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Kettlebell Exercises – The Grim Reality of Competition

The Grim Reality of Competition

Once you have mastered the techniques behind Kettlebell Training it is inevitable that you will want to compete, whether it’s breaking a new PB, challenging colleagues or entering a lifting competition.

When was the last time you were challenged? There is something uniquely frightening about someone or something testing you. When we embark on something new there always is an element of failure or humiliation and possibly injury. But this is what makes us human, right?

The simple truth, however, is that fear is one of life’s greatest saboteurs. It robs us of our happiness. It causes us to settle for far less than we’re capable of. It introduces a melee of negative emotions and conflicts that unravel our relationships and lead us to even greater levels of fear.

Fear influences us on such a pervasive level, that we often don’t even recognize it for what it is. Fear is the reason why so many of us stop believing in ourselves, stop pursuing our dreams, stop being true to ourselves. And none of us are immune to it.

This fear can come from as far back as our childhood. A sudden affliction of the infamous ‘belly ache’ would ensue the night before a school spelling test or a fake sick letter getting you out of sport day.

Entering a Kettlebell Competition and getting your Mum to phone in to excuse you for the day won’t get you admired by many nor will the test go away, you are just delaying the inevitable.

So move out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to the very extremes of your ability.

What separates the competition boy’s and girl’s from the regular Kettlebell Hard Style Athletes?

There are many differences, but what we are concerned with in this article is technique or the difference of technique of the Snatch.

With Snatching, blisters appear as a side effect from such a regular activity, this is both necessary and vital for your development. But none the less, the palms can become extremely sore and in some cases tears can appear on the palms of the victims. Such painful afflictions were seen on many a RKC in Denmark 2007, but this was due mostly to the inexperience of the individual, but largely because of the extreme high rep demands from the Snatch.

The Hard Style way just won’t get you the high numbers that so many competition athletes can achieve. If you have ever tried to reach the high numbers of Competition Lifters you’ll know that your limbs will give out way before your cardiovascular system lets you down. Have a fire extinguisher to hand as your hip flexors and forearms will need to be put out.

An example of the level that is required for the 32kg Snatch is approx 250-300+ reps in 10min. (weight categories depending)

Two methods that we will discuss are the upward phase before lockout and the holding position in the downward phase.

Regular Snatch enthusiasts will usually use the up and over wrist method, with a slight pull to decelerate the Bell onto the top of the forearm.

This is fine, but with the high rep demand and 10min duration this, during heavy training, won’t get you the numbers required for competition level. It’s inevitable that constant impact to the wrist will slow recovery and delay necessary training time.

What is required is the ‘Round the Wrist’ method. With a slight flick of the wrist the Kettlebell travels outward around the wrist resulting in less or even no impact to the forearm. It’s a sweeter way to perform the Snatch and gets you much added reps without fatiguing the forearm.

The real pain comes from the pinching of skin between the handle and palm when the Kettlebell is swung downward for a second rep. This can be avoided with a technique called the ‘Monkey Grip’.

The ‘Monkey Grip’ is achieved by holding the handle by the very ends of the fingers. When the Kettlebell is over head in the ‘victory position’ it is given a little push upward and the resulting effect is the Kettlebell moves outward away from the body. It is then possible with timing and good judgement to catch the handle with the ‘Monkey Grip’ method. The Kettlebell lands comfortably and is turned thumb pointing back ready for a repeated swing. This method again allows for more reps by not pinching the skin and aggravating any blisters that may be present.

Happy Snatching

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This entry was posted on September 14, 2008 by .
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