Mash Up Your Kettlebell Movements to Challenge Mind and Body

Take two simple movements, put them together in a new way, and create the greatest bang for your buck when it comes to total body and mind engagement.

You can deadlift, and I bet you can clean. But can you put the two together while standing on one leg?

This may sound like the kettlebell equivalent of patting your head while rubbing your tummy, but the single-leg deadlift clean will always remain high on my list of favorite kettlebell movements for both fun and functionality.

The single-leg deadlift clean (SLDLC) combines a contra-laterally-loaded (more on that doozey in a moment) single-leg deadlift with a kettlebell clean. The combination produces a unique stimulus that provides the greatest “bang your for your buck” that I can think of for whole body and mind engagement.


The SLDLC demands that you engage your entire core. The contra-lateral (cross-body) loading between opposite side working arm and leg requires your inner core to stabilize and your lateral core (obliques, etc) to resist the twist.

The movement finishes as you drive through a single leg, forcing strong engagement in single glute and patterning that ever important triple extension. The SLDL is a unilateral movement that will simultaneously spotlight and correct side-to-side imbalances. The final, and perhaps most valuable aspect of the movement comes in the stability challenge. Simply standing or moving slowly on one foot provides a stability challenge. Add in a ballistic component followed by the requirement to catch and control an uneven, single-side load while standing on a fully-engaged, fully-locked out leg, and now you’re training high-level balance, stability, proprioception, and awareness. 

Check out this first video to hone in the finer points of the single-leg deadlift. Remember to:

  • Maintain a back flat and square shoulders
  • Stay active through your trailing leg to keep your hips square
  • Grip the ground with your toes

Now Add the Clean

Now you’re ready for the single-leg deadlift clean. Check out the video below and then give them a shot. They make a fun, effective, and efficient warm up. Only a few reps on each side will have your heart rate up, all the critical parts of your body awake and engaged, and your mind primed for complex movement!

How well are you able to move?

Grade Your Mobility With Kettlebell Overhead Squats