The Deadlift Row With Andrea Du Cane

by Andrea Du Cane on April 25, 2013

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I hope you enjoyed my last post and video on the low or pendulum swing.

The second exercise I came up with during my knee re-hab was the kettlebell deadlift row. This is an incredible back and lower body exercise that again anyone can do. It follows the deadlift/hinge pattern, the key to a lower body killer workout is to keep the shins as vertical as possible and yet drop your hips down as low as possible.



This exercise really targets the mid-back muscles, like the hard to strengthen Rhomboids, as well as lower trap, lats, triceps and biceps. The key here is to keep your chest facing toward the ground at the bottom of the deadlift to be in the proper position for the row.

The secret to a proper row, is to initiate the movement by depressing the lats first. I think of it as pushing my shoulders down away from my ears. This will prevent the movement from being a trapezius exercise.

Then I pull my scapula together and drive my elbows back. The inside of the upper arms should “scrape” against the ribcage and the elbows should pinch together at the top. The chest will naturally push out and forward at the top of the pull. Keep the neck and head neutral.

Slowly straighten the elbows and then stand up from the deadlift. Pause a moment and tighten the glutes, legs, and abs while keeping your shoulders down and and shoulder blades pinching together.

You are ready for another rep. Lower down to the bottom of the deadlift with the kettlebell a couple of inches from the floor and perform the row again. Always straighten your arms completely before standing up again.

I do these as a superset with the low pendulum swings covered in the previous post.

Again I do intervals of :30 work to :25 rest. I’ll also add in dead swings, or single rep swings and regular swings as well.

You’ll love how this drill really targets the upper and mid-back while you are still working your hips and legs hard!


Andrea Du Cane is a Master Kettlebell Instructor, CK-FMS certified, CICS certified, Primal Move National Instructor and RIST, ZHealth certified, and has a BA in Psychology from the University of Minnesota.  She is featured on Breaking Muscle website as the February 2012 coach of the month. She is also a Pilates instructor. She has over twenty years of aerobics, weight training and fitness experience, with an additional background in… Read more here.





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  • Bruce Coltin

    I’m a personal trainer and I just began introducing this exercise to my clients. Besides being effective, it adds some nice variety to the workouts.

  • Nick

    As a 58 year old male, I use the pendulum swing every workout and will use the deadlift row. Your exercises are simple, but very effective. Results in leg, ham string and flexibility are incredible.

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