The main reason for practicing this exercise before exercises like the Kettle bell Swing is because motor control, mobility and correct muscle activation must all work together in order to maximize effective movement and minimize the risk of injury. It is the big hitter of movements and fundamentally helps us lift heavy objects from the floor using the power of the legs, buttocks, back, and core muscles.
Quadriceps Hamstrings Glutes Adductors Erector Spinal Trapezium Lower back Forearms Core There are many other stabilizer muscles worked with the KB dead lift but these are the big prime movers.
As you lift from the floor you are pulling the weight up using the power of the Glutes and Hamstrings while keeping the back in an isometric position with the strength of your core muscles. In an age where we spend a lot of time sitting and leaning forwards the KB Dead lift helps counteract this posture and pull everything backwards, opening up the chest and shoulders.
The more muscle mass you can use when you exercise the more energy (or calories) are required to fuel that movement. Push the hips backwards maintaining a flat back Keep your weight back on your heels and chest up Allow the kettle bell to lower to the floor with a straight arm Pause at the bottom of the position Drive your hips forwards and stand tall Squeeze your buttocks tight and don’t lean backwards
The deadliftkettlebell focuses on movement from the hips while keeping a flat and isometrically (statically) maintained lower back. The knees should bend as you reach down to pick up the kettle bell but the hips should be forced backwards with the weight on the outside of the feet and onto the heels.
By concentrating on the distribution of weight over your feet you will feel the activation up and into your Glutes (buttocks). Keep a good grip on the kettle bell to help correctly activate your shoulder stabilizers.
You can practice the Dead lift with kettle bells of various weights, ironically many people find using a heavier weight enables them to better feel the Glutes and Hamstrings working and forces better activation through the lower half of the body. Use two boxes, one under each foot with a gap in between for the kettle bell to be lowered closer to the floor.
Lifting the kettle bell from the side rather than between your legs puts additional demands onto your core stabilizers. Using two kettle bells for the suitcase dead lift does increase the demands on the legs and buttocks but it also reduces the core stabilization that you get with the one handed variation.
First you would perform the kettle bell row while leaning forwards with a flat back and then stand tall to complete the dead lift movement. The single-handed dead lift is pulled from between the legs which naturally puts the torso into a slight rotation and increases cross body core activation.
If you start to snap your hips though at the top of this exercise it is also great preparation for the kettle bell swing. If you want to learn to connect the top of the body to the bottom via the core muscles then this is the exercise for you.
You will need good balance and core strength in order to complete this exercise correctly. Benefits — a great beginner workout that teaches the basic dead lift movement pattern.
The slingshot movement is added as active recovery so the kettle bell is not put down between circuits and the heart rate is kept up. Again great for the beginner who is improving their core stabilization and looking to get strong on their hands for push-ups etc.
Variations — the shoulder taps can be replaced with Push Ups, Cross Body Mountain climbers or regular front planks. Benefits — a cardio based workout that keeps the heart rate up throughout.
Variations — swap out the Fast Mountain Climbers for Squat Thrusts or even Burpees, if you are at that level. The side plank hits the core in a totally different direction than the dead lift so a great combination.
Benefits — great workout for stabilization, the suitcase dead lift is like a dynamic side plank so excellent for the core. Variations — if your squat is strong then you can progress to the static or dynamic lunge with or without a kettle bell.
The suitcase dead lift works on the core muscles at the side of the body and the squat thrust on the front. Add in the extra cardio and strength benefits and it’s a great workout all around.
Variations — switch the Squat thrusts for Burpees or Fast Mountain Climbers. Benefits — using two kettle bells means that you can dramatically increase the demands on legs and buttocks.
Variations — try using different weights in the left and right hand, this will add further stabilization demands and improve core strength. Benefits — strengthens the sling system that runs from shoulder to opposite hip via the core muscles.
This workout will highlight core weaknesses, if so more time should be spent on the weaker side. Variations — once mastered you can progress the depth of the exercise by standing on a low box allowing the kettle bell to fall lower than the foot
Variations — add further stabilization challenges by holding different sized kettle bells in the right and left hand. The kettlebelldeadlift is a fundamental movement pattern that relies on the muscles of the legs, buttocks and back.
Often referred to as a posterior chain exercise because its works the muscles of the back line. The dead lift works more into the back of the body whereas the squat has more emphasis on the front and the quads.
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. 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.
Before you begin learning the basic kettle bell lifts — swing, clean and press, and snatch, we will develop the motor pattern of sitting back into your hips. I often see people start a set of dead lifts with the bell directly underneath them-great!
Remember, the dead lift movement starts moving hips back, not knees forward. The idea is to start developing strength in the glutes and hamstrings through a full range of motion.
Feel the mid and lower back muscles having to stabilize more, the deeper you go. Feel the glutes and hamstrings shorten on the way up, tight in the pelvic floor.
No need to bend the arms at the elbows, or shrug at the end, shoulders should be back and down. Develop this motor pattern until the breathing and movement is consistently flawless.
This quick guide will help users utilize their kettle bells so that they can get the most out of their workout and gain lean muscle naturally. This is easier for beginners who might not be strong enough to lift a bar with weights attached to it fully.
This allows you to build strength in your hamstrings and glutes through doing the exercise with a full range of motion. You'll see great results when conducting basic dead lifts, and your body will be competent enough to work with higher weights once you understand the form correctly.
One common error with this alternative dead lift is that people lean to the side to pick up the kettle bell. If you aren't flexible enough to reach the ground without the need to lean sideways, you'll have to elevate the kettle bell on a plate or a stop.
Start by keeping your feet in a narrower position than your shoulders Toes planted forward Hinge at your hips; your knees shouldn't be past your toes Reach for the kettle bell Load up your lats for added support Maintain a neutral spine with your eyes towards the horizon Press your body through the floor and end by standing up Begin with your feet in a narrow position The bells have to be placed on the outside of each of your feet Place your working foot on solid ground Use your toes for your nonworking foot Inhale through the nose Reach for the kettle bell by having a neutral grip on each side Load your lats Keep your head straight when pulling up with the kettle bell Lock up your glutes, press your body to the floor and stand back up via a tension breath.
Doing so allows you to get the right balance and alignment, and helps your body not rush into the sticking point through the exercise. Place one foot on the ground Extend on the other foot behind you using a straight leg Place the bell right under you and begin inhaling through the nose Tense your glute on the working side of your body Hinge through the hips Start to reach and grab the bell Press your body through the floor and begin standing back up
Make sure that you practice these exercises to ensure that your muscles will grow faster and more naturally. I started the program with a max dead lift of 330 lbs.
I tested my “sort of max” today at 375 lbs. Pull three times a week, alternating barbell dead lift and kettle bell swing/snatch workouts:
Favor heavy weights, lift them explosively, and do not rush the clock. To put together a power cycle such as the one above, work back from the heavy double you plan to pull in eight to twelve workouts.
A conservative goal is to double your today’s single. Here is another sample dead lift cycle, this one for a recent “sort of max” of 305:
Ladies, if your max is below 200, jump five pounds a workout. Here is a sample dead lift cycle for a recent “sort of max” of 185:
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