Thursday, July 21, 2011

Kettlebell Training - Part II

Most people who train with weights are training using the body building model. They do a lot of single joint non-functional exercises like the arm curl. As far as load, they usually they start with a weight they can lift between 8 and 10 reps for three sets, then they build up to doing 12 reps for 3 or more sets. At that point, they increase the weight.

Kettlebell training will be more familiar to people who do Olympic and Power lifting, because kettlebell training, at least at the basic level, uses variations of the same lifts. The main difference is that Kettlebells lifts are usually performed from a swing rather than from the ground, and usually they are performed one handed rather than two handed.

The basic kettlebell lifts are the following.
The swinging lifts:
  • The two handed swing - which has no Olympic or Power lifting equivalent
  • The one handed swing - which has no Olympic or Power lifting equivalent
  • The Clean 
  • The Snatch
The pushing lifts (usually practices in conjunction with cleans) :
  • The Press
  • The Push Press
  • The Jerk
Other common basic kettlebell skills, lifts and exercises:
  • The "rest" positions (unique to kettlebell lifting)
  • The overhead squat
  • The squat
  • The lung
  • The dead lift (one and two legs)
  • The jump squat.
  • The windmill
  • Turkish get-ups

These basic exercises only scratch the surface of kettlebell training. However, you should probably master all of these lifts prior to doing more advanced lifts. Below are some videos of some very advanced lifting.

Here are some Russian soldiers doing some advanced kettlebell lifts. Note in particular the lateral lifting movements. As an aside, I'm surprised that they were allowed to practice shirtless while in uniform, when I was in the American Army that would have ended with some severe disciplinary measures.

Here is some more kettlebell juggling.

I want to reiterate from my last post. If you are looking for a great place to train with kettlebells, and you live in the greater Boston area, check out my coach Josh Conway and his gym.

1001 Watertown Street, Rear (behind the CVS)
West Newton, MA 02465

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