There are few phrases that crop up quite so frequently in our workout tutorials as “don’t round your back”. Well, for once, we’re going to ask you to do the opposite. While it goes against traditional lifting cues, you’ll see big rewards from your rebellion. “By avoiding positions, we leave ourselves vulnerable to injury,” explains fitness writer Andrew Tracey. This move ensures you’re primed.
The squat-and-curl action is designed to unlock hip flexors and hamstrings, switch on the glutes and strengthen your posterior chain – invaluable if you plan to shift some serious metal after weeks of slumping on the sofa. “Use a light load to safely explore positions, build strength gradually and future-proof your body against injury,” says Tracey. The move will help to extend your range of motion, too.
Set aside a few minutes to roll through four or five reps, twice a week. Then get stuck into your deadlifts and squats with renewed confidence.
1. BOX FRESH
Find a plyometric box or platform that’s just below knee height and stand on it with your feet set shoulder-width apart. Hold a light kettlebell between your legs.
2. DROP LOW
Sink into a deep squat, pushing your knees out wide, with your elbows tucked between them. Now retract your shoulder blades to ensure that your back is flat (for the time being).
3. HANG LOOSE
With the kettlebell as low as it will go, lift your hips, tuck your chin and lock out your legs. Breathe in this position for roughly 10 seconds.
4. ROLL OUT
Now uncurl your spine one vertebra at a time from the lower back. Finish by untucking your chin and extending your neck. Feels better, doesn’t it?