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Kettlebell Moves: 1-Leg Deadlift

Once you’ve had your fill of the 1-leg deadlift, check out my kettlebell moves page for a lot more kettlebell exercises!


  • Back
  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Quadriceps
  • Forearms
  • Core

Always work on all aspects of fitness. In addition to strength and cardiovascular, there is also coordination, balance, and flexibility. The kettlebell 1-leg deadlift is an exercise that recruits every one of these fitness components!

This exercise is much harder than it looks and requires concentration and focus, as well as solid core engagement.

1-Leg Deadlift

  1. Begin with the kettlebell just beyond the toes of the foot that will be your base.
  2. Hinge at the hips while you lean forward and extend the other leg behind you.
  3. Grab the handle of the kettlebell with both hands, and lock the shoulders into their sockets. If you imagine breaking the handle of the kettlebell in half, you’ll get enough external rotation of the arms to firmly root your shoulders.
  4. Engage your abdominals. Squeeze those muscles as if you’re bracing for a punch to the belly.
  5. Keep the back leg in alignment with your straight spine as you hinge upright to a standing position.
  6. Tap the extended leg to the floor if you need to in order to maintain balance.
  7. Keep the engagement in the shoulders and belly as you reverse the movement back to the starting position.

1-leg deadlift


Work to keep the chest and hips squared to the floor. Think about pointing the pinky toe of the extended leg straight down.

If you begin to lose balance, lower the back leg to the floor, but maintain position with the upper body.

Don’t round out the spine at any time!

Start with a lighter weight, and work your way up as you become more comfortable with the movement. You’ll use a lighter weight than you normally would with other deadlift exercises.

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