Using Props to Refine Kettlebell Technique

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The Get Up is a difficult movement to learn because if its may steps. Going from a “naked” Get Up, i.e. one performed without a kettlebell, to a loaded Get Up is a big step for several reasons. Your clients worry about the weight dropping on them as they try to remember the steps. Another complication is not keeping the kettlebell arm near-vertical throughout the exercise as this will cause a lot of strain on the delicate shoulder joint. This occurs as the client loses focus on the kettlebell arm because they are focusing on what the support arm is doing.

A good use of props to bridge the gap between the two is the shoe Get Up. Have your client take their shoe off & balance it on a clenched fist on the “kettlebell arm” as they progress through the steps of the Get Up. What this does is reinforce the near-vertical arm as when the arm tilts to any side the shoe will drop off.

The Clean is a movement which uses hip drive out of a swing to propel the bell up for the arm to catch it in the rack position. But when your clients go from a swing to a clean, often some of them will let the bell come out too far from the body as with a swing. This will lead to the bell flipping over the handle & smashing into the forearm.
One way to train keeping the arm close to the body is again with the use of a prop – a book or sheet of paper.

Clasping the elbow to the ribs with the book in between shows your client if they are keeping the arm close or letting it go too far from the body with a simple cue – if the arm separates from the body the book falls to the ground.
The Snatch is where the hip drive of the swing propels the kettlebell overhead for the arm to catch it in the lockout position. It should be a fairly flat upwards movement rather than an overhead swing at arm-length as this leads to the bell flipping over the hand & hitting the forearm.

Some clients can’t grasp this so the way to get them to keep the bell close to the body is to stand them facing a wall & about arm-length from it. This way if they extend the arm too far or don’t lean backwards, the kettlebell will hit the wall.

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