Lessons Learned / GG Part IV

At 3 months, Gina has begun to learn some of the finer points of the Fedorenko Method of Kettlebell Lifting,  Attention to every detail is the hallmark of the AKC, performing high quality reps, never compromising on technique. Initially, that can translate into some intense sessions, breaking past awkward beginnings, developing more sophisticated movement patterns. What helped Gina most were three simple points. Let's take a quick look at what our previously typical, middle-aged, part time exerciser has learned.

It's all about the Swing
The Swing teaches the initial movement pattern that drives every movement, and will keep the lifter injury free. Whether it be Jerk, Snatch, or Long Cycle, the timing of knee extension (straightening of the knee) with bell acceleration are critical to the pure efficiency of the lift. Exploiting the "sweet spot" in kettlebell lifting is all about maximizing that critical moment when it all comes together. In Swing we teach to not give in to too much knee bend, which turns the Swing into a Squat, a virtually all-quad movement. Instead, the knee bend is minimal, but extremely powerful and explosive as it straightens, feet pushing through the floor, body weight shifting rearward, utilizing the last 35 degrees or so of knee extension. Coincidentally, or maybe not, 35 degrees is the therapeutic range of motion for knee rehabilitation exercises. Never stop working on the timing of the Swing. 

Rack and Lockout Rest are Critical
GG never thought about resting DURING a set before, but then again, she'd never done sixteen minute sets. What became evident early is that the lifters who could find some rest, or a comfortable support of the kettlebell, in both the rack (bell at chest level) and lockout (bell locked overhead) positions, seemed to suffer less, and progress more quickly, regardless of previous abilities. Strength and flexibility came heavily into play, but kettlebells usually levels the playing field with new lifters. She was developing rest in both the overhead lockout, fixating the kettlebell more quickly. She also developed a comfortable rack position, where her elbow perched on her hip, the bell's weight supported by the lower body.

Never Get Greedy
Kettlebell lifting is a demanding support and fitness system, with safety built into the technique and high rep schemes, but we all have the potential to get greedy and bite off more than they can chew. Gina's saw some of the more aggressive lifters get greedy on more than one occasion, negotiating with the coach for a harder, bigger set. If the rep isn't perfect, it's not a rep. At best you've taken a risk and wasted your own time. At worst, you're injured and miss workouts.  Learn your capacity and push it, but don't try to push past it all at once. Slow and steady wins the race.

Stay tuned for more GG...

Go To: AKC Fitness Long Island