Kettlebell Deadlift

  • Alternative Names: Double arm kettlebell deadlift, kettlebell stiff leg deadlift
  • Type: Strength
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Equipment: Kettlebell
  • Muscles Targeted: Hamstrings, glutes, quads, calves, lower and upper back
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Average Number of Sets: 3-4 with 10-15 reps each
  • Variations: Single leg, suitcase, one arm, and high pull kettlebell deadlifts
  • Alternative: Barbell deadlift, kettlebell swing

The kettlebell deadlift is one of the most effective ways of working your lower and upper body simultaneously. It involves a hip-hinge movement that helps in building size and strength in your posterior chain. You can use it as part of your hip or hamstring exercise routine or as an alternative to barbell deadlift.


  • Allows you to use heavier weight for building strength and muscular endurance.
  • Mastering the kettlebell deadlift helps you to get used to the movement pattern seen in Romanian deadlifts, pull-throughs, squats, and kettlebell swings.
  • It keeps your back in an isometric position (the length of the muscles does not change after contraction) and improves posture.
  • It helps you in burning calories and losing weight.

Kettlebell Deadlift Vs. Kettlebell Swing

Kettlebell Deadlift Kettlebell Swing
Movement Involves A continuous controlled motion Explosive motion to send the kb up to the shoulder height
Muscles Worked Hips, hamstrings, quads, back, abs Hips, hamstrings, lats, abs, and shoulders
Weight Used Performed by lifting heavier weights (50-70 lbs) Done by swinging lighter weights (35-45 lbs)

How to do a Kettlebell Deadlift

Start by placing a kettlebell (weighing about 50-70 lbs) between your feet, while standing in deadlift stance. Slightly bending your knees, hinge at your hips to push your body backward and grab the kb by its horns. Drive your hips forward and push your feet into the floor to lift the kettlebell off the ground. Once you hold the kb at your arms’ length, pause for a second. It is your initial position. Perform the same movement to do the desired number of reps.

Stiff-Legged Kettlebell Deadlift Tips

  • Make sure to keep the shoulders slightly above your hip height while grabbing the kettlebell with both hands.
  • Squeeze the horns hard so that you can keep your shoulders, abs, and hips under tension.
  • Have your chin tucked and back flat throughout the exercise.
  • Keep your knees from caving forward.


  1. Single Leg Kettlebell Deadlift: Is performed by holding the kettlebell with one hand and standing on one leg, on the same side you are grabbing the weight.
  2. Kettlebell Suitcase Deadlift: Involves holding a kb on either side of your body mimicking the movement pattern of barbell deadlift.
  3. One Arm Kettlebell Deadlift: Is similar to the basic kettlebell deadlift except that you perform it by holding the kb with one hand.
  4. Kettlebell Deadlift to High Pull: Combines a conventional kettlebell deadlift with a high-pull so that the kettlebells are raised to your sternum level at the end of the movement.

Alternative Exercises

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