Today's leg exercise is courtesy of Ian King. If you're thinking to yourself, "who's Ian King?", you're an idiot. Furthermore, if you don't know who Ian King is, but you do know the name of every character on ABC's Lost, you should be shot.

Watching Lost is not going to help you're next bike split.

Ian King will help your triathlon times.

I admire someone who gets something named after them. You see this a lot in science, with units such as the Newton, named after Sir Isaac. Ian King is such a legend in the strength and condition world, he's put in so much hard work and earned the respect of athletes, coaches, and internet jerks like me, and he's invented a great exercise... so, we have the King Deadlift.

In King's own words, here's a description of the lift... This is a single-leg, bent-knee deadlift — one of my very own creations! Stand on one leg (starting with the weak side) and bend the other leg up until the lower leg is parallel to the ground. Place your hands on the hips or by your side. The aim is to bend the knee of the supporting leg until the knee of the non-supporting leg is brushing the ground.

Beginning of the King Deadlift

You're allowed to flex (bend) forward at the waist as much as you want, and doing so will increase the gluteal involvement. Keep the working knee aligned neutrally throughout the movement. Take three seconds to lower, a one-second pause at each end, and two seconds to lift. No warm-up set is needed.

Bottom Position

When you can do more than 15-20 reps full range, consider either or both of the following options — place dumbbells in each hand, or stand on the edge of a low block or box so that the working side range can be increased over that which is available when standing on the floor.

You know I am a huge fan of any posterior chain lift, and the King Deadlift definitely works your butt, hamstrings, etc. I particularly like this lift because it's a unilateral leg exercise. Since triathlon is predominantly a single-leg athletic event, you need to get used to generating unilateral force (as opposed to the double-leg stance of a squat).

Furthermore, the actions of the pelvic stabilizers (hip abductors/adductors) are different in a unilateral stance in comparison to the double leg stance. Unilateral work, such as the king deadlift will train you to recuit the hip adductors and abductors simulataneously, which will not only have a huge carryover to athletic events, but will also go a long way towards preventing many nagging lower body injuries.

If I lost you there, the key is this: Get off your ass, do some king deadlifts, and you'll be faster and healtier.


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