Yogi’s Guide to Dead Weight – Jenni Rawlings Yoga and Movement

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It turns out that strange as the name sounds, a dead weight is actually a strength exercise par excellence which almost all weightlifters do on a regular basis. In essence, a dead weight is the picking up of a “dead” object (stationary) below the ground.

Just as almost every yoga practitioner knows the familiar flow of sun salutation A, deadlifts are an almost second-rate exercise for almost every weightlifter. And for good reason! Dead weights are a perfect and effective option for:

  • Buildings back chain strength (Think of stronger hamstrings, glutes, and spine extensors)

  • Development traction force of the upper body

  • Improvement grip strength

  • It usually prepares the body for pick up heavy objects from the ground

It should be noted that this list of advantages consists of qualities that are all visibly absent from a traditional yoga practice. In general, the potential of yoga to strengthen the back chain is quite limited, upper body stretching work is almost non-existent, and grip strength exercises are simply not part of the traditional yoga asana lexicon. . And unless a yoga class has a very creative couple work variation in which a yoga student tries to lift another student off their yoga mat, we just don’t get a chance to practice lifting objects off the floor in yoga.

For yoga practitioners who may be looking to fill in some of the strength gaps that their practice does not cover, then a dead weight is a great place to start!

Another consideration for yogis when it comes to dead weight is that because dead weights strengthen the hamstrings, they can be a potentially useful exercise in combating a condition called proximal hamstring tendinopathy, or high hamstring pain. In the world of yoga, this condition is so common that it is sometimes casually called “yoga ass”. Having strong hamstrings can protect against yoga butt development, and deadlifts can be an effective way to achieve this goal.

Start with your dead weight

When it comes to learning how to do deadlifts, yogis have a bit of a “leg up” compared to most people. You see, running a skillful deadlift requires that we understand how to do it hip hinge. The hip hinge is the strength training slang for forward bending with a flat back.

Fortunately for yoghurts, hip hinges usually come relatively naturally because the hip hinge movement pattern is already an integrated ingredient in countless asanas and yoga transitions. Every time we go into swan forward to uttanasana from tadasana, we are hip-hop. The dog looking down is a hip hinge. And the mid-hip hip lift of yoga, or ardha uttanasana, is very similar to a classic variation of a dead weight called Romanian deadweight.

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