3. Neutral thumb, which distributes stress more equally along the grip, arms, and shoulders. Next, keep the shoulders back and chest lifted as if you are going to do a deadlift, and as you begin to stand, swing the kettlebell between your legs (see figure 6.10 c ). When the swing reaches its end point behind you, stand up completely, extending the ankles, knees, hips, and torso (see figure 6.10 d ). Sustain this pendulum swing through the duration of the set. When performing this exercise, use one or two cycles of anatomical breathing (a cycle is defined as one exhalation and one inhalation). There are two variations you can use: Exhale at the back of the downswing and inhale during the upswing (one breath cycle), or exhale at the back of the downswing, inhale, exhale as the kettlebell transitions from the horizontal to the vertical plane at the top of the forward swing, and inhale as the kettlebell drops again preced- ing the next backswing (two breath cycles for every one swing). Key Principles • The pendulum is a perfect analogy for a good kettlebell swing because it relies upon mechanical energy conservation in order to sustain the movement indefinitely. Swinging the kettlebell this way creates a more momentum-based movement, which allows for greater work capacity in addition to less stress on the lower back and grip via efficient deceleration of the bell during the downswing. • Maximize the connection between the arm and torso on the upswing, ensuring optimal power transfer from the lower body to the kettlebell. • Relax the arm completely and visualize it as a rope that starts at the base of the neck and ends at the fingertips. • Deflect back via the hips at the top of the upswing to counterbalance the weight in front of the body and as a catalyst to complete hip extension. Maintain deflection as you drop the kettlebell into the downswing until you feel the triceps come into contact with the rib cage. At that point, softly absorb the downward force with a slight bend of the knees and ankles and then crease the hips into the pendulum spring mechanics. (continued)
84 Kettlebell Training Common error Error correction No connection between the arm and the hip and torso on the upswing Use two fingers on the upper arm. If you have a coach or are coaching someone, the verbal cue “Stay connected” is helpful. Also use a mini resistance band around the swinging arm and the body, which will hold the arm against the body. Lack of deflection on the upswing and while dropping the kettlebell into the downswing If you have a coach or are coaching someone, the verbal cue “Deflect back!” is helpful. It is also helpful to swing in front of an object (e.g., wall, mat) at arm’s length; if you don’t deflect back, you will hit the object.
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- Spring '16
- strength training, Physical exercise, kettlebells