When being coached by a kettlebell instructor, you will probably hear the words, “Use your hips!” Lately, I’ve had opportunities to watch groups of people I didn’t know before doing a high volume of swings and towards the end, it can look more like “thrusting” your hips forward instead of standing tall and using your hips to propel your forearms off your thighs when you stand straight up. (I hope I did a better job of explaining this in the video demonstration :))
The swing is basically a hike backward and then getting into a plank, holding that plank until the last second (playing chicken with yourself) and then hiking the bell back again once your triceps re-engage with your rib cage. A swing is, in essence, “hike, plank (hold), hike, plank (hold)…” The “Use your hips” cue is there to tell you to keep from pulling with your arms – not to tell you to thrust the bell forward and lean backward at the top of the swing.
I’ve been on a kick lately with kettlebell cleans. Honestly, it’s one of those exercises that can be explained and explained and over explained and can get to the point of diminishing returns when you overthink it. One of the best ways to learn the clean is to just do it. It helps to add it in with other exercises so your mind isn’t hyperfocused on the clean. This follow along gives you the tools to practice your cleans without frying your nervous system and banging your head (or wrists, really!!) against a “wall.”
This Facebook Live I shot last week explains the how and why of the bottoms up press. At first glance, it may look like a stupid human trick that makes you ask, “Why?” The answer is “To pattern your press and perfect your form as well as improve tension which leads to a heavier press.” If you are struggling with moving up in weight, the bottoms up press can be your answer. Check out this video to see exactly how.