If you’re having trouble refining some of the key kettlebell moves, you can use props says Boris Bojanovic from the Australian Institute of Kettlebells.
The Get Up
This is a difficult movement to learn because if its many 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. You may worry about the weight dropping on you as you 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 you lose focus on the kettlebell arm because you’re 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. Take your shoe off and balance it on a clenched fist on the kettlebell arm’ as you 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.
This 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 you go from a swing to a clean, you may let the bell come out too far from the body as with a swing. This will lead to the bell flipping over the handle and 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 you if you 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.
This 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 and hitting the forearm.
Some people can’t grasp this so the way to get them to keep the bell close to the body is to stand facing a wall and about arm-length from it. This way if you extend the arm too far or don’t lean backwards, the kettlebell will hit the wall.
Give these a go and let us know how you get on!