Fitness tip - Banded distraction kettlebell RDL

Fitness tip - Banded distraction kettlebell RDL

by Evigan Xiao 27 Jan 2020

When it comes to exercises that are simple yet efficient, few can compare to the deadlift. Despite this truth however, it is not uncommon to see people being met with frustration when it comes to learning this movement. Years of prolonged sitting and other sedentary behaviour can make it difficult to perform what should be a very basic movement pattern.


The most prevalent issue with most trainees who are new to exercise is the inability to perform a proper hip hinge. Be it due to leg dominance, poor proprioception or tight hip muscles, the inability to hip hinge is a serious roadblock in the learning process. If soft tissue work fails to create any measure of progress, then engaging in movement drills would be the next logical step.


Location and equipment courtesy of TripleFit


Banded distractions are a great way to mobilise uncooperative joints; coupling it with kettlebell RDLs turns it into a different kind of animal. Adding the band pulls your hips forward, which makes the act of hinging at the hips much easier to achieve as it becomes a means to counteract this external force. The science behind this is simple: you are able to channel more force towards a certain direction when there is another force compelling you to act in the opposite direction.


Start by looping a light resistance band around a post, positioning it at about shin-height. This will prevent the band from sliding up the kettlebell and lodging itself on your wrists. Once you’ve looped the other end of the band around the handle of the kettlebell, take a few steps back to create tension in the band. What you’re looking for is just enough tension for you to feel yourself being tugged forward, but not off-balance. From here, keep your lats engaged as you slide your hips back and lower the kettlebell, then raise it back up to its starting position.


Greater loads can be used with the kettlebell but this might necessitate the use of a heavier band. Since the idea of this exercise is to teach the proper mechanics of a hip hinge, going past a certain threshold in load will likely result in diminishing returns. Start slow and work on refining technique before increasing the number of repetitions per set. When it comes to refining movement, employing a greater number of sets can help with skill acquisition, so going with six to ten sets can be beneficial for first-timers. Get your basics done right and you’ll be setting PRs before you know it!