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 →
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 →
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.
Since working with my coach Denis Vasilev when he came in San Diego in October, I’ve changed up my Snatch technique. While I have been snatching kettlebells since 2011, I’ve always hit a road block when it comes to the 20kg bell and above. I’ve competed with 20kg and 24kg, and have never hit a number even close to what I believe my true potential is. While I have made many changes to my technique over the past five years, I think I’ve FINALLY made the changes that will allow me to reach my potential over the next couple years. Continue reading →
If you’ve ever attended a Kettlebell Sport competition, you will notice that everyone’s technique varies – almost as if they are using a totally different technique to do the same lift. While there are stylistic differences in how each person lifts, in general the basic biomechanics of the lift always remain the same.
The kettlebell snatch is the most technically challenging of the GS lifts, as well as the lift that varies the most between athletes. In the following video, Ketacademy Master Coach and Texas Kettlebell Academy owner Aaron Vyvial describes two variations in kettlebell snatch technique that are aesthetically different, but maintain the same biomechanical principles.
The goal of Kettlebell Sport technique is to use gravity, weight shifting, breathing, and proper timing to move the kettlebells as efficiently as possible, so that you can complete as many repetitions as possible. In order to incorporate these four elements into your lifting, you must learn to relax – at the appropriate times. Continue reading →