This morning I decided to teach the single leg kettlebell deadlift to a very loyal, hard-working kettlebell client of mine. When I told him my plan for his session I was promptly met with, “I’m not doing those. Every time I did them with •insert former trainer’s name here• I hurt my back.”
He was adamant. Single leg deadlifts had injured him and frustrated him so much that he refused to do them any more with his former personal trainer (a certified athletic trainer and personal trainer of more than 10 years). He swore he would never do them again.
I took a step back and asked him to demonstrate this exercise, which, by his account, injured him every time he’d performed it.
He took his “ready” posture, tightened his muscles and leaned straight forward, flexed at the waist and kept his planted leg completely straight. He reached his arm out about a foot in front of him as to pick up an object placed that far away. He teetered a bit, caught his balance and stood back up. He added, “That movement right there hurts my back.”
My reply: “This is going to be a piece of cake.”
Without a boring recount of our session, I revisited the RKC School of Strength lecture about the hip hinge with which all of Shane and my students are very familiar. We patterned the hip hinge, the two leg deadlift and finally the single leg deadlift. We then added bilateral load and then unilateral load. We practiced a bit and then added it to the kettlebell complex I had planned for the morning.
When his session was finished, his response, and I quote, “I really like these. Wow, I feel my ass a lot. This was fun.”My point: kettlebell is an art. It is a discipline. It is a process, has progressions and should not be taken lightly. When used correctly, in my opinion, there is not a more effective tool for overall conditioning and reinforcement of correct movement patterns.