Monday, April 27, 2009

Some Kettlebell Basics

Today I'm throwing out some kettlebell basics. This is a video of yours truly performing some very basic Kettlebell exercises. Kettlebells are great for the training affect you can get from them and versatility of how you can use them. 

First is the High Pull, then Cleans, and last is called a snatch. 

Notice the way the kettlebell travels back between the legs eccentrically (muscle lengthening) loading the hips and how you'd need to produce force in the opposite direction concentrically (muscle shortening) to overcome this. Perfect for corrective exercise and speed and strength development. Especially of the musculature through the core, which should include the hips, and the development of the posterior chain (low back, glutes, hamstrings).

I've written about the benefits of training the hips and the rest of the posterior chain before. But as far as tools to use this may be the most beneficial when it comes to hip and back health and posterior chain development. When I see an athlete performing a swing I see a ton of glute function, I see him/her building stability of the entire back but especially through the low back, I see the feet having to grip the ground, I see grip strength building through the hands as well, and I see a strong development of movement that they will actually use everyday as well as in competition.  

I usually explain it in terms of jumping. When you watch the profile of an athlete jumping, especially during broad jumps, their arm action and hip action is incredibly similar to the swing. Coincidence? Not even close. 

This type of movement is unlike the affect you can experience with a barbell or even a dumbbell. The offset center of gravity being lower than your hand allows you to perform exercises differently than these other devices. Not that barbells are dumbbells don't have their place. They most certainly do, and they are used in almost every program I write, but so are the good old KB's and anything else that will be effective and useful. 

I'll get some more information on how to make these tools more versatile in the future and how you can incorporate them to get more specific to your goals. Until then thanks for reading. 


  1. Great post. Are those 18 kg? You sally :)

  2. Thanks. I think I may just make the kettlebells look small due to my size.