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Building Better Deadlifts & Kettlebell Swings

sandbag training

Yea, I give deadlifts a hard time, but the truth is I like deadlifts. The issue I have is that most people claim that the more familiar forms of deadlifts are a cure all. We lose sight of the movement of the hip hinge and become consumed with the exercise.

The reality is that most people go down this path with deadlifts and now kettlebell swings, because they think that some of our DVRT movements are just too complicated. That is too bad, because what we like to pride DVRT upon is the accessibility we have to most people. When people work through proper progressions, it is amazing how successful people can be and how it will enhance how we perform our deadlifts and swings.

DVRT Master, Cory Cripe, shows how his groups progress to pretty sophisticated forms of movement strength training by working through many layers of progression.  

Obviously the key to better deadlifts and kettlebell swings is to really nail the hip hinge movement. That is the big difference of functional training is our focus on movement patterns and not just exercises or muscle groups. Both deadlifts and kettlebell swings are forms of hip hinges, but they are far from how encompassing we can make this foundational movement pattern.

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DVRT Master, Danny Twoguns, shows his client working through a foundational DVRT movement with band feedback to really master that hip hinge. 

Just like most of our DVRT drills, we try to find how to have the exercise itself to teach the person as much about the movement we want them to perform as much as anything. Good verbal cues are great, demonstrations help a lot, but people need to FEEL what you really want them to do in a lift as well. Our Front Loaded Good Mornings have wonderful carryover to both deadlifts and kettlebell swings. That is because creating tension in the Front Loaded position teaches us how to hold our plank and engage our plank to have a great hip hinge.

Especially in the kettlebell swing, most clients have a hard time properly decelerating the weight with their hips and bracing their core. That can become a challenge though because you can’t do a kettlebell swing slowly. Going from kettlebell deadlifts to swings is actually a much bigger leap than most people realize. Having these Front Loaded Good Mornings allow us to train these quality really specifically!

DVRT Master, Evan Supanich, shows an “evil” version of the front loaded good morning that helps stabilize the pelvis and core while “waking up” the gluteal muscles that are often off during classic gym exercises.  

As we layer progressions, you can see how little changes to a movement can help us learn the more complex versions of an exercise. A great example is what DVRT Master, Steve Holiner, demonstrates in using our DVRT concepts of body position to use deadlifts in a way different manner to learn the concepts of the challenging one arm kettlebell swing. Most people lack the ability to RESIST the movement of the one arm kettlebell swing, but THIS DVRT drill teaches you how through movement!

Our hope is that you don’t just see more exercises when you think of DVRT. That you aren’t overwhelmed or confused. Having a system like DVRT is designed to give you direction to your training, not to confuse you. However, any good form of training takes practice to get good at, DVRT is no different! Try out some of these movements in your programs and see how your deadlifts and kettlebell swings get easier!

Want to learn more about DVRT? Don’t miss our upcoming DVRT educational events HERE.