American Kettlebell Swing
No different than the Russian swing aside from the range of motion. While some shiver at the idea of not doing a snatch instead this does help athletes learn how to generate more power from the hip along with more demand on decelerating the weight. It can also be a great option for those that may need to sub out a kettlebell snatch due to shoulder stability issues.
Deadlift from blocks
Pulling from the blocks provides us with simply limiting our range of motion to an appropriate place for an individual. Loading can still be introduced while not risking poor mechanics with increased range of motion. For some, they can also be a great way to train through weak spots in the pull on their deadlift.
Believe it or not some may PREFER pulling from a deficit. While limiting loading due to a larger range of motion this can help some athletes feel more “engaged”. This is typically the case for those that have a tendency to over extend in their low back when setting up for pulling off the floor.
Good Morning Hold
The addition of simply having a PVC or empty bar on our back adds in the demand for posterior chain strength and hip stability. This is also an excellent tool to help people understand terminology that you may use when it comes to a “flat” or “round” back and how to recover that position.
Light loading with this can be an excellent way to teach hinge mechanics that apply to any deadlift, kettlebell swing, and a variety of the Olympic lifts or their variations. With additional weight these can be incredibly challenging on the midline due to the large lever arm created by bar position. Increasing strength here can lead to breakthroughs in other lifts like your squat and deadlift.
Kettlebell or Dumbbell Clean
This is generally a shooter range of motion but with the addition of a weight in both hands we can see significant increases in lading. Kettlebells often provide a more true representation of hip drive while dumbbells can lead to a tendency to curl the weight. BOTH have benefits and dumbbells are often easier to teach for beginner athletes.
Kettlebell or Dumbbell Snatch
The increase of range of motion will require more hip drive and you may even see some rotational movement with the kettlebell in this movement. Due to a more “stacked” position overhead this could be a great option for a substitute with the snatch for those that can’t utilize a wider grip.
The same truths as our muscle clean are true with the muscle snatch. Bar path, hip contact, and now adding in the element of turn over with the barbell are keys here. This can be a great movement for those learning the snatch or more experienced athletes needing to develop more strength while turning over the barbell.
The addition of dropping under the barbell, with potentially significant loading, shows the need for deceleration. These are excellent for producing power and often a great option for youth athletes from a hang variation since there is less complexity than generally any other Olympic lift.
Much like the power clean our need for deceleration is added here. It’s likely less than our clean though but the addition of shoulder stability comes into play. Turn over and foot position are important to the success of the lift and may help those struggling with this phase of the movement for the full snatch.
Reverse Plank hold
This movement requires hamstring, glute, low back, and even shoulder stability. It’s simple approach is a great way to keep athletes in a generally safe environment, see what their general strength, and even stamina is when it comes to posterior chain strength. It’s also an easy movement to implement with limited equipment or in a large group atmosphere.
Starting from the top of the movement can be an excellent teaching tool for truly setting ourselves up for success when it comes to lowering weight. The mechanics are the same as the good morning but with the weight in our hands and shorter lever arm created with the barbell placement it allows for significantly more loading.
Single leg kb/db/bb/landmine rdl
Depending on the object and which hand is holding the weight you can work varying degrees of difficulty with the single leg variation of the RDL. This single leg movement offers a lower barrier to entry than some of the other movements you would see like a reverse foot elevated lunge.
Snatch grip deadlift
Of course we know that this will increase strength and confidence in the snatch. Particularly the pull off the floor where most of the deviations can occur. Upper back engagement is key here and the added challenge which with naturally limit the loading compared to other deadlift variations.
This is often referred to as the most “technical lift in the world”, and for good reason. Jumping a bar up from the floor and landing in a squat with it overhead is no joke. There is a time and place for it for some athletes but others may be able to find the benefits of explosive power in other Olympic lifting movements. Loading will also generally be less than our squat clean.
Sumo Deadlift Hold
We are still working a hinge pattern here but with a wider stance it allows a more upright torso. For some this will be an easier position to achieve and could help them “feel” more engagement in their glutes. The wider stance can also be an excellent accommodation for those with hip impingement issues, obesity, or even the pregnant mama still training.
For many the more upright torso allows for more substantial loads to be lifted off the floor. There is also a shorter range of motion the bar is required to travel which can help with increased weight compared to our traditional deadlift. Again, this is often preference from athlete to athlete.
The true hinge pattern pull off the floor. This is the fundamental pulling movement that everyone needs to develop for any barbell movement coming off the floor. For some this will feel stronger than a sumo deadlift but it ultimately depends on body mechanics and where you feel strongest.
Trap Bar Deadlift
This variation allows the least lever arm produced in relationship with our midline. The trap bar allows us to center the loading with ourselves providing a true vertical pull with no concern of bar path around the knees. Depending on the bar you may also see a more upright torso present. This can be a great tool for those getting back to deadlift after any back issues.