Kettlebell Clinic Session #1 Recap and Schedule Update

  • When:05/17/2014
  • QIC: Byron
  • The PAX: 35 of the South's finest

Kettlebell Clinic Session #1 Recap and Schedule Update

35 men and many more kettlebells attended our KB clinic at The Rock on 5/17 at 0600.

Here is a recap of the drills, but first a quick update that we will NOT meet this Saturday due to a big response that many of you will be out of town for Memorial Day weekend.  We will push Sessions #2 and #3 to the following two weeks.

Session Focus – Swings and Get-ups.  Each teaching point below were followed by 10 swings by the Pax to nail down the point.

* 10 swings to assess current technique.
* Go Heels! – at this point, weight should be focused on the heel of the foot to properly activate the posterior chain. Stance is similar to a good squat stance.
* Perform 10 KB deadlifts to emphasize that the range of motion for a squat or traditional deadlift is significantly more than the swing.  Still focus on the heels and don’t engage the shoulders.
* Romanian deadlift – 10 reps to make sure we can feel our hamstrings.  They are part of the driving mechanism for a good swing.
* Posture – (carry over point from the RDL)…”A long spine is a strong spine”.  Once the spine flexes, the hamstring disengages.
* “Hips drive…arms guide” – enough said.
* Size does matter – If a bell is not heavy enough for ballistic movments, a myriad of problems can occur, so we upsized for 10 swings.
* Swing is a lower body driven movement – relax your arms!
* Towel swings – thanks to Tiger Rag for his rags.  We looped a towel around the handle so that the arms were eliminated from creating the force.
* Slingshot analogy – shins = “Y” of a slingshot, hamstrings = bands coming off the “Y”; butt = piece of leather that holds the stone.  Load your hamstrings and fire your glutes!
* Russian vs. American swings – how high is the bell going…Russian stays chest to head; American goes overhead.  Focus for today was the Russian style, so we explored with waist, chest, and head height swings.
* Single -arm – same set-up just harder on grip and core.
* Alternating single-arm – rotate the bell 90 degrees and put your palms together at the point of zero gravity (top of the swing) to transfer the bell to the other hand.

There were a couple of other teaching points, but we ran out of time to explore.  Next session, will start with a recap of this info and we will add those points in for just a few minutes.

For the last 15 minutes, we moseyed to the grassy knoll for Turkish Get-up 101.

* Lay down with a bell by your shoulder.
* Roll over to insert your hand into the handle (brief description on grip followed).  Press the bell with your bones from shoulder to hand stacked perpendicular to the ground.  The arm stays perpendicular to the ground throughout the rest of the movement.
* Bend the leg on the same side as the bell and stabilize with your non-pressing arm.
* Roll onto the non-pressing elbow, then pop to your hand.  Now you are sitting with the bell overhead, and your hand and opposite heel down.  Other leg is straight.* Now you have to “James Brown” it…take it to the bridge! Use the hand and heel to bridge your hips off the ground and “clear” the other leg back to the hand on the ground.
* Bend that knee and put it on the ground. Now you are in a lunge position with the bell still perpendicular to the ground.  Clean-up your lunge position and drive off the front leg to a standing position.  That’s half of one rep!
* Put everything in reverse and return to the lying position on the ground (I’m tired of typing, so if you can’t figure it out, don’t miss next time or Youtube it)
* We did 3 reps on each side, and emphasized each step.

Resources:  As I mentioned, there are many kettlebell coaches much smarter than me that I highly recommend you check out if you really want to master this amazing implement.  Here are the guys I mentioned – Pavel Tsatsouline, Geoff Neupert, Steve Cotter, Jeff Martone, and Steve Maxwell.

Next session – Swing quick review, how to transition the bell to the rack position, explore with cleans and snatches, more Turkish Get-up time!

Thank you everyone for your attendance and feedback!  Please comment below if you have other questions or you can email me directly –

*No class next week due to Memorial Day celebrations – instead you should find a veteran, hug them, thank them, then show them how to swing a bell if you want.

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9 years ago

Thanks for doing this Byron. That was a really good training session.

Drop Thrill
9 years ago

Horse now you know what I have to deal with Tuesday and Thursday nights. lol

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