It’s no secret that deadlifting is one of the most powerful lifts you can train. The power it generates in the hamstrings, glutes and back is almost unmatched by any other lift. This strength movement translates to more than just raw power; it also pertains to areas like sprinting and jumping.
When performing a deadlift, form is essential. The subtle and not so subtle breaks in form can mean the difference between increasing your lift or tweaking your back. This is why we warm up properly and do our best to execute the lift with optimal technique and precision. And one of the best ways to do both those is to incorporated yoga into your warm-up.
The flow of a yoga practice provides you with the ability to get warm, mobilize properly and move mindfully. Using simple postures or flows like Sun Salutations to target the muscle groups responsible for a movement like the deadlift, you can begin your workout with better range of motion and improved body awareness.
The sequence below was developed to optimize your range of motion without overstretching, build heat within the body without taxing the nervous system, activate the main muscle groups needed to perform the lift, and train the technique of a deadlift with a lighter load.
Here are a few tips before you get started.
- 1. As you move through Half Lift Pose, think of this like a good morning. Your goal is to feel a stretch in your hamstrings as you keep your back flat.
- 2. Chair Pose is similar to your deadlift position. We will come into this pose twice, so think of vertical shins as you keep the weight in your heels.
- 3. Twisting postures should always be approached with a long spine. These types of postures are great for warming up the spine without load.
- 4. Warrior III is similar to a Romanian deadlift. Focus on hinging at the hips while keeping your core tight.
- 5. Use two different size kettlebells for this warm-up: a lighter one for the Romanian deadlift and a heavy one for the kettlebell deadlift.
Once the workout is complete, stretch and do mobility work with WOD Recovery Yoga, a yoga practice for functional-fitness athletes.
Light and Heavy Kettlebells
Dynamic Yoga Flow Warm-Up Sequence
Row 500-1,000 meters
5x Downward Dog to Upward-Facing Dog
5x Half Lift
3x Sun Salutations
2x Chair Pose (once with feet together; once with feet hip-width apart)
Forward Fold Twist
Downward Dog to Pyramid to Twisted Triangle
2x Warrior III to Easy Twist
10x Romanian Deadlift (each side)
20x Kettlebell Deadlift
2x Forearm Plank (hold for 1 minute)