A rose by any other name…

Dead lift as the name of a task is clear. Pick up something from a dead state – 0% potential energy 100% inertia.Image

As a training tool the exercise is inspired by the task but there are lots of variations, prompting discussion of “the correct technique or the best technique” With so many variants available there cannot be a best way or a correct way to execute the movement.
There is a correct way to perform pieces of the intended lift such as the hip hinge. When a hip hinge is prescribed only hip movement (flexion and extension about the acetabulum and greater trochanter), not trunk or intervertebral movement, is expected and change in shoulder altitude should be due to the amount the hip is open or closed rather than how much the knee is.  
A dead lift may have greater or lesser amounts of hip hinge depending on the style – stiff legged has the most and perhaps sumo has the least. 

A Kettle bell swing as a task is simply the utilisation of a pendulum action about the shoulder to take a Kettle bell from a predetermined start point through an arbitrary range of motion to a predetermined finish position. 

As an exercise this too has many different expressions inspired by the task so when coaching the exercise ask yourself if the desired goal is to just do work or is it to create a specific capacity in a certain positions, those required by the hip hinge for example.

There are many interpretations of named exercises so rather than being concerned whether your gym’s or training system’s Kettlebell swing or dead lift technique is more “correct” than that taught at another ensure it does what you want it to do and don’t accept variations in your gym that dodge the intended stimulus.


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