T Nation

Mixing In Kettlebells?

The “Russian Ketllebell Chalenge” thread has sparked up some interesting discusion.

For the guys who train with KB’s:
How do you incorporate them into your training?

I get the impression that most KB users on this sight also train with Barbells an Dumbells.

I got them for when I was in remote locations not near a gym and they were great before the gyms were set up overseas to the degree they are today.
I currently use them to train at home for high intesity training alternating some cleans, jerks, and presses with jumping rope or running a quick lap around the block.

They are definetly not the end all fitness tool but definetly add a little fun to training for me.

I, too, have the Russian Kettlebell Challenge book and video.

I am once again using Renegade Training. Kbells are used as part of the warm-up each day and during “active rest” days.

This is a pretty simple warm-up:

Kbell 2-hand swings x 15-25
Kbell one-arm clean x 3-8
Kbell 1-hand swings x 10-15

Rest 45 seconds. Repeat circuit 3x.

I do this warm-up Mon, Wed, Fri. The only thing different each day is the second exercise. Cleans on Monday, Jerks on Wednesday and Snatches on Friday. I follow this with some rope work, then weights, then GPP, and abs.

Active rest days consist of 2 sets of 2-hand swings for 15 reps along with some rope work and ab work.

I’ve done Kbell-only workouts in the past. I had more shoulder pain than ever before and lost size and strength. They are a useful tool, but I prefer using them as a part of my training. Not the whole workout.

Word.

I use them for swings; just pick up the 70 pounder and do sets of 20-30 to overhead. Excellent posterior chain exercise.

One of my shoulders is slightly injured, and I will be using KB windmills, incline presses, and overhead presses to rehab my pressing strength; the kb seems to aggravate my shoulder less than a dumbbell.

[quote]Ross Hunt wrote:
I use them for swings; just pick up the 70 pounder and do sets of 20-30 to overhead. Excellent posterior chain exercise.

One of my shoulders is slightly injured, and I will be using KB windmills, incline presses, and overhead presses to rehab my pressing strength; the kb seems to aggravate my shoulder less than a dumbbell.[/quote]

You can use Turkish-get-ups also. You don’t even have to do the whole move, just progress far enough to where you swing your leg through then hold for a second and reverse. The stability it creates is great.

One other pointer is be sure to “suck the shoulder in” with your lat. This create even more stability and protects the shoulder. Tension is key, even at the top of your cleans (w/ a KB)the lat should be flexed hard to protect the shoulder and create stability.

Personally I use my KBs everyday. I have pairs from 9kg up to 40kg and a single 48kg. But I also have rings, a squat rack, 4 oly bars, chinning bar sledges and a tractor tire. What do I use more than anything else…the KBs. My goals are similar to Nate’s and the KBs are great for that.

To the original poster:
Stop over thinking. If you want to incorporate KBs into your workout, do it. There is no right or wrong way to do it. After your regular workout, do 5 sets of high rep snatches or swing or cleans. It doesn’t matter, just use them. I have had great workouts using just dead lifts, pull ups and high rep snatches. (Keep in mind being huge is not my goal, I have weight classes to stay with in. Strength endurance and conditioning is where its at for my sport, and most really).

Other great DVDs
Steve Cotters stuff is great. I have NOT seen the encyclopedia, but I do own both Full KOntact DVDs. I also met and chatted with him at the RKC. He’s an amazing guy.

Check Steve Maxwell’s stuff too. Another amazing guy. An Mahler is great too.

I rigged up a 40 pound KB earlier this morning and tried some Clean and Jerks…Ouch.

They bang-up my fore arms like a Motherf***r!

Is this something that gets better with practice?

FTR I am using plate loaded KB handles so the dimensions are different than a cast iron KB.

[quote]Dirty Tiger wrote:
They bang-up my fore arms like a Motherf***r!

Is this something that gets better with practice?

FTR I am using plate loaded KB handles so the dimensions are different than a cast iron KB.[/quote]

With practice, yes. It will get better.

Also, plate-loaded kbells may hit you differently than the regular kbells. That could make a difference too.

Learn the right form, and you shouldn’t have much smacking on the wrist and forearms.

Dirty,

Where are you in Colorado? I’m an RKC, and I would look at your form if you wanted.

Dan “punch up” McVicker

[quote]Dan McVicker wrote:
Dirty,

Where are you in Colorado? I’m an RKC, and I would look at your form if you wanted.

Dan “punch up” McVicker[/quote]

I agree. Go see Dan. When I first got my KB I was banging up my forearm something fierce. At the time, a few of us, Dan included, were meeting at a local park to mess around with KBs. Someone showed me how to “roll” the KB around my arm, rather than just flipping it over, and I saw instant improvement.

BTW - A plate loader will always be a little rougher than a cast KB - that’s just how it is. But learning good technique will go a long way to minimizing discomfort even with a plate loader.

I don’t know about the plate loaded. The clean can be a little tricky. Many people pull too hard when they are first learning it, the bell flipps and hit the forearm. Finese the bell into the catch. And don’t pull with your arm, the movement should come from only hip snap.

Keep working the basic 2 arm swing until your have the snap down. At the top of the swing the quads should be contartacted, butt tight, hips turned under and abs tight (as if you’re about to take a punch) the shoulder(s) should also be retracted, sucked into the socket. I can already see people roling their eyes, but all this really does make a difference and protects the back and shoulder. Once you can do it with two hands and are confident you are doing it correctly, do them with one hand. Then try the clean.

The top of the clean is the same as the swing. Everything tight, this time, when you catch your clean flex your lat too.

hope that helps.

[quote]Dan McVicker wrote:
Dirty,

Where are you in Colorado? I’m an RKC, and I would look at your form if you wanted.

Dan “punch up” McVicker[/quote]

Dan will iterate many of the things I wrote, but nothing beats face time with an instructor. I had many small things corrected at the cert, it made all the difference.

Dan made a good point. Punch up. This is a cue used a lot in KB training. It will help too when you try to learn to snatch the bell. Along with corkscrew.

I am in Cortez. Where are you guys.

Any of you guys use them for “strongman cardio”? Periodically, I do snatches for 5 min. Just for a little fun.
Will42

Dirty Tiger is that you Ryan?
Anyway most people try to clean the KB like a barbell which is usually the reason they slam the forearm.The KB clean is is a bit diffrent.As mentioned the corkscrew technique when you swing the KB between your legs the thumb should be facing to the back of you then twists to the outside on the way up and the KB gently drops on your bicep and forearm with your elbow out.Then reverse the motion on the way down and come back up the same way.It’s hard to picture it and if you have someone show you you’ll probably get it down in a few minutes.

[quote]BJBliffert wrote:

To the original poster:
Stop over thinking. If you want to incorporate KBs into your workout, do it. There is no right or wrong way to do it. After your regular workout, do 5 sets of high rep snatches or swing or cleans. It doesn’t matter, just use them.
[/quote]

I don’t know about there not being a wrong way. I think carefully planning where to put them into a program is very important.

Some coaches that I work with have actually tried to incorporate them in an EDT style of training. It seems to work very well.

The exercises they use are swings, snatches, cleans, Russian Military Press (on the Russian KB Challenge DVD) and Turkish Get-ups.

Just whacking them in and not giving it much thought could set you back a while with injury.

[quote]Steve B. wrote:
Dirty Tiger is that you Ryan?
Anyway most people try to clean the KB like a barbell which is usually the reason they slam the forearm.The KB clean is is a bit diffrent.As mentioned the corkscrew technique when you swing the KB between your legs the thumb should be facing to the back of you then twists to the outside on the way up and the KB gently drops on your bicep and forearm with your elbow out.[/quote]

That’s spot on. Although without going back to the “Russian KB Challenge Thread” Pavel actually showed the clean like a typical BB clean which leaves the KB smashing onto the wrists.

[quote]Coach Mack wrote:
BJBliffert wrote:

To the original poster:
Stop over thinking. If you want to incorporate KBs into your workout, do it. There is no right or wrong way to do it. After your regular workout, do 5 sets of high rep snatches or swing or cleans. It doesn’t matter, just use them.

I don’t know about there not being a wrong way. I think carefully planning where to put them into a program is very important.

Some coaches that I work with have actually tried to incorporate them in an EDT style of training. It seems to work very well.

The exercises they use are swings, snatches, cleans, Russian Military Press (on the Russian KB Challenge DVD) and Turkish Get-ups.

Just whacking them in and not giving it much thought could set you back a while with injury.[/quote]

I should have put a little more thought into that. It doesn’t read the way it sounded in my head. I didn’t mean to go haphazzardly just go swing some iron around.

It sounded like he wanted to find a way to integrate them into a “regular” weight training session, in which case I usually just have people do the basic swing, clean or snatch. Since they have probably already done a squat, a press, and some type of pulling move.

My wife has done an all KB EDT style workout and got great results in the way of increases her work capacity.