Skip to main content

Classic Lifts with a Slight Twist

By December 19, 2019Exercise

Keep your workouts fun, fresh, and challenging by using a little creativity with these tried and true exercises that will never go out of style. The deadlift, pullup, and overhead press should always find a place in your weekly workout routine. Let’s put a slight twist on these classic moves to ensureeveryone can perform them while maximizing their effectiveness.

Suitcase Deadlift. With this exercise, you’ll be loading one side of the body and performing a deadlift with an uneven load. This makes the exercise more challenging from a balance and stability standpoint, but because of that, you’ll have to work with a lighter weight than you might use for a traditional deadlift. A dumbbell, kettlebell, or even a barbell work great for this exercise. Assume a traditional deadlift stance with feet slightly wider than hip width, but place the weight to the side of your body rather than in front. Squat down while folding forward and grasp the weight with your right hand. Ensure that you spine stays neutral as you push your hips back and keep weight on your heels. Tighten your core and hips as you exhale and lift the weight off the floor to a standing position. Don’t let the weight pull you sideways, as you should have a balanced posture throughout the movement. Slowly lower the weight down to mid-shin and repeat for the desired number of reps. Rest and then repeat on the left side.

Assisted Pullup. Sometimes bodyweight exercises seem to be the toughest of all. If a traditional pullup is too challenging, using assistance from the legs is a modification that has many added benefits. By assisting with the legs, you’re incorporating the lower body while challenging your cardiovascular system as well. Step up to a bar that’s set to chest height. From a standing position, grab the bar with a shoulder-width overhand grip and take a small step forward with each foot. Squat down until your arms are fully extended. Drive your shoulders down and back as you pull with the arms and stand back up. Be sure to keep your hips under your shoulders so your torso stays perpendicular to the floor. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Overhead DB Press from a Static Lunge. The overhead press has many benefits including strengthening the arms, shoulders, and upper back, while challenging overhead mobility. Combine this movement with a static lunge and you have a total body exercise that incorporates overall balance and stability as well. With a set of dumbbells in each hand, step back into the bottom position of a lunge without touching your back knee to the floor. Keep your feet hip-width apart and ensure that both knees have about a 90 degree bend. Continue to hold this lunge position for the entire set while pressing the dumbbells overhead. Be sure to fully extend your arms and aim to get your arms perpendicular to the floor at the top of your movement. Repeat for the desired number of reps and then switch your legs and repeat.

Incorporate each of these exercises somewhere in your weekly workout routine and aim for 3 sets of 12-20 reps.

Movements like the deadlift, pullup, and overhead press are certainly effective, but using a little creativity can add a new twist on an old classic!