Craig Fingrutd: RKC, AKC, MKC
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We designed this to be used as a reference, training guide, and educational tool for anyone wanting to study kettlebells.  This is intended to be used for any level of kettlebell practitioner from the beginner to the highly advanced beller.  The idea is to break things down in their simplest form then build up from there.  To do this, everything pertaining to the kettlebell was codified.  This terminology is used when doing a set of techniques on the fly of a non-stop routine.  In the performance of the routine the terminology describes the grip, hands, form, body movement, technique, etc.     

There are 2 basic styles of kettlebell training, a hard style (RKC/MKC) and a soft style (AKC/WKC). We define a hard style where you use a great deal of body tension through the working phase of the movement. You expend a lot of energy on the execution of each movement. A soft style uses as little effort as possible through the working phase trying to conserve energy as well as stay relaxed between movements. This allows them to work for long periods of time doing, with more weight along with a large number of repetitions. It's very hard and emanding even though we say soft style.The RKC was the 1st to bring kettlebells to the masses since about 2000. The AKC has become popular since about 2006. Most people that train kettlebells believe in one style over the other. We teach and train in both styles. They both have benefits. Try the style that you think fits you best. Train for a long time learning the correct form and expression. Then try the other style and see what you think.    

In order for you to get to the more advanced techniques or other training tools, you will first need to have a solid foundation in the basics for they are the root and base of the system.   For the beginner, you should start with what are considered the 6 basic techniques.  They are the Swing, Clean, Press, Snatch, Squat, and Turkish Get-Up.   These basics are clearly marked in the technique section.   

The Swing is the basic of all the swinging techniques.  Learn it well.  It will teach you how to generate core power using your thighs, gluts and abs.  You will learn to use your hips by snapping them to generate explosive power as you swing the bell.  You should try a Towel/Belt Swing or the Power Swing to test your technical proficiency of the Swing.  Once you learn the Swing, the Clean should be studied next followed in the order of the basic techniques listed above.  Once you feel comfortable with these basics try different grips/holds and hands with the basics.  Practice, practice, and practice some more.

Once you become proficient with the basics you should start on combinations, different drills and workout routines.  There are many techniques that are listed that will challenge not only your body but your mind.  These techniques are not new but have existed since man first started training the body.  They are only new to incorporating them with the kettlebell.  The kettlebell is used as a tool to perform these techniques. 

We consider the kettlebell to be the ultimate tool for all-around fitness and cross training.  Kettlebell workouts increase strength, endurance, agility, and balance, challenging both the muscular and cardiovascular system with dynamic total-body movements. 

You can take virtually any sport or discipline and adapt the kettlebell to the movements of that art.  This can be seen throughout many of the kettlebell techniques that are shown.  If you use correct principals on body alignment and use proper form whenever you introduce a kettlebell into any movement, this will only improve what you do in your other disciplines.  For example, a martial arts practitioner can hold the kettlebells in the rack and perform their pattern of moving in and out of defensive and offensive positions.  See what you feel like when moving with the bells.  It can improve the way you move within your system by applying the kettlebells as a training and conditioning tool. 

If things get too easy or if you do not feel you are getting enough of a workout with the kettlebells there are many ways to make things more difficult.  It is easy to use a heavier kettlebell but there are other things you can do before increasing the size of the bell.  Use two kettlebells (power) instead of one.  Try moving alternating power cleans followed by power swings, power cleans, power presses, and power snatches.  For good measure throw in power racked squats with a sots press at the bottom.  That should wear you out.  There are also other tools that will work you harder such as the large ball, half ball, and half flat balancer to name a few.  These will take your core strength and overall conditioning up several notches.  It is easy to mix the kettlebell with other tools to get the maximum benefit from your workout. 

The beauty of the bells is that it is a never ending study.  We have been studying the kettlebell since 2001.  It never amazes us that we constantly come up with new techniques or combinations then add them to a drill or routine.  This grip/hold with this set of hands with these techniques, moving with different stances, switching sides, using an addition tool, all mixed together.  It is never ending.

This is in no way a complete guide on the kettlebell.  We have not included many techniques that can be performed.  With our on going studies, teaching, and training we will continually update this work with new techniques, combinations, drills and routines.  It is our goal to educate ourselves and others on the skills and techniques of the kettlebell. 

Remember to visit our site www.kettlebellworks.com for updates in kettlebell training. We also welcome your comments and questions.    

Last Updated 12/05/10

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