If you are an experienced CrossFit veteran, you are probably familiar with those kettlebell swings and deadlifts. Both can be useful in the right situation, but which one is better?
In this post, we will review kettlebell swings vs deadlifts in detail. A few overarching points to keep in mind include:
- If you are new to weightlifting, then you may want to start with kettlebell swings. They are much easier to learn.
- If your goal is to increase bone mineral density and build muscle mass, then you should perform deadlifts. They are much better for increasing your strength and power.
- Deadlifts and kettlebell swings have a lot of overlap in the muscles they work. They both work your legs and core. Kettlebell swings work your shoulders and chest more than deadlifts.
How To Perform A Kettlebell Swing
First, you need to know how to properly perform a kettlebell swing. The steps involved in performing a kettlebell swing include:
- Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Place the kettlebell approximately one to two feet in front of you.
- Pick up the kettlebell with both hands. Bring it back between your legs in a slow, controlled manner.
- Once the kettlebell is all the way back behind you, fire your glutes. Drive your hips forward.
- Use the momentum of the swing to bring the kettlebell up to chest height.
- Once the kettlebell is at chest level, contract your core and upper body.
- Bring the kettlebell back to the original starting point before doing another repetition.
A kettlebell swing is a great workout because it works nearly the entire body. You will work your arms, legs, and core with each repetition.
You can take a look at a video of someone performing a kettlebell swing here.
How To Perform A Deadlift
A deadlift is a great exercise that can help you build muscle and burn fat; however, you need to make sure you know how to do it properly.
The steps in performing a deadlift include:
- Start by standing up with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Grasp the bar with your hands. It should already be loaded with your weight.
- You should position your hands on the bar just outside of your feet.
- Then, lift by driving forward with your hips. Make sure your back is flat. You do not want to lift with your back.
- Once you get the bar off the ground, begin the process of lowering it.
- Do not drop the bar. Make sure you are under control.
- Once the bar is back to its original starting point, you can perform another repetition.
A deadlift is one of the most basic lists; however, you still need to focus on your form to get the most out of every repetition.
You can take a look at someone performing a deadlift here.
What Makes A Kettlebell Swing Better?
So, what are some of the biggest reasons why a kettlebell swing might be better than a deadlift? A few of the biggest benefits of performing kettlebell swings regularly include:
- Kettlebell swings are better than deadlifts because they are easier for beginners to perform. You can start with a relatively lightweight, the motion is fluid, and you have a lower chance of getting hurt. For these reasons, kettlebell swings are usually better for beginners.
- You also need less equipment to perform a kettlebell swing. You don’t have to worry about long bars and heavy plates. You simply need to have a high quality kettlebell with a handle on it.
- Kettlebell swings also work a wider variety of muscles. Even though there is a lot of overlap between kettlebell swings and deadlifts, kettlebell swings also work your shoulders, chest, and arms. Deadlifts do not hit these muscles as much as kettlebell swings.
- Kettlebell swings are also far more dynamic. What this means is that you will probably get your heart rate higher, your oxygen level up, and your blood flowing more. This means that you will feel more invigorated, not necessarily depleted, when you are done with your kettlebell swings.
These are a few of the many reasons why kettlebell swings might be better than deadlifts. On the other hand, deadlifts have their own benefits as well.
What Makes A Deadlift Better?
If you perform deadlifts regularly, there are several benefits you may experience. These include:
- Deadlifts are much better than kettlebell swings for your bone mineral density. Because you are lifting such a heavy weight, you’ll place more mechanical load on your legs. This will stimulate your bones to get stronger, increasing your bone density. This can reduce your chances of developing a bone fracture.
- Deadlifts are also better for building muscle mass. If your goal is to build more lean muscle, then deadlifts are one of the best ways to do so.
- You don’t need to worry about maximizing the range of motion of your shoulders. With a deadlift, you will simply lift the bar off the ground before returning it to the floor. You don’t have to worry about swinging the equipment up to the level of your chest or shoulders.
- Deadlifts are much better for increasing your power. If your goal is to jump higher off the ground, then you should perform deadlifts regularly.
There are numerous benefits of performing deadlifts. You need to make sure you perform them properly to avoid injury, but this is a great way to build muscle mass.
Who Should Do Kettlebell Swings?
If you are new to weightlifting, you may want to start with kettlebell swings. Put simply, they’re easier to learn than deadlifts.
You should also opt for kettlebell swings if you are looking for an exercise that requires minimal equipment. It is much easier to store kettlebells than it is to store a barbell and heavy plates.
Finally, if you are looking for an exercise that can increase your agility and range of motion, then kettlebell swings are the better option.
Who Should Do Deadlifts?
If you are an experienced weightlifter, then deadlifts might be better for you. This is a great option if you are looking to build muscle mass.
Or, if you want to increase your jumping power, then deadlifts might be a more focused and effective functional workout for you.
Finally, if you are looking for an exercise that can boost your bone mineral density, then you should consider performing deadlifts regularly.
Find The Right Exercise For Your Needs
Ultimately, both kettlebell swings and deadlifts can be helpful in the right situation. Kettlebell swings are better for beginners because they use lighter weights and do not require as much equipment.
Deadlifts are better for experienced weightlifters who are looking to increase bone mineral density and jumping power. You are more likely to get hurt doing a deadlift than a kettlebell swing, so it is important for you to focus on proper technique.
Consider the benefits and drawbacks of each exercise before deciding which one is right for you.