Exercise resolutions are some of the most common resolutions made at the start of a new year. Unfortunately, many people start January strong only to lose their motivation as the year progresses. One major cause for the failure to stick to an exercise routine is boredom.
People think exercise needs to be boring, but in fact, you should find a way to exercise that you look forward to because it’s fun! People think they need to spend hours in the gym to get fit, but that is far from the truth.
In fact, there is a tool you can use that is not only one of the most efficient ways to work out in just 30 minutes, but also FUN to use! This year, try incorporating a kettlebell into your workouts to maximize fun and efficiency. The kettlebell can be used in many different ways to work the body from head to toe.
Where to Start with the Kettlebell
When adding a new piece of equipment or new exercise to your routine, it is important to understand proper form and technique. Many kettlebell exercises build upon each other, which mean creating a solid foundation is key to achieve the success.
Once the basics have been perfected, you can scale up to different types of exercises. Perfecting form takes time and practice, especially if the exercise is something entirely new – but that’s part of the fun. Kettlebells exercises include the swing, clean, snatch, press, and many more, but the best exercise to start with is the kettlebell deadlift.
The deadlift is one of the best exercises to work the body head to toe while eliciting significant physiological effects. The deadlift requires upper/lower back, hips, glutes, and abdominal muscles to work in unison to lift the kettlebell.
From fingertips to toes, the force of this exercise connects with the entire body. From a functional standpoint, this lift directly correlates with many everyday movements and activities outside of a gym setting. The deadlift is one of the best exercises to use for overall health.
How to Perform a Kettlebell Deadlift
The deadlift is a movement where you lift a weight using a hip hinge motion. The glutes and hamstrings are put into stretch reflex in the hip hinge and then utilized to open the hips and come back to standing position. The weight is held in the hands with straight arms throughout the movement.
To begin the kettlebell deadlift, place a kettlebell directly between your feet. While keeping a neutral spine, hinge at the hips and push the hips back, bringing the shoulders over the toes as the chest moves down towards to floor. There should be a slight bend in the knees.
The hips should stay at or above hip level. Keep the shoulder blades down to properly load the spine and engage the upper back. Grip the kettlebell handle with both hands, then push the floor away and drive the hips forward to come to a standing position. Lower the kettlebell back down to the floor, maintaining a neutral spine, to complete the rep.
What NOT to Do
With multiple muscle groups working at one time in the deadlift, there are multiple components that can potentially break down. One common issue is feeling pain in the lower back, which is typically caused by poor form.
Here are a few common mistakes when deadlifting :
Disengaging the lats and allowing the back to round
Beginning the lift with the weight in front of the feet
Moving too quickly
Pulling the weight with the arms instead of pushing with the legs
Not properly engaging the core muscles
Start with a lightweight and emphasize good technique first and foremost. While it’s normal for back muscles to feel fatigued and sore from a deadlift, pain should not be considered a normal part of this exercise.
If pain persists, decrease the weight, decrease the range of motion by setting the kettlebell on an elevated surface, and work on perfect technique. Use a mirror to help with visual body cues. Perfecting this lift is very important because it’s the base upon which all of the advanced kettlebell exercises are built.
Sample Kettlebell Deadlift Exercise Sets
Warm Up Set: 3 sets of 15 with a PVC pipe to practice technique
4 sets of 12 reps with a lightweight and a focus on form
4 sets of 10 kettlebell deadlifts and 10 weighted glute bridges
10 sets of 1 burpee, 1 kettlebell deadlift, and 10 explosive jumps
Drop set: 4 sets of 5, 8, 10, 12 reps with kettlebell weight decreasing each round
*Note these are separate example exercise sets; not necessarily one workout
The Kettlebell Deadlift is Only the Beginning
Introducing kettlebells into a workout regimen is a great way to add variety and break up the monotony of exercise boredom. Perfecting the deadlift will allow for developing a lot of fun complex kettlebell exercises, such as:
● Deadlift high pulls
● Suitcase deadlifts
● Kettlebell swings
● Kettlebell Cleans
● Kettlebell Snatches
● Plus many more!