Workout of the Day

Walking Around With A Target On Your Back


I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve seen someone finish a set of well-executed deadlifts -- neutral spine, good hip hinge with posterior chain engagement, etc. -- only to reach down to pick up their water bottle off of the floor with positioning and movement that would make any coach scream if it were used to pick up a barbell -- locked knees, spine rounded forward, curled up with no mind for position or control. Life is full of deadlifts, but we seem to forget that good movement should continue even when our hands aren’t on the bar. Picking up your water bottle, or your kids’ toys, or the cat, or a magazine, or anything else, is just a non-gym deadlift -- it differs from a barbell deadlift in scale only, not in kind. The movement principles are the same: hinge from the hips, protect the spine, and use our strongest muscles available.

Now I’m certainly not saying that picking up a water bottle with a rounded back presents as high of a risk of injury as doing the same with a heavily loaded barbell. I can say, however, that I have personally tweaked my back more times loading a plate in the dishwasher, getting out of bed, and picking up the cat than I have picking up a barbell. It’s not because loading a plate in the dishwasher is particularly dangerous or because my cat’s particularly heavy or because my barbell is particularly light, it’s because I operated under the assumption that good movement patterns are only necessary in the gym. Every time we reach down to grab that pen from the floor is an opportunity to practice good movement. Your day is full of free deadlifts, and approaching those free deadlifts with a mind to practice good movement is not only a safer practice, it’s a practice in establishing movement patterns that carry into whatever we do. And if every time you reach down to pick anything up from the floor in day-to-day life, you do so with optimal position, I think it’s fair to say you’re going to be ready to do it right when it comes time to pick up a heavy barbell, too.

Don’t be that guy or gal who knocks out a beautiful set of deadlifts and then proceeds to lock your knees and collapse at the spine to grab your water bottle from the floor or unload your plates or anything else. Good movement doesn’t care whether you’re in the middle of a set or in the middle of just living -- it belongs everywhere.

- PS


  • Dumbbell bench press - 5,5,5,5

  • 5 rounds, in 60s complete:

    • 50’ sled sprint (5 plates/3 plates)

    • AMRAP DB thrusters (80/50)

  • Rest 2 min