As we all know, kettlebell lifting can wreak havoc on your hands. I, for one, often feel self-conscious giving people a high five because of the blood blisters, callouses, or giant patches of dry skin on my hands. In some gym cultures, ripping your hand is a glorified battle wound that shows you gave your all in a workout. In the kettlebell world, ripping your hand totally sucks because it means your technique was off and/or you might not be able to train tomorrow.
Even if you don’t particularly care what your hands look like, there are several factors to keep in mind if you want to lift consistently without tearing up your hands.
When a kettlebell lifter laments to me about the huge imbalance between their left and right sides, my typical response is to chuckle and say, “Welcome to the club!”. That’s not to undermine their frustration, but to make them realize that being uneven is normal and not the end of the world.
Of course being uneven is not something to write off as unimportant, because an imbalance in repetitions can lead to an imbalance in the body, which is the recipe for an injury. Addressing the imbalance is crucial, but it’s also completely okay if your left and right side are not EXACTLY the same. From a competitive standpoint, improving your weaker side is a no brainer as it will lead to more repetitions and thus a higher score!
(But I still think it’s funny how everyone seems to think they are MORE uneven than everyone else.)Continue reading →
As a personal trainer and kettlebell coach, something I do almost daily is program workout routines. Some days I’m more motivated to come up with something new than others, so I have a few go-to rep / time schemes when I’m not feeling particularly creative.
Here are a few examples:
10 reps per side x 3 sets.
1 min on, 1 min off x 4-10 sets.
50-40-30-20-10 reps 1x through using varying exercises.
1 min, 2 min, 3 min, 2 min, 1 min with 3 min rest between sets.
5-4-3-2-1 reps per side without setting the kettlebell down until you get to 1.
20 sec work, 10 sec rest x 4-8 sets.
10 to 1 rep scheme, as featured in this week’s workout:
Kettlebell Sport is first and foremost an endurance sport, not a strength sport. Beginners often confuse the two and move up in weight too quickly, without realizing that it takes months for your joints, tendons, and ligaments to adapt to being under load for such a long period of time (compared to the few seconds spent under load in any other weightlifting sport). Unfortunately, this often leads to an overuse injury.
Beginners can avoid overuse injuries and prep their joints and tissues more effectively by incorporating isometric drills into their training, i.e. overhead hold, rack hold, farmer walk. These drills will build stability and strength, as well as teach the lifter how to relax in the rest positions. Continue reading →
The Jerk is an amazing way to work on your leg power!
Today’s workout incorporates 3 sets of double kettlebell jerks, broken up by a minute of active recovery with one of my favorite simple movement flows.
Most of my workout videos don’t tell you what kettlebell weight to use, however, I will usually give you guidance in terms of a pace. For today’s workout, select a kettlebell weight you can maintain a pace of 12-14 jerk repetitions per minute for each set. As always, be sure you can execute good technique at the weight you are lifting.
“Slow snatch” = 5 second hold at the bottom, 5 second hold at the top every repetition
We are getting Kettlebell Sport specific today. That means, training the kettlebell snatch for endurance! If you’ve never done a 10 minute snatch set, a “slow snatch” set is the perfect way to start. If you HAVE done a 10 minute snatch set before, a “slow snatch” set is the perfect way to test a heavier weight than you normally lift.
And if you hate snatching slow, guess what? You get to sprint it out with some speed snatches at the end of the workout. Plus I threw some farmer walks in there for good measure to make sure your forearms are totally smoked!
Besides being essential to staying alive, breathing plays an incredibly important role in movement. With relation to the kettlebell snatch, utilizing the proper anatomical breathing pattern will help you keep the right posture, relax, and prevent grip fatigue.
If you missed the first and second videos in this series on the kettlebell snatch drop, click here and here.