. Jefferson Lifts, For Unique Lower Back and Core Training

I'll be gripping the OTHER hand with a palms-backward grip (like the mixed grip on a regular deadlift). When you grip the bar, you'll be able to feel how it's more natural this way. Grip just outside the smooth center section of the bar.

So squat down and grab the bar behind you with the reverse grip.

Front and Back Grip Straddle Deadlifts, a.k.a. Jefferson Lifts, For Unique Lower Back and Core Training

Keep your lower back tight and arched and squat down low. Keep your core TIGHT! Start deadlifting the bar up from there.

Front and Back Grip Straddle Deadlifts, a.k.a. Jefferson Lifts, For Unique Lower Back and Core Training

Come all the way up until you're fully standing. It looks uncomfortable but as long as you don't stand up too fast, you'll be just fine :)

Front and Back Grip Straddle Deadlifts, a.k.a. Jefferson Lifts, For Unique Lower Back and Core Training

Once you've done your reps on one side, angle the bar the other and change which hand is at the front. In this case, I'm switching to gripping with my right hand at the front.

Front and Back Grip Straddle Deadlifts, a.k.a. Jefferson Lifts, For Unique Lower Back and Core Training

Front and Back Grip Straddle Deadlifts, a.k.a. Jefferson Lifts, For Unique Lower Back and Core Training

Front and Back Grip Straddle Deadlifts, a.k.a. Jefferson Lifts, For Unique Lower Back and Core Training

That's the view from the other direction! I'm going to also include a bunch more views in the section below so you get the best idea of how the exercise is done. It is a VERY different position to be doing the deadlift in and we want to be sure you don't get any injuries.

 


Windows Movie File (WMV format)

QuickTime File (Mac format)

 

 


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