By Karen Voight, Special to Tribune Newspapers
9:09 PM EDT, June 20, 2012
The dead lift is one of the best exercises you can do to firm your buttocks and hamstrings. To prevent putting pressure on your lower back, try modifying it by slightly bending your knees.
1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees bent slightly, and grasp a weighted bar with your palms facing your legs. Position your hands just outside your thighs. Lift your chest and pull your abdominals in toward your spine. Inhale.
2. On an exhalation, slowly bend forward at your hips maintaining a straight spine. Keep the weighted bar as close to your legs as possible. Once you feel a slight stretch in the backs of your thighs, reverse the action by contracting your hamstrings and buttocks and move back to your start position. Repeat 12 to 16 times.
Voight is the creator of a line of fitness DVDs, including "Full Body Stretch" and "Ballet BodySculpt."
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