….picked up from the Hardstyle Kettlebell Training workshop we hosted this past Saturday.
- More than goes into the swing than you think. If I was going to watch 10 people perform a swing, I’d bet eight out of them would be butchering the exercise. Watching a YouTube video or two would not be the suggested way to learn either because a lot of what you’re going to find on YouTube is crap. Get with a certified instructor or trainer who has been schooled in the mechanics of the swing.
- Done right, the swing should not stress your lower back, knees, elbows or shoulders. It’s not a squat. It’s a front raise. And it’s not a combination of those two. It’s a swing generated from your hips snapping forward. “Pop the hips”.
- Think of the swing just as your would think of doing a broad jump. Your hips should push back in order to explode forward.
- So my swings are pretty good. I understand the hips back, neutral spine concept. But my snatches are absolutely horrible. It’s going to take some time and practice to get those down. I was basically trying to snatch the kettlebell like I was trying to snatch a dumbbell, but there’s big differences between the two. The kettlebell snatch has much more of an arcing motion with just a flip of the wrist. There’s not much of a catch phase as there is in a dumbbell snatch.
- If you’re learning how to perform kettlebell snatches be ready to have your forearms banged up. And take off that nice watch of yours unless you’re in the market for a new one.
- The first place to start squatting with load should probably be the kettlebell goblet squat. A nice progression would be a kettlebell goblet squat to a barbell front squat to a barbell back squat.
- It’s nice to be able to get into a rock bottom squat. That is if you can maintain lordosis in that rock bottom position. Once your hips are about to round under you and your back is about to flatten out, that’s where you’re squat depth ends, especially under load. As nice as it sounds to get everyone to squat “ass to the grass”, it’s not so nice if you can’t your ass to the grass without rounding out at the bottom. If you’re having trouble getting appropriate depth before this occurs it’s time to clear up some mobility issues that could be occurring at the ankles or hips.
- My squat under load is much better than without any load. Why? My core stability kicks in under this loaded environment.
- If anyone tells you they than can hold a plank for two minutes, call “bulls***”.
- I thought my plank was alright, until I learned the Hardstyle version which teaches you to push the hells back. Doing so engages that entire core area a whole lot more.
- A nice teaching tool to learn the plank correctly is to lay a dowel lengthwise along the spine. The dowel should have three contact points: your head, your thoracic spine and your glutes. And the spaces that are created underneath the dowel should not change the entire duration of the plank.
A special thanks goes out to Mike Perry of Skill of Strength for showing us the finer points of some of the most basic kettlebell exercises. We look forward to having him back in the future.