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Accidentally Made Up But Highly Effective Exercises: KB SLRDL – Rack Position

by Meaghan posted September 22, 2016

So a funny thing happened on the way to the single-leg deadlift…

Let me start from the beginning. I was training a client a few weeks ago and one of the exercises in our first tri-set was a kettlebell single-leg RDL. The kettlebell was held in the hang position, as you normally see with this exercise.

At least that’s more or less what it’s supposed to look like. (Back to this in a second.) The kettlebell is held in the opposite-side hand as the working (stance) leg in order to minimize rotational forces, and the back remains straight as the movement comes from the hip.

So we finished those. A couple could’ve been more controlled and he reached a little too much with the bell but, all-in-all, not bad.

We moved on to our second tri-set, in which one of the exercises was a kettlebell reverse lunge. Same kettlebell, but we changed the position of it. For this movement, I had my client hold the bell in what’s referred to as the “rack” position.

KB reverse lunge


So we’re about to start our second set and he has a “client moment.” He places the kettlebell in the rack position and spaces out just long enough to begin doing the single-leg RDL instead of the lunge…

Now granted, with the weight he was using, it would have been a very difficult feat to complete a full rep without gravity pulling the bell out of the rack – so he got less than half way through a rep before he realized he was doing the wrong exercise. BUT, it was the BEST less-than-half of a SLRDL I’d ever seen him do!

You see, like many desk-bound clients, he’s pretty kyphotic (i.e., has hunched posture) and tends to struggle keeping his back flat. But one of the benefits of the rack position is that it really forces the core to fire up, hence assisting with upright posture. Needless to say, a light bulb went off in my head.



We tried the KB SLRDL with a LIGHTER bell in the rack position again and, lo and behold, it worked FAR better than any of my verbal or tactile cues ever had.



Who would’ve thought? Certainly not me, but I’m glad my client (sort of) did!

Has anyone else ever tried this exercise?? If anyone has, I figure it’s probably Dan John. Perhaps I’ll ask him this weekend when he comes to Focus to present!

Stay tuned for the recap.

Filed under: exercise instruction, exercise programs, strength training, workout tips

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