Kettlebell seminar with Jonathan Moorehead
Who knew there was so much more to kettlebells than just the basic swing? And who knew the basic swing wasn’t so basic after all??
We started out addressing the swing. Specifically, how to pick up a kettlebell before you swing. Turns out, I’d been picking up my kettlebell in a most inefficient way. I would always deadlift the kettlebell up, then use a bunch of effort to get it swinging, once it was lifted up. That’s the inefficient way.
The efficient way is to get the swing started while you pick up the kettlebell. Safely.
1) Stand about a foot back from your kettlebell.
2) With back flat and strong, bend your knees and hinge from your hips, like a football center about to hike a ball.
3)Reach out for your kettlebell handle, and tip the kettlebell back toward you, like you’re tipping a glass of water.
4) Next, use your lats to “hike” the kettlebell back, swinging it between your legs.
5) Once you get this “hike” motion down, you can efficiently and easily transition directly from the “hike” up into your first KBS, saving you precious seconds and energy over the deadlift method. After all, every second counts!
Jonathon informed us all about Kettlebell sport, which he described as, “Being as lazy as possible while lifting weight.” 😀 Working with kettlebells is all about efficiency. If it’s possible to relax something while you’re working with kettlebells (your grip, your arms, your face), do it. (This is great advice for CrossFit in general!)
We moved from the swing onto overhead movements: press, push press, and jerk. How many of you, when you do these movements with a kettlebell, stick your elbow way out in front of you, like a barbell front rack position? Yeah, I did too. And we were wrong – that’s inefficient. Especially for the push press and jerk, when you want to transition as much power as possible from your lower body to the kettlebell. Instead, tuck your arm down onto your torso. (Some people can even tuck their elbow into their iliac crest.) Now, the power can seamlessly transition from your lower body, through your torso, to your arm, and to the kettlebell.
Now, onto the snatch. Raise your hand if you can’t seem to do kettlebell snatches without the agony of tender bruises on the back of your wrist. Ok, everyone, put your hands down. Ahem – you would’ve been taught exactly how to eliminate that issue if you’d been at the seminar (tsk tsk), but I’ll do my best to describe the process here.
First, become a master at the “hike” described above, except with one arm, and perfect your single-arm kettlebell swing.
1) “Hike” the kettlebell with one hand, and transition into a single-arm KBS
2) As you swing, make sure the momentum of the kettlebell goes UP, not out. This is important.
3) As the momentum of the kettlebell goes up, there will be a split second of weightlessness…
4) Quick as a magician, in this split second of upward weightlessness, transition your hand up and forward as if you’re slipping on a glove.
5) Boom. Painless kettlebell snatch.
Jonathon is a veritable gold mine of kettlebell knowledge. There is waaaay more to kettlebells than just swinging. If you’re having any issues whatsoever with your kettlebell game, hit up Jonathon on Instagram: @jonathanmoorehead