Week 9: marathon strength-training

The key move of this week's workout is Tier 4 trainer Jason Skinner's G.O.A.T.

Just as there are superfoods, there are supermoves, exercises so dynamic and effective that they confer a particularly significant benefit and thus deserve a permanent place in your repertoire. One such move is the focal point of this week's series, and it's got Tier 4 coach Jason Skinner using superlatives.

"Week 9 holds a special place in my heart as it revolves around my favorite and arguably the greatest exercise, the deadlift," says Skinner. "The deadlift comes in all shapes and sizes but the movement itself is the hip hinge. I will bet my career that if you do not have the ability to perform a proper hip hinge, you will suffer in the health and performance department."

In terms of undoing the damage daily (desk-bound) life does to a runner's body, Skinner says the deadlift is peerless. "Think of the posture that you most likely find yourself in as you read this post. The deadlift requires and promotes exactly the opposite posture. In addition, the deadlift hits every muscle that running tends to neglect."

That being said, the deadlift can be a difficult movement to perform well, and requires precision, which is why Skinner designed this set to break down the movement into smaller components. Each of the three preparatory exercises primes a specific area or muscle group so that you can better execute the main movement. "Your first move, the Core-Activated Leg Lowering, creates posterior chain mobility required to get in position for the deadlift, as well as priming the core and hip flexors to stabilize the movement," he explains. "The Band-Resisted Bird Dog creates the necessary length in the spine to resist the forces of the deadlift, and the Full-Kneeling Hip Extension is by far my favorite glute activation exercise. It makes it very easy to learn the difference between using your glutes instead of your lower back during extension." These moves ladder you up to the deadlift, Skinner's G.O.A.T. (that would be his greatest of all time).

Perform this 4-move routine on your designated strength-training day.

Just getting started? Jump right in, or circle back to the beginning. Access the full calendar of moves here.

(1) Core-Activated Leg Lowering (mobility)

Attach a Cook band to the clip on an adjustable cable column. Lie on your back with legs extended straight up in the air. The knees need to remain straight and the toes pulled towards the shins during the entire movement. Pull the handles of the band towards the floor. Lower left leg towards the floor, as the right leg remains vertical. Try to touch only the calf to the floor and return the leg to the vertical position (knees straight and toes to shins will accomplish this). Repeat with the right leg; do 6 to 8 drops per leg.

(2) Band-Resisted Bird Dog (activation)

Get into an all-fours (quadruped) position, with knees under the hips and hands under the shoulders. A band should be looped around one foot and with the handles held in the hands. Drive left leg straight back, leading with the heel, as you reach forward with right arm, keeping both the leg and arm in line with the spine. The glute, hamstring and shoulder should perform the movements while the trunk remains stabile. Do 6 to 8 reps; switch sides and repeat.

(3) Full-Kneeling Hips Extension With Cook Band (movement prep)

Anchor a Cook band to the wall or a cable column. Get inside of the band, wrapping it just above the hips. Walk forward to create resistance and get into a full kneeling position. The top should mimic a kneeling plank with the glutes active and the spine tall. Hinge at the waist as you sit the butt towards the heels. Using your glutes and hamstrings, drive up to the starting position. Do 10 to 15 reps.

(4) Standard Full Kettlebell Deadlift (movement)

This is a continuation of the hip hinge from week 2. Standing over a 4-kg kettlebell, reach your hips back as you bend forward trying to elicit a stretch in the hamstrings while remaining tall through the spine. This motion combined with a slight knee bend at the bottom should get you to the kettlebell. Using both hands, grasp the handle firmly as you create tension in the upper back by pulling your arms towards your sides and also pulling the shoulders back. Drive to a standing position with the kettlebell as you push your hips forward, contracting the glutes. The standing position should mimic a plank with the glutes active and the spine tall. Return to the starting position by once again sitting back with the hips and bending forward. While keeping tension in the hamstrings and upper back, let the kettlebell rest on the floor for a second between repetitions. Do 6 to 10 reps.