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How to Do a Kettlebell Romanian Deadlift (the Right Way)

Fitness • December 24, 2018

Although kettlebells may be new to you and your workout routine, they have been used for centuries as they work on developing power and strength. Some believe that kettlebells date all the way back to Ancient Greece, but the first evidence that we have that we are confident going off of dates back to the early 1700s.

It didn’t take long for people to recognize that kettlebells were a great way to demonstrate strength, while also providing health benefits. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that kettlebells were introduced to the athletic community and used for exercises.

August 10th, 1885 marked the day that weightlifting was born in Russia. In weight training halls during this time, muscular development was focused on as the goal to obtain. Some of the exercises that are done regularly to this day were done back in the 1800s.

As far back as 1913, a Russian magazine came outright, claiming that there are no sports that develop the muscles and strength throughout the body the way that kettlebells do. Surprisingly enough, it wasn’t until 1948 that the alleged first kettlebell sport was created, and it involved three events: the clean and jerk, the snatch, and the jerk were performed while being watched by thousands in the audience.

In 1974, kettlebell was finally, and deservingly, given the title of Russia’s ethnic sport. Less than a decade later, there was mandatory kettlebell training implemented by the government. The purpose of this mandatory training was Russia’s way to make the working citizens more productive and healthier, which would hopefully decrease healthcare costs overall.

In 1998, “Vodka, Pickle Juice, Kettlebell Lifting, and other Russian Pastimes” was published and very well received, giving kettlebells the boost that they needed to make their way out of Russia. It wasn’t long before the article reached the west and quickly gained popularity and kettlebells were created, sticking to the original creation.

The popularity of kettlebells really took off in the west during the early 2000s and has held onto their popularity to this day. Despite the traction that kettlebell workouts have today, there are still plenty of people that do not know about the benefits.

  • Kettlebells offer a way for you to use a limited amount of equipment to work out your entire body. If going to a big public gym isn’t quite your style, kettlebells are also an affordable way to stock a home gym, rather than other expensive, bulky equipment.
  • The explosive nature of these workouts helps to work your core and improve your stability from where it matters most. Improving your core strength is undeniably beneficial in all aspects of life and it will be incredibly noticeable.
  • These workouts will help to make you increasingly aware of the way that your body moves and balances. It’s important to stay in control when performing these workouts in order to do them properly, safely, and reap all the benefits.
  • Working with kettlebells is a great way to burn fat quickly and in an impressive amount. To put it into perspective, you can burn the same number of calories doing a 20-minute workout with kettlebells as if you were to run a 6-minute mile. Even better, your body will continue to burn off calories well after your workout is over.
  • Kettlebell workouts are also a great alternative for those who aren’t looking to do traditional cardio workouts. I bet that got your attention.
  • A common misconception with working out is that you gain muscle but have a bulky appearance. However, kettlebell workouts are a great way to build lean muscle. You will be able to obtain that strong physique and improve your posture while avoiding the bulky appearance.
  • Finally, these workouts are effective but don’t put you in risky and unfamiliar positions that you could injure yourself in. These movements are dynamic and don’t require excessive weight in order to get the job done.

Now that we’ve covered the history and exactly what you stand to gain from working with kettlebells, it’s time to get technical. Learn how to perform HIIT exercise moves from the pros. This month, we’re featuring a new move to ensure you maintain proper form and technique with your workouts. 

Fhitting Room trainers Rich + Riley show us how to do a Kettlebell Romanian Deadlift (RDL). This exercise helps strengthen the posterior chain, which includes the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back muscles. It can also help improve the mobility and flexibility of the hip joint. Read on to learn how you can perfect this popular move to start reaping its benefits…

In order to achieve perfect RDL form, ensure you have:

  •      Narrow feet
  •      A soft bend to the knee
  •      A flat back
  •     The kettlebell hovering around the ankles 

Make sure to avoid the following to prevent injury when performing this move:

  •      Excessive bend of the knees
  •      Rounded back
  •      Craned neck

Watch how Riley performs the move in real-time. The movement begins at the top. Notice how she keeps her shoulders back, head neutral, and knees slightly bent. The movement should come from the hips. Be sure to squeeze your glutes at the top of the move, and make sure the kettlebell never fully touches the ground.

People often confuse the RDL with a standard kettlebell deadlift. Proper form is what sets these two movements apart, so ensure you’re following our technique to perform a proper Romanian Deadlift. According to Rich + Riley, a standard kettlebell deadlift requires more support from the quads, while the RDL is controlled entirely by the hamstrings and glutes, which helps to reinforce the posterior. So grab a kettlebell and get ready to stretch those hammys.

Want to learn more? You can take class with Riley at Fhitting Room. Book your spot today!

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romanian deadlift