This Is the Strength Exercise You Should Do For Stronger Abs and Legs and Better Balance

POPSUGAR Photography | Tamara Pridgett
POPSUGAR Photography | Tamara Pridgett

My style of training is all about strength, power, and speed. There are so many things you can do with strength, but one of my favorite things to work on in my personal workouts and with clients is unilateral movements. Why? Because you can isolate specific muscles and help reduce and eliminate muscular imbalances.

There are so many unilateral movements you can do such as pistol squats and a single-arm chest press (another great core move), and one of my favorites is the deadlift with a knee drive.

Deadlifts are one of the best exercises you can do for overall strength. With the addition of the knee drive, you're forced to work on your balance and core strength. Put it all together, and you've got yourself an intense compound exercise — multijoint movements that work groups of large muscle.

How to Do a Deadlift With a Knee Drive

  • If you're a beginner, you can do this exercise without weight. For more advanced levels, grab a set of dumbbells. Ten pounds is a good starting point.
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand, and stand tall.
  • Engage your core and keep your spine neutral as you begin to hinge at your hips, pushing your hips backward. At the same time, lift your left leg off the ground. Be sure to keep your left foot dorsiflexed (don't point your toes). Continue to hinge at your hips until your back is parallel to the ground; your leg should be in line with your back. Your back should be flat, and your head/neck should be in a neutral position.
  • Return to your standing position without placing your left foot on the ground. Once you're upright, drive your left knee up, creating a 90-degree angle at your knee joint. Your left foot should still be dorsiflexed. Be sure to stay tall and keep your core engaged throughout the entire movement. This counts as one rep.
  • Complete three sets of 10 reps on each leg.