The renaissance of Kettlebell training in the exercise industry is both a welcome reminder of the “iron game’s” simplistic past and an opportunity for professionals to implement basic, more purposeful training measures within the mainstream. While much of the industry is laden with foolish, if not unsound measures, Kettlebell training intuitively teaches a “total body” notion within resistance work.
That aside, Kettlebell training is not the panacea of training and is additionally gripped with training notions and methodologies that are heavy on marketing, light on substance. On the positive side, for users and training professionals, Kettlebells are fun, safe and arguably one of the best mediums to use in broad class environments. Whilst, that does not have the black t-shirt bravado that this business likes to hear, if it means the general-public makes a positive move towards improved health and resistance training, training professionals need to understand how to use them correctly.
The simplicity of the medium is that is a fixed weight medium that the most effective movements are compound. In this manner, the user derives the benefit from “total body” movements, where a significantly greater amount of muscle fibre are used than in the typical, isolationist exercises in most training environments. While there are certainly other mediums, such as medicine ball or bodyweight movements, can have similar benefits, the ease of compliance with Kettlebells is an enormous benefits.
The greatest roadblock in this training measure is proper technique, to which the vast majority fail to understand it is best conceptualized as a lower body driven tool. This is not an easy hurdle to cross but in essence, as a teacher, you must ensure your clients (or yourself) drives the weight, that is your hands, with movement initiated from the hips, glutes and hamstrings.
Once the user has learned how to properly generate power from the hips, through the thrusting action of the “Swing” and then later understand the acceptance of the weight, in the “Power Clean”, we are able to move into pushing actions. In this instance, we will look at one of the favoured lifts, whether Kettlebell or barbell, the Split Jerk.
While in all teaching environments, the Push Press and Push Jerk should be taught first, for a little dalliance into the future, let us look at the Split Jerk, which is arguably the finest “standard” lift for developing explosive power. This also allows us to work quickly into one of my favoured training “complexes” that many professional trainers use within their classes.
In the photos shown, after Power Cleaning “doubles” (top photo) the drive phase of the lift with a slight dipping of the knee's (photo number two) and then powerful thrust up with legs as if jumping, projecting the load upward as you simultaneously launch in the deep split lunge position and catch bells (photo number three). With bells locked firmly upright, the back leg drives forward to standing position, ensuring posture is perfect. As with other weights, there must be complete adherence to the Renegade Concepts of Training™.
There are obviously numerous issues with this lift for intermediate or advanced lifters as loading will not be sufficient once the legs are involved more but for casual users and the mainstream, this is a strong start.
prepared by John Davies
photos supplied from Renegade Training's "18E