What is a Kettlebell Deadlift?

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The Deadlift

The deadlift is the most important exercise you can do for a total workout. Utilizing every muscle in your body you’ll build muscle, burn more calories, increase flexibility and turn on your nervous system all at once.

I have mastered these, take me to the next step.

How to Deadlift?

The deadlift is the most important exercise you will ever perform. It correlates directly to the most common of everyday tasks, creates motor patterns, flexibility, and also helps people see the results they want faster than any other exercise. This is because it utilizes every muscle of your body so you will build more muscle, burn more calories, increase flexibility and turn on your nervous system all at once. Crunches, leg extensions and curls combined don’t even come close doing what this lift will do for you, and honestly, they’re bad for your posture and for your joints. Take your time to learn the basics and build from there, no hurry.

Before you begin learning the basic kettlebell lifts – swing, clean and press, and snatch, we will develop the motor pattern of sitting back into your hips. You will need this motor pattern in order to proceed safely. A deadlift is a strength phase lift, with virtually every muscle either performing a strength movement, or holding steady in the stability phase. The primary three ballistic kettlebell lifts are power phase lifts, so we want those motor patterns consistent and exact before progressing to that point.

The dead position is where the deadlift begins. You won’t be lifting to your potential unless the weight is as close to the neutral line of your bodies gravity, remember, we’re trying to make heavy weight feel light. I often see people start a set of deadlifts with the bell directly underneath them-great! However, as the set progresses they start putting it progressively further in front of them and shifting weight into their knees and toes-Ouch!

Remember, the deadlift movement starts moving hips back, not knees forward. As you move back into hip flexion, keep your back safe with slight spine extension, or mildly arching the back, try not to “crane” your neck here. The idea is to start developing strength in the glutes and hamstrings through a full range of motion. This will help create dominance in your posterior chain and help get those tight hip flexors and quads to loosen up and lengthen out. You’ll see amazing results doing even the most basic lifts, create this motor pattern with bodyweight and move up from there you should be consistently competent before moving on.

Deadlift Tips:

  • Breathe in, 70% breath capacity.
  • Sit back into your hips.
  • Keep your feet flat, grip the ground with your toes.
  • Feel the down movement, the lengthening glutes and hamstrings.
  • Feel the mid and lower back muscles having to stabilize more, the deeper you go.
  • Go only as deep as your hips will allow, don’t try to go deeper by rounding your back or shoulders.
  • Feel the glutes and hamstrings shorten on the way up, tight in the pelvic floor.
  • Come to standing tall and neutral. Get your hips under you, but not out front and don’t lean back.
  • No need to bend the arms at the elbows, or shrug at the end, shoulders should be back and down.
  • Exhale at the top.
  • Develop this motor pattern until the breathing and movement is consistently flawless.