Deadlifts and Kettlebell Swings are both FANTASTIC compound exercises.

However, in my experience I've found these exercises are frequently done incorrectly (with low back pain and/or intervertebral disc issues as a result).

There’s a natural tendency to pull with your back rather than generating the force from your hips. Both the hip-hinge and maintenance of a neutral low back can be tough to teach / learn (understandably so).

Without paying for a trainer (which can be costly) - what's the best way to teach someone to deadlift correctly (and "self-verify" they're being done correctly)?


2 Answers 2


Self-verification of a trainee's movement execution may be difficult or nearly impossible, especially if that trainee is unathletic. If a coach is absent then the next best -- though not necessarily sufficient -- option available to the trainee is self-made videos of the movement, reviewed immediately thereafter (for example, after a set of deadlifts).

Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training details five steps that a trainee can use to teach herself to deadlift, as well as symptoms of common movement errors and how to correct such errors. You can use these steps to teach someone to deadlift correctly.

The Aasgaard Company has published several videos of trainees being taught/coached to deadlift.


I think the deadlift is easier than the kb swing because a deadlift is rather static. You get in the right neutral back position and then maintain it as you lift. The kb swing is a dynamic / ballistic movement similar to a barbell clean or a baseball throw: it's hard to stop in the middle and correct something. People tend to learn dynamic movements in little pieces, focusing on them one at a time until all the key areas are dialed in.

Specifically answering your question, I think a good text and a cell phone video recorder is the key. Something like Starting Strength or the instructions on StrongLifts 5x5 give you the pointers, and video recording from angles (particularly from the side) allows you to critique yourself and put that video online for others to comment on.

Form and critique videos are on topic here on fitness.stackexchange.com.

Particular to KB swings, there are the Russian hip-hinge and the more drop-squat style, so back on the topic of authoritative texts someone would need to understand those differences and pick which one they think is most applicable to them.

  • Wow, similar answers, seconds apart... :-) Jul 5, 2017 at 20:36
  • Yeah, just noticed that. Great minds thinking alike!
    – Eric
    Jul 5, 2017 at 20:37

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