Don Saladino/Men’s Health Composite
Every superhero has an origin story — and like them, you won’t be able to just throw heavy weights around if you’re just starting out on your fitness journey to build a comic book movie physique.
No matter who you are, you should start out slow when you begin a training plan. You can’t just jump into powerful multi-joint lifts like cleans and jerks without first mastering the more subtle, building block-aspects of the moves. That’s why Don Saladino, trainer to actors Ryan Reynolds and Sebastian Stan, has his clients use exercises like the deadlift into upright row high pull as a starting point before advancing to bigger, more fluid motions. Advanced lifters can always hone their basics too — so this is an exercise for everyone.
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“The deadlift into upright row high pull forces the entire body to engage and work through a full range of motion,” Saladino says. “It’s an underutilized movement.”
To perform the exercise, all you need is a set of dumbbells. If you’re trying to get your sweat on at home, check out these adjustable weights from Power Block.
- Grab the dumbbells with an overhand (pronated) grip. Hold them in front of your hips, with your arms loose.
- Stand in an athletic stance with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
- Hinge at the hips and extend your butt back as you lower the weight down, keeping your arms straight until the dumbbells are just above your feet. Don’t bend your knees any further to squat down, and don’t allow your spine to curve.
- Bring your hips forward to stand straight up. As your torso comes back up, flare your elbows out and pull the dumbbells straight up your chest to chin height.
Add the deadlift into upright row high pull to your next full-body workout with 5 sets of 5 reps. Keep the weight light to start, really focusing on the form, to help set yourself up for success down the road with multi-joint exercises.