You’ve got another lower-body workout to kick off the second week of our New Year’s Challenge, which was designed just for SELF by top trainer Alyssa Exposito. Today’s workout includes a staggered stance deadlift, and we’re not gonna lie—it’s a fairly technical move. So let’s break it down just a bit.
You started off this challenge doing a good morning, which is a great preparatory move to get ready for a deadlift. You’re utilizing the same movement pattern and engaging many of the same muscles. If at any point you don’t feel comfortable doing a staggered stance deadlift, you can always do a good morning instead. (Go back to Day 1 for an explanation of a good morning, if you need it.)
When you’re doing any type of deadlift, focus on keeping your core engaged throughout, and using your glutes and hamstrings to do the work. Don’t allow your back to arch or round—if you feel any lower back stress when doing this move, stop immediately. Let your arms hang naturally, and come close to your shins as you lower. Stop when your back is parallel to the floor. Keep your neck relaxed and shoulders away from your ears to get the most out of this move. And feel free to practice it a few time without any weight, before you add the dumbbells.
Ready to get started? Don’t forget your warm-up! Then check out the moves below.
Directions: Do each exercise for 45 seconds, resting 15 seconds between exercises. At the end of each round, rest 60-90 seconds.
Beginners: Do 2-3 rounds
Advanced: Do 3-5 rounds
Glute Bridge March
x 45 seconds
- Lie faceup with knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and heels a few inches away from your butt so that your fingertips graze your heels when arms are at your sides.
- Squeeze glutes, engage core and lift hips, keeping knees close together (don’t let legs fall wide as you lift).
- Hold in the lifted position and march right leg, then left leg, without dropping hips.
Staggered Stance Deadlift
x 45 seconds on each side
- You’ll need 2 dumbbells to do this exercise. Stand with your right foot in front of your left foot as if you were about to start walking. Your feet should be slightly offset—not as if you’re standing on a tightrope. Keep both knees slightly bent, holding a dumbbell in each hand with the weights lightly resting against the front of your thighs.
- Hinge at your hips and send your butt back as you lean forward, lowering the weights toward the floor with a flat back and engaged core. Allow your left heel (back heel) to raise naturally as you descend.
- Allow your arms to hang naturally, close to your front leg—do not lift the weights away from your body. Engage your shoulder blades, squeezing them together at the center of your back. Do not allow your back to round. Only lower as far as your hamstring flexibility allows.
- Keeping your core tight, push through your heels to stand up. Keep the weights close to your shin as you rise up, making your hamstrings and glutes do the work.
- Pause at the top and squeeze your glutes.
- Repeat for 45 seconds with your right foot in front, then switch sides.
x 45 seconds
- You’ll need 1 or 2 dumbbells to do this exercise.
- Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and core engaged. If you’re using 1 weight, hold the weight at chest height, close to your body, with both hands. If you’re using 2 dumbbells, hold one in each hand at your sides.
- Send your hips back and bend knees to drop into a squat, allowing knees to bend to at least 90 degrees.
- Return to starting position by squeezing your glutes to stand.
Lateral Lunge With Dumbbell
x 45 seconds on each side
- You’ll need 1 or 2 dumbbells for this exercise.
- Stand with feet together and core engaged. If you’re using 2 weights, your arms can stay at your sides; if you’re using 1, hold the weight with both hands at chest height.
- Take a big step to the right side with your right foot, and immediately bend right knee to sink into a lateral lunge, sending your butt back and keeping your left leg perfectly straight. If you’re using 2 weights, allow your left hand to gently come in front of your body while the weight in the right hand stays at your side.
- Push off your right foot, and return to starting position.
- Repeat on the same side for 45 seconds, then do the other side.
Top image: Photographer: Catherine Servel at Brydges Mackinney. Hair: Tetsuya Yamakata at ArtList. Makeup: Seong Hee at Julian Watson Agency. Manicure: Julie Kandalec at Bryan Bantry. Stylist: Sara Van Pée at Quadriga. Model Mia Kang is wearing Puma Satin Relaxed Cropped Top, $34, macys.com; Nike Swoosh Wristbands, $7, dickssportinggoods.com.
Workout images and gifs: Photographer: Katie Thompson. Hair: Jerome Cultrera at L’ Atelier. Makeup: Deanna Melluso at See Management. Stylist: Sara Van Pée at Quadriga. Workout images: Fabletics top, similar styles fabletics.com; Alala Score Seamless Tight, $54, alalastyle.com; Women’s Techloom Pro Grey, $140, athleticpropulsionlabs.com. Gifs: Alala Surf Bra, $85, alalastyle.com; Carbon38 High Waisted Takara Legging, $109, carbon38.com; APL Women’s Techloom Breeze, $200, athleticpropulsionlabs.com.