How to Bake Ombre Cake

An ombre cake is made up of several layers of cake that are all of varying shades of one color, creating a beautiful look when the cake is sliced. To make an ombre cake, you’ll need to separate the cake mix into separate bowls so that you can mix in different amounts of food coloring. Bake the cakes until they’re done, and then stack them on top of one another to create the gradient of color before icing the final cake.

EditIngredients
White cake mix

Food coloring

Butter or cooking spray

Frosting

EditSteps
EditPreparing the Cake Batter
Preheat the oven to before preparing white cake mix. Purchase a white cake mix from a grocery store or big box store and follow the directions to prepare the batter. Stir the batter well in a large bowl so that there aren’t any big lumps.[1]
If you’d rather make your white cake mix from scratch, find a recipe online or in a cookbook.

Your cake mix will likely require ingredients such as eggs, water, and oil.

Decide how many layers your ombre cake will have. Your cake should have at least 3 layers so that the color change is evident in each layer, but you can choose however many you’d like. How many layers you bake may depend on how many matching cake pans you have, as you’ll want each layer to be the same size.[2]
If you have three cake pans that are all the same size, decide on a three-layered ombre cake.

If you want 5 layers but only have 2 or 3 cake pans, you can always cook the cakes in separate batches in the oven.

Divide the cake batter into the needed number of bowls. Once you’ve chosen how many layers you want, pick out the same number of bowls to separate the batter. Pour the cake batter into each bowl, separating it into equal amounts.[3]
For example, for a cake with 4 layers, separate cake batter into 4 separate bowls.

To help you distribute the batter evenly, put scoops of batter in each bowl one at a time.

EditTinting the Batter
Set one bowl of cake batter aside that will stay white. This bowl will be the lightest, top layer of the cake. Make sure no food coloring goes in this bowl by setting it to the side so it’s ready to go straight into the baking pan.[4]
Add 1 drop of food coloring to the next bowl of cake batter. Pour a drop of your desired color of food coloring into a new bowl of batter. Use a very small amount, as this will be the second lightest batter color. Mix the food coloring in with the batter using a spoon.[5]For example, if you’re making a blue ombre cake, pour a small drop of blue food coloring into the bowl and mix it in.

Continue adding larger amounts of food coloring to the remaining bowls. In each remaining bowl, add a larger amount of food coloring to create a gradient of color with the batter. The last bowl of batter should be the brightest and darkest color, while the other bowls should each be slightly lighter.[6]If you’re making a pink ombre cake, the last bowl of batter would be a dark pink, then a regular pink, a light pink, and finally the last bowl would be white.

Mix each bowl of batter thoroughly with the food coloring so that the color is seamless.

EditBaking the Cakes
Grease or add parchment paper to your cake pans. You can either rub butter in the pans, spray them with baking spray, or cut pieces of parchment paper to fit in each pan so that the cake doesn’t stick to the bottom. Do this with each pan that you’ll be using.[7]If you’re reusing the same pan multiple times, make sure you grease it each time you use it.

Pour each bowl of batter into a separate cake pan. Pour the first bowl of batter (the one without food coloring) into the first cake pan. Continue doing this with the rest of the bowls of batter, spreading each color into its own pan so that the batter is evenly distributed throughout the pan.[8]
Bake the cakes for the recommended amount of time. The specific baking time will depend on how thick the cake is and the size of the pan, but refer to the instructions on the box or in the recipe for more specific times. When you think the cake is close to done, stick a toothpick in it. If the toothpick comes out without any batter on it, the cake is done.[9]It’s a good idea to start checking on the cake after it’s been baking for 10 minutes.

Make sure you check each cake to see if each one is done cooking.

Let the cakes cool for 5 minutes before removing them from the pans. This will make it easier to remove them without them falling apart. Use a knife to loosen the edges of the cake from the pan before flipping the pan over onto a plate or cutting board. Do this with each cake, being careful not to let the cakes fall apart.[10]
If you want the cakes to cool even faster once they’re removed from the pan, wrap them in plastic wrap and put them in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.

EditIcing the Cake
Make the tops of the cakes level using a bread knife. Use the bread knife to carefully cut off the top of the cake that puffs out and forms a dome. By removing the top of the cakes, you’ll create a level surface and it’ll be much easier to stack them evenly.[11]While you don’t have to do this to the top layer of cake, it will make your cake look more professional.

Place the first layer of cake on a plate topped with icing. The first layer to go on a plate should be the darkest-colored cake. Use a knife or offset spatula to add icing on top of this cake, which will serve as an icing layer in between the stacked cakes. Spread the layer of icing thinly and evenly so your cakes stack well.[12]Use a white icing in between each layer.

Stack the rest of the cakes with similar layers of icing in between. Once your darkest-colored cake is placed and has icing on top, add the next lightest cake color to the stack. Add a thin layer of icing onto this cake as well, just as you did with the first layer. Continue doing this will the remaining cakes, making sure the cakes are in the right order so that they create a gradient of dark to light as the cake grows taller.[13]If you’re making a green ombre cake, the darkest green cake would go on the bottom and each cake that goes on top would be a tiny bit lighter, with the lightest cake going on top.

Add a thin layer of icing over the entire cake to catch the crumbs. While you don’t have to do this, it will help you create a smooth final layer of icing. Use an offset spatula to spread a thin layer of your desired icing over the entire cake, going around the cake to create an even circle.[14]This thin layer doesn’t need to be perfect, as it won’t be seen under the final layer of icing.

Place the cake in the fridge after you do this for 15 minutes to help set the icing faster, if desired.

Frost the cake with a single color of icing for a quick covering. Cover the cake in vanilla frosting using an offset spatula to create a smooth layer around the whole cake. If you’d like the icing to match the color of the cake, use the same food coloring to dye the icing one color before spreading it on the cake.[15]For example, if you created a purple ombre cake, use purple food coloring to dye the icing purple before spreading it evenly over the cake.

Create ombre frosting by using several different gradients of frosting. If you want your icing to match the gradient on the inside of the cake, separate the icing into separate bowls just as you did the batter before adding food coloring drops to the icing. Spread the darkest shade of icing around the bottom of the cake, working your way up with lighter shades until the whitest icing is at the top.[16]You can use the same number of bowls as you did layers of cake, or you can choose a different number of bowls, if desired.

Try filling piping bags with each different gradient of icing to easily spread the icing around the cake.

Use an offset spatula to blend the icing gradients, if desired.

Slice the cake to begin serving it. Once your cake is finished and you’re ready to eat it, use a knife or cake server to cut a slice and place it on a plate. If you have leftover cake, put plastic wrap over it and place it in the fridge.You can also put the cake in plastic containers that are sealed to keep it fresh.

Your cake should last roughly a week in the fridge.

EditThings You’ll Need
Cake pans

Bowls

Spoons

Parchment paper (optional)

Toothpicks

Bread knife

Offset spatula

Piping bags (optional)

EditSources and Citations
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How to Boil a Weave

Boiling your weave is a quick and easy way to revitalize it. Boil the weave in a saucepan with some olive oil and leave-in conditioner, and allow it to dry. Apply extra conditioner while the weave is drying to give the weave extra shine and moisture.

EditSteps
EditBoiling the Weave
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Place a large saucepan on the cooktop and half fill it with water. Turn the cooktop element on high and wait for the pot to boil. Once the water is boiling, turn the element down to a medium heat so that the water simmers rather than bubbling vigorously.
Put a lid over the saucepan to speed up the boiling process.[1]
Make sure that the pot is clean before pouring in the water.

Mix 1 tsp (5 mL) of olive oil or coconut oil into the water. Gently pour 1 tsp (5 mL) of extra-virgin olive oil into the saucepan. If you decide to use coconut oil, you will need to scoop out 1 tsp (5 g) using a spoon. The oil will sit on top of the water so you will need to use a spoon to mix the oil into the water. Stir the mixture using circular motions. Continue mixing until the large oil bubbles on the surface of the water have broken up.[2]
Avoid substituting olive oil for a processed vegetable cooking oil. Natural and unprocessed oils penetrate the hair cuticles, deeply moisturizing the hair. Natural oils will work well on all weave types (natural and synthetic)[3] If your weave is synthetic, however, it won’t benefit from boiling, and the heat could harm it. If it’s very dirty or damaged, you may need to replace the synthetic weave.

Stir the water and oil gently so you don’t get burnt by any splashes.

Stir in 2 tbsp (30 grams) of a creamy leave-in conditioner. Measure 2 tbsp (30 grams) of your favorite leave-in conditioner into the pot. A creamy conditioner will give the best results as it is more concentrated than liquid conditioners. Stir the leave-in conditioner into the water and oil using gentle circular motions. Keep stirring until the leave-in conditioner has dissolved into the mixture.
If you are using a small pot with less water, use a smaller amount of leave-in conditioner.[4]

Place the weave into the water. Gently drop your weave into the boiling water. Do this carefully so that the boiling water doesn’t splash and burn you. If you have multiple weaves that haven’t been dyed or are the same color, place them in the same saucepan.
If the weave doesn’t submerge by itself, use a spoon to push it down into the water.[5]
If you are boiling weaves that have been dyed, it is best to boil them one at a time to avoid the dye leaking onto the other weaves. As an alternative, you could place each weave in it’s own pot on a separate burner. This would allow you to boil them all at the same time.

If your weave has been dyed and you want it to retain its color, you may want to reconsider boiling it, as this process will likely remove the color.

Leave the hair to boil for 10 minutes. Make sure that the water is lightly boiling. If the water has stopped boiling, turn the heat up. Let the hair boil for 10 minutes before turning off the heat.
The high temperature of the water will soften your weave, making it softer to touch and silkier.

Remove the weave from the water using tongs. Carefully grip the weave with tongs and pull it out from the water. Be careful not to splash yourself as the water will burn you. Place the weave onto a clean, dry towel.[6]
If you have placed multiple weaves into the saucepan, remove them one at a time.

Don’t use a light colored towel if you have boiled a dyed weave, as the color may drip onto your towel and stain it.

EditDrying the Weave
Blot your weave with a towel to remove excess water. Gently press the towel against the weave, but don’t rub the towel against it. Choose a microfiber towel to minimize damage and frizz.
You can also use a clean T-shirt in place of a towel. T-shirts are softer than towels, so they don’t cause damage to hair.

Don’t use a hair dryer on sopping wet hair.

Dry the weave using a blow-dryer for 3 minutes. Lay the hair out straight on the towel. Turn the blow-dryer onto a medium heat and direct the heat over the weave. Hold the blow-dryer about away from the weave. Move the hair dryer up and down the hair. This will help to prevent heat damage from occurring. Dry the hair for about 3 minutes, it should still be slightly damp when you finish.[7]
If you have boiled multiple weaves, dry them individually.

Comb 1 tsp (5 grams) of leave-in conditioner through the hair. Measure approximately 1 tsp (5 grams) of your favorite leave-in conditioner into the palm of your hands. Rub your hands together and then smooth the condition over the whole weave so that it is evenly distributed. Comb the weave from the ends up to the roots, detangling as you work your way up the shaft. Comb as gently as possible to avoid damaging the weave.
A wide-tooth comb is a good option if your weave is tangled.[8]

Hang the weave up to dry. Hang the weave over a drying rack. Avoid using pegs, as these can create kinks in the weave. The drying time will vary depending on how thick your weave is. It will generally take at least 1 day. Leave the weave to dry completely before attaching it to the hair.[9]
A clothes rack or clean dish rack works well for drying weaves.

You will notice the weave feeling much softer and less tangled.

Apply a hair serum if the weave is dry or frizzy. Use a serum to add shine to your weave. Squeeze a few drops of your favorite serum into your hand. Rub your hands together and glide them over the surface of the weave.[10]
Use a natural hair serum to avoid residues building up in your weave.

Curl your weave if it has lost its curl. It is likely that the hair will lose its curl when you boil and dry it. This is an easy fix, simply curl your weave as you normally would in order to restore the curls.[11]
Make sure the hair is completely dry before you use any heat styling tools. Styling your weave while it is wet will damage the strands of hair.

EditThings You’ll Need
Saucepan

Extra-virgin olive oil

Leave-in conditioner

Spoon

Towel

Tongs

Towel or T-shirt

Blow-dryer

Comb

Hair serum

EditWarning
Boiling your hair can strip any hair dye from your weave. Proceed with caution if you want to keep the hair dye in your weave.

EditSources and Citations
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Today in History for 29th January 2019

Historical Events

1802 – First celebration of Burns night, in honor of poet Robert Burns’s birthday by The Mother Club in Greenock (later realized his actual birthday 25th January)
1943 – New Zealand cruiser Kiwi collides with Japanese submarine I-1 at Guadalcanal
1951 – “Where’s Charley?” opens at Broadway Theater NYC for 56 performances
1966 – Neil Simons, Coleman and Fields’ musical “Sweet Charity” premieres
1989 – Game-winning RBI, official statistic dropped after 9 years of use NY Mets Keith Hernandez is the all-time leader with 129
1991 – Nelson Mandela and Mangosuthu Buthelezi meet after 28 years

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Famous Birthdays

1900 – Marco Tajcevic, composer
1908 – Adam Clayton Powell, (Rep-D-NY, 1945-70)
1926 – Abdus Salam, theoretical physicist
1964 – Andre Reed, NFL wide receiver (Buffalo Bills)
1973 – Jason Schmidt, Lewiston ID, pitcher (Atlanta Braves)
1975 – Hendrik Dreekmann, German tennis star

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1824 – Louise of Stolberg-Gedern, Countess of Albany, dies at 71
1995 – Richard Burnell, British rower (Olympic gold 1948), dies at 77
1995 – Chris de Marigny, painter/designer, dies at 52
2002 – Harold Russell, Canadian actor (Best Years of Our Life, Dogtown), dies from a heart attack at 88
2004 – Otto Wilhelm Fischer, Austrian actor (Helden, Ich suche dich), dies of kidney disease at 88
2007 – Barbaro, American thoroughbred racehorse (b. 2003)

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How to Use a Shampoo Bar

A shampoo bar is a solid, eco-friendly alternative to liquid shampoos. They can last for a long time (around 80 washes), and they do not harm the environment since they do not come in plastic containers. In addition, a shampoo bar is a great idea for traveling since they are solid and compact. You can choose a shampoo for any scalp need, including removing oils, helping dandruff, or hydrating the follicles. Simply wet your hair, rub the bar over your scalp, and lather up!

EditSteps
EditWashing Your Hair
Wet your hair in the shower. Rinse your hair in warm water from your shower so it is completely saturated. The wetter your hair is, the easier it is to apply the shampoo.[1]
On average, this should take about 1 to 2 minutes.

Get your shampoo bar slightly wet in the shower. To easily apply the shampoo, it is helpful to lather it up slightly before use. Hold it under the stream of water from the shower head and rub it around in your hands. You can also warm it up in your hands a bit as you get it wet.[2]
Do this for about 10 to 30 seconds.

Rub the shampoo bar directly onto your scalp with gentle pressure. Once the shampoo bar is slightly wet and warm, bring the bar to the top of your head. Rub the shampoo bar back and forth across the top of your head until your hair and scalp are very soapy. If you have very thick hair, you may also need to part your hair down the middle and/or ear-to-ear so you can reach all areas of your scalp.[3]The amount of shampoo you need will depend on your particular hair type. On average, you have enough shampoo when your scalp is very sudsy.

Work the shampoo through your hair after it is lathered up. Once your scalp is covered in a base layer of soapy bubbles, focus on massaging the shampoo into your scalp. The shampoo will move on its own to the ends of your hair. Evenly distribute the product across all of your hair for a thorough clean.[4]For a massaging effect, move your fingertips (but not your nails) back and forth across your scalp as you do this.

If the shampoo bar you are using has essential oils in it, this helps the oils penetrate into your scalp.

Rinse your hair completely. Once your scalp and hair are clean, place your head under the stream of water, and wash out the shampoo bubbles and residue. Continue rinsing your hair until all of the shampoo is removed.This may take a few minutes depending on how thick your hair is.

Use a conditioning bar if you want extra nourishment. Commonly, all you need is a shampoo bar to get soft, silky hair. However, you can also use a conditioning bar in place of liquid conditioner while you’re on the zero-waste lifestyle. To use, rinse your hair, rub the bar onto the middle section of your hair, and distribute the conditioner to your ends. Then, rinse the conditioner out thoroughly.
If you want a more thorough conditioning option, let the conditioner sit on your hair for 1 to 5 minutes.

Do not apply the conditioner to your scalp because it may cause your hair to look and feel greasy.

While you can surely use liquid conditioner if that is what you prefer, conditioning bars work great to soften and strengthen your hair.

EditStoring the Shampoo Bar
Let your shampoo bar dry completely before putting it away. After your shower, place the shampoo bar on a clean towel for 5 to 20 minutes so it can dry completely. If you put the bar away when it is still wet or damp, it will disintegrate over time.[5]
Avoid leaving your shampoo bar in the shower.

You can also place your bar on a small dish or on top of your other cosmetic bottles.

Place your shampoo bar in a reusable tin for long-term storage. Purchase a reusable tin to the size of your shampoo bar. Then, place the dry shampoo bar inside to keep it clean and preserved.[6]
Shampoo bars work great whether you are on a road trip, flying to a vacation getaway, or taking a train across the country.

To prevent the shampoo bar from sticking to the bottom, cut a piece of wax paper to the size of your tin, and place it along the bottom. Then, put your shampoo bar on top.[7]

Wrap your shampoo bar in a plastic baggie as a water-tight option. To preserve your shampoo bar without using a tin, place it inside of a clean plastic bag when the shampoo bar is dry. Then, wrap a rubber band around the top several times to keep out any air. As an alternative to a bag and rubber band, you can also use a resealable bag, such as a Ziploc bag.[8]
Keeping the shampoo bar in a plastic bag seals out any moisture, so your shampoo bar will stay fresh in between uses.

Use your shampoo bar until it runs out. On average, a shampoo bar will last about 80 washes, depending on the frequency of use and your hair type. Since the shampoo bar is all natural, you don’t have to worry about it going bad. Simply use the bar until it disappears!

EditTips
Your hair may feel slightly waxy after the first few times you use a shampoo bar. This is absolutely normal. Shampoo bars are made from all-natural ingredients, and it takes some time for your hair to adjust if it is used to chemical shampoos. Once your hair dries, your hair will feel soft and lovely![9]
After using a shampoo bar over time, you may not need to wash your hair as often. It is common to go 2 to 4 days without washing your hair.

You can also use a shampoo bar as a body wash, laundry detergent, or hand soap, but it won’t last very long if you use it for all of these things.

EditThings You’ll Need
Shampoo bar

Water

Conditioner bar

Tin or plastic bag

EditSources and Citations
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How to Get Glue Off of Plastic

There are few things more frustrating than pulling a price sticker off a plastic container and being left with a sticky residue that seems impossible to peel off. Luckily, there are a few tricks to removing the goo. A mixture of baking soda and oil will work on all types of glue, including super glue, or you can try using another household item like vinegar or even peanut butter. If all else fails, opt for a tough cleaning product to get the glue off.

EditSteps
EditUsing Baking Soda and Oil
Combine 1 part baking soda with 1 part oil. You can use any type of oil, like coconut or olive oil. Mix together equal parts of the oil and baking soda in a small bowl until they form a paste.[1]
The baking soda will act as an exfoliant to scrub off the glue.

Other oil options include canola, vegetable, or sunflower oil.

How much you mix up depends on the size of the glue spot. For glue left by a label on 1 plastic jar, for example, of baking soda and of oil should work.

Rub the mixture into the area that has glue on it. Use your hands to apply the baking soda and oil, making sure to saturate all of the glue by rubbing in small circles. Add enough of the mixture so that the sticky spot is completely covered.[2]
If you have sensitive skin, you may want to wear gloves to do this as baking soda can dry out your hands.

You can also use a dry cloth instead of your hands to rub in the mixture.

Let the mixture sit on the jar for 30 minutes. This allows the baking soda and oil to soften the glue so it won’t be as tough to remove. The longer you leave the mixture on, the more easily the glue will come off.[3]
Set a kitchen timer or use the clock app on your phone to keep track of the time.

Scrub off the glue with a scouring pad. If you have a standard kitchen sponge, use the more abrasive side. You need something rougher to pull up the glue residue. Continue rubbing vigorously until all of the glue is removed.[4]
For a little extra scrubbing power, you can use steel wool instead of a scouring pad.

If the glue isn’t coming off, apply more baking soda and oil, then let it sit for another 30 minutes before trying to remove it again.

Wash the plastic with soap and warm water. This will get rid of any leftover tacky residue or oil. Wipe down the plastic with soap using a damp cloth, then rinse it until it’s no longer sticky or greasy.[5]
Dish soap will work well because it’s designed to cut through grease.

Dry off the plastic with a clean cloth or let it air dry once you’ve rinsed it thoroughly.

EditRemoving Glue with Other Household Products
Opt for a plastic scraper if the glue is already soft. For glue that isn’t completely hardened, or if you’ve already softened it with a liquid or oil mixture, use a plastic scraper to lift off the remaining residue. Be careful not to scratch the plastic as you gently wedge the scraper underneath the glue to remove it.[6]
Options for scrapers include a plastic knife or the edge of an old credit card that you no longer use.

Avoid using a glass scraper or anything metal, like a razor blade, because it could damage the plastic.

Soak larger spots in vinegar to dissolve the glue. If you don’t want to endlessly scrub a bigger sticky area, douse a cloth or paper towel in vinegar and lay it over the glue. Leave it on for 15 to 30 minutes, then wipe off the now-loosened residue.[7]
To remove the vinegar smell, wash the plastic with soap and warm water afterwards.

An alternative is to place the plastic in a bowl filled with vinegar to let it soak instead of using a cloth.

Try alcohol as a chemical-free solution for hard-to-remove glue. Douse a cotton ball in the liquid, then apply it to the glue. The residue should pull up as you scrub the spot. Continue rubbing it until all of the glue is removed, re-applying liquid as needed.[8]
You can use rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover, or vodka.

To remove super glue with alcohol, let the liquid sit on the glue for 15 to 30 minutes to dissolve it before trying to scrub it off.

If you’re using nail polish remover, make sure you’re using one that’s non-acetone. It’s gentler and safer for your skin.

Rub in mayonnaise or peanut butter if your plastic isn’t porous. Since both of these foods are primarily fats, they contain a lot of oil, which can seep into porous plastic, like reusable containers, and stain them. For sturdier plastics, coat the glue spot with a thick layer of mayonnaise or peanut butter, then let it sit for 30 minutes before removing it.[9]

Use a rubber eraser if there’s only a thin layer of glue. For example, if you’ve already removed a label, and there’s just a tiny bit of residue remaining on the plastic, rub an eraser over it. You’ll have to apply firm pressure so that the eraser rips up the glue.[10]
You can use either the small eraser on the end of a pencil or a larger rubber eraser.

Apply a store-bought cleaner if you have tough spots. Products specifically for removing glue, like Goo Gone or WD-40, are highly effective at getting rid of sticky stuff on plastic. Follow the directions on the package to make sure you’re using it safely and properly.[11]
Most cleaners require you to apply the product to the glue, wait for it to set, then remove it with a damp cloth.

You can buy these cleaners at a hardware store or from an online retailer.

EditThings You’ll Need
EditUsing Baking Soda and Oil
Baking soda

Cooking oil

Small bowl

Spoon

Scouring pad

Soap

Warm water

Cloth

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Today in History for 28th January 2019

Historical Events

1945 – Dutch airplanes dump pamphlets on Java
1952 – Australian Championships Men’s Tennis: Ken McGregor wins his first and only Grand Slam event; upsets fellow Australian Frank Sedgman 7-5, 12-10, 2-6, 6-2
1958 – Construction began on 1st private thorium-uranium nuclear reactor
1980 – 37th Golden Globes: “Kramer vs. Kramer”, Dustin Hoffman and Sally Field win
1984 – Edmonton center Wayne Gretzky’s NHL record point scoring streak ends at 51 games when Oilers beaten 4-2 by LA Kings; Gretzky totals 61-92-153 during the period
1984 – 41st Golden Globes: Terms of Endearment, Tom Courtenay, Robert Duvall, and Shirley MacLaine win

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1918 – Wilson Ferreira Aldunate, Uruguayan politician/human rights worker
1927 – Anthony Garner, director (Conservative Central Office)
1963 – Danny Spitz, heavy metal guitarist (Anthrax-Protest and Survive)
1964 – Dwight Stone, NFL receiver/running back (Car Panthers, GB Packers)
1974 – Zack Bronson, safety (San Francisco 49ers)
1975 – David Zingler, American writer

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Famous Deaths

1547 – Henry VIII, King of England (1509-47), dies at 55
1817 – Friedrich Ludwig Æmilius Kunzen, German composer, dies at 55
1908 – Sidney Paget, British illustrator (Sherlock Holmes), dies at 47
1950 – Nikolai Luzin, Russian mathematician, dies at 66
1972 – Dino Buzzati, Italian writer (The Tartar Steppe), dies at 67
2015 – Louise Lopez, American singer (Odyssey), dies at 81

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How to Do a Romanian Deadlift

The Romanian deadlift is one of the best exercises for strengthening your hamstrings. Unlike a regular deadlift, you hold a barbell up at all times, lifting it periodically with your legs and lower back. Romanian deadlifts are perfectly safe, but you must learn the proper form and maintain it throughout the exercise.

EditSteps
EditFitness Tips
WH.shared.addScrollLoadItem(‘5c4e7031e67b6’)Proper Form for Romanian DeadliftsWH.shared.addScrollLoadItem(‘5c4e7031e6a21’)Ways to Incorporate Romanian Deadlifts into a Workout
EditSetting up the Exercise
Have a spotter help you if you are new to lifting. Take precautions as you learn the proper form for the exercise. Lifting heavy weights can be a little intimidating or even risky if you do it wrong. A spotter can check your form and give you feedback to help you avoid injuries as you exercise.
Another way to practice is to use a bar without weights. Using the bar gives you an opportunity to refine your form without putting stress on your knees and back.

Start with a barbell on the floor or on a weight rack. Load the barbell with the amount of weight you think you can manage. Make sure the weight plates are firmly in place on the bar. You don’t need to have a weight rack to do deadlifts, but it can make the process a little easier. If you don’t have a rack, you will need to lift the bar up to the starting position.[1]
A lot of gyms have tall racks you can rest barbells on. Position the barbell so it is near your thighs. That way, you don’t need to bend down to reach it.

Get close to the bar so your shoulders hang over it. Point your feet towards the bar and step forward. If the barbell is on the floor, it will be at about shin height.[2]
If you are too far away from the bar, you will end up leaning forward to reach it. This can throw your back out of alignment, so get as close as possible before you lift the weight.

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent. Stand as close to the bar as you can get. Maintain this general position throughout the deadlift at all times. Keeping your knees slightly bent prevents them from locking up, which is an important part of avoiding strain on your body.[3]

Hold the bar with a double overhand grip. Position your hands right beside your legs. Grasp the barbell with your palms facing downward. The overhand grip is the standard grip used for deadlifts, but you can customize it a little if you feel comfortable doing so.[4]
Some lifters prefer an alternate or mixed grip. They place 1 hand underneath the bar while the other hand stays in the overhand grip position.

Engage and flex your muscles to maintain a neutral position. The muscles in your shoulders, upper back, and abs must all be engaged while you lift the barbell. This allows you to keep good form as you lift and lower the weight.[5]
Keeping your muscles flexed and engaged helps you maintain control.

EditRaising the Bar
Hold your back straight with your chest forward. Avoid changing your posture as you lift the bar. Keep your knees slightly bent at all times. Begin breathing out as you start moving the bar back up to its original position.[6]
You may feel tempted to stand up quickly and let your back handle the load. This can strain your back or knees, leading to injuries. Complete the motion slowly and methodically to avoid problems.

Drive your hips forward while pulling the bar up. Contract your glutes to help push your hips towards the bar. Your back won’t move at all as you do this. Straighten your body by standing up gradually as the bar travels back up your legs.[7]
Keep the bar as close to your body as possible. Never let it move away from you or else it will throw your spine out of alignment.

Stand straight with the bar near your hips. Stand up tall with your back and neck straight. You are back in the starting position. Start over to perform as many repetitions as you need for your set.[8]

EditLowering the Barbell
Hold the bar near the top of your thighs. This is the deadlift’s starting position. You return the bar to this position at the end of each repetition. Make sure the bar is as close to your thighs as you can get it. Keep your shoulders positioned over the bar.[9]
If you start with the bar on the ground, lift it up using a traditional deadlift squat. Squat down over the bar. Bend your knees, keeping your arms and back straight, then stand back up while holding the bar.

Look straight ahead of you and brace your core. Press your arms against your sides as you prepare to lower the barbell. Always stand tall with your neck and back straight. When you’re ready to begin, take a deep breath. Resist the temptation to look down at the bar as you move it.[10]
If you wish to check your form while doing the exercise, stand in front of a mirror. You can also have a spotter watch you and give you feedback.

Bend at the waist while pushing your hips back. Go slowly to avoid injuring your back. To lower the bar safely, bend forward over the bar. Keep your arms and legs still. Move your hips and butt as far back as they can go.[11]
Avoid bending your back. Shifting your spinal alignment is dangerous. Let your hips control the motion.

Lower the bar until you feel the backs of your legs stretch. Keep the bar close to your legs as if you’re rolling the bar down them towards your ankles. Drop the bar down until you can’t go any further without bending your knees more. For most people, this will be when the bar is right below their knees.[12]
Remember that the Romanian deadlift isn’t a contest to see who can lower the bar to the floor. Lowering the bar too much takes pressure off your hamstrings and puts it on your knees and back.

To get the greatest results, pay attention to your body so you don’t go beyond your range of motion.

EditTips
The number of reps you do will depend on your workout goals. Do one set of 5-8 lifts if you’re just getting started. If you want to build muscle, do 3-5 sets of 5-8 reps, using very heavy weights. If you want to build strength or tone your muscles, do 1-3 sets of 10 lifts.[13]
To get the motion right, practice using a bar without weights. Many people struggle with keeping their backs straight and letting their hips control the lift. The bar gives you an opportunity to practice safely.

A weight rack makes this exercise a little easier. With a rack, you don’t need to squat down and waste energy picking up the bar.

The Romanian deadlift tends to involve less weight than a regular deadlift. This is because you have to hold onto the bar the entire time throughout the exercise.

For an easier variation, use dumbbells or a trap bar instead of a barbell.

The single-leg Romanian deadlift is a tougher variation. As you lower the bar, you lift 1 leg, keeping it aligned with your back.

Stretch your hamstrings, which are in the back of your thighs, after you do your deadlifts, especially if your calves and thighs are tight. Stretch by placing one leg straight out on a bench with your toes pointing toward the sky, then lean slightly forward until you feel a stretch. Hold for 15-60 seconds. Stop if you feel any pain or discomfort.

Wear good shoes while doing deadlifts. The last thing you want is to lose traction while you’re handling a heavy bar.

EditWarnings
Deadlifts can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Master the technique first and don’t use more weight than you can handle.

Improper motion can put stress on your knees and back. Avoid using these areas to lift the bar. Keep the bar close to your body at all times.

Going outside your range of motion can also be dangerous. When you feel your hamstrings stretching, stop lowering the bar. You do not need to bring it all the way down to the floor.

EditThings You’ll Need
Barbell

Weights

Shoes with good traction

A weight rack (optional)

EditSources and Citations
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