Kettlebell deadlifts are one of those fitness moves that aren’t exactly what they seem to be. While picking up the bell from the ground using your hands might imply that the move works your upper body, it’s actually your lower body that’s doing the brunt of the lifting. And as far as form goes, this can get pretty confusing.
The main muscle groups you should be working in a deadlift with kettlebell are your glutes, hamstrings, core, and lower back—not your arms and shoulders, like you would think. But there are some common mistakes that people make when doing the move that mess with their form. Ultimately, this can switch up where the weight is distributed when they lift the bell off of the ground. Not only does doing a kettlebell deadlift the wrong way limit the effectiveness of the move (because, ya know, you’re working the wrong muscles), but it also puts you at risk of getting hurt. A few biggies worth looking out for when you try the move on your own:
1. Rounding your back as you bend over instead of keeping it flat, which in addition to putting the weight in your upper body also increases the risk of pulling a muscle in your back.
2. Bending your knees and extending your chest so that you’re coming down into a squat, instead of hinging at the hips and engaging your glutes and core.
3. Thrusting your hips forward and leaning too far backward, which causes you to overextend your back and could wind up hurting yourself.
If you’re doing the move properly, you should feel it in your lower body and lower back. If you feel it in your spine or your quads, you’re likely doing something wrong, and one of the mistakes above could be to blame. To find out how to do a deadlift with kettlebell the right way, watch Roxie Jones demonstrate in the video above. You’ll be working all the right muscles—without running the risk of hurting them.
In addition to having proper form, you also want to be sure you’re not going too heavy or too light with your kettlebell—here’s how to make sure you’re using the right weight. Plus, how to integrate kettlebells into your abs workout for an amped-up experience that will leave you feeling strong AF>
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