Starting Position: Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width, with your toes pointed forward or slightly outward. Two dumbbells should be placed at your sides, slightly forward of your feet.
Squat down to grasp the dumbbells. Keep your spine in neutral position. Your shoulders should be pulled down your back and away from you ears. Keep your chest lifted and your head in line with your spine or chin slightly lifted. Your heels are on the floor and your shoulders are over or slightly in front the balls of your feet. Your gaze should be facing straight ahead or slightly upward.
Upward Phase: Before lifting, brace your abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine. Straighten your knees and hips to come to a full standing position with your elbows straight and the dumbbells resting against the sides of your thighs. Shoulder blades are pulling down and back. The hips and shoulders should rise together. The objective is to keep the dumbbells close to your body as they move upward.
Downward Phase: Shift your hips down and back, hinging at the knees. Gently lower the dumbbells back toward the floor. Try to prevent your knees from traveling too far forward past the toes. Keep the abdominals/core muscles engaged and try to keep your back flat (do not tuck the tail or arch the low back). Lower the hips and shoulders together. Do not allow the spine to round. Keep the back long and should blades pulling down.
Technique is very important in this lift. Two common mistakes are (a) increasing the lumbar lordosis (curve in the low back) during the upward and downward phases and (b) not raising and lowering the hips and shoulders together.