Kettlebell Deadlift Variations

Deadlift Variations With 1 Kettlebell

What if you only have one kettlebell or several kettlebells, but no matching pairs? How will you make certain exercises more challenging?

First, let’s list some kettlebell deadlift variations:

  1. Suitcase deadlift
  2. Sumo deadlift
  3. Stiff-legged deadlift
  4. Single-leg deadlift
  5. Curtsy lunge deadlift
  6. Lunge deadlift
  7. Staggered stance deadlift
My goal with this article is to give you some ideas on how to create some variety in your training and show you how to progress from a basic exercise to a more challenging one.

Let’s focus on the Kettlebell Deadlift, arguably the king of strength-building exercises. Not only is it great for getting stronger, but it also helps improve your posture and strengthen your hips, which can alleviate back pain when done correctly.

Additionally, mastering the Deadlift will allow you to transition to the Hardstyle Kettlebell Swing and from there a whole new world of kettlebell exercises await.

First, you must master the standard Kettlebell Deadlift and understand the hip hinge. The hip hinge means that you move from your hips, the strongest set of muscles in your body, while keeping your spine straight or neutral.

Okay, you’ve mastered the standard Kettlebell Deadlift. What’s next?

Let’s get asymmetrical. Now we can unevenly load the body (greater core engagement) by learning two different 1-arm deadlift techniques.

1. The Kettlebell Suitcase Deadlift places the kettlebell on the outside of your foot. This is great for grip strength because now you’re only using one hand to grab the kettlebell. Make sure that you don’t lean or rotate toward the kettlebell as you move in and out of your hip hinge. Stay square all the way through the movement.

2. The Kettlebell 1-Arm Deadlift is fairly self-explanatory. The kettlebell will be in between your feet but moved toward the hand that will be grabbing it. Stay square all the way through the movement and don’t lean or rotate toward the kettlebell. Again, grabbing the kettlebell with one hand will improve your grip strength and the offset load will really engage your core.

The Kettlebell Staggered Stance Deadlift is a unique variation because you not only use one hand but also load one leg more than the other leg. You can use your opposing arm and leg or the arm on the same side of the loaded leg.

Lastly, we have the Kettlebell Single Leg Deadlift. You are balancing on one leg while performing a deadlift, which improves balance and is great for your feet and ankles. This variation is challenging, so take your time when performing it and move slowly with purpose. You can use the opposing arm and leg or use the arm on the same side of the working leg.

Check out this video to see how to do each movement properly.

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