The deadlift may very well be the most important exercise there is, and you’d be doing yourself a huge disservice by not practicing this pattern in some form or another. We use a few different variations of the deadlift at Ritual, but without fail, you will hear us coaching clients to first master the basic kettlebell deadlift, as the proper technique in this movement uses almost every major muscle group in your body, and will give you a great foundation of useful strength.

The deadlift has a lot of carryover to day-to-day activities. For example, in life, we often need to pick things up off the floor, whether grocery shopping, lifting luggage or helping a friend move house. First and foremost, the deadlift exercise will help you figure out the technique and muscle action needed to do this while keeping your back safe. As you get better and better at the deadlift and its variations, you’ll even find carryover to overall strength, power development, and athletic improvements.

The prime movers in the movement are your glutes and hamstrings, also known as your hip extensors. When done well with optimal loading, the deadlift will also challenge your grip, back, and trunk, amongst other things. The unique activation patterns of the deadlift also make it a great exercise to help improve posture and to increase reliance on your hip musculature, which is really important for healthy, pain-free movement in the long-term.

While the deadlift isn’t a difficult exercise to understand, proper execution does require consistent awareness and coordination. The intention should be to do each rep perfectly, while reminding yourself not to rush it with this movement, especially in the beginning. Take a look at this quick video of the deadlift and some variations of it. If you have any questions please feel free to approach any of our Coaches.

Oh, and just in case you’re wondering why it has such an unglamorous name, the kettlebell deadlift is called a deadlift simply because the weight has to start “dead” on the floor before it is lifted. Simple. But simple ain’t always easy.


Be Brave,

The Ritual Team