These past couple of weeks there have been a number of really cool ideas out there in the kettlebell and advanced fitness world. These combined with the need of the kettlebell small group to work on technique inspired me to create this intermediate-level full body kettlebell workout with a middle portion that focuses on fine tuning technique for kettlebell swings and snatches. There’s some extra stuff added in to make this a full body workout including an “extra credit” mini circuit at the end.
First, inspired by an RKC blog post from Master RKC Andrea Du Cane*(I have been known to say this about her: “Just stand near her for any length of time and you WILL learn something…”), it was time to bring dead stop swings to class. If there’s ever any question about your kettlebell swing, a short set of dead stop swings will surely point out what’s wrong so you can fix it. By having to re-initiate the swing from the ground you also get plenty of practice starting and stopping swings safely–and the conditioning factor can be VERY significant since you can’t start on cruise control with momentum. I think of dead stop swings as being the same sort of “technique practice” technique as when I was getting used to driving manual transmission again–I found a residential street with a low speed limit that had stop signs on nearly every block. Start, shift, stop, start, shift, stop… a few trips down what normally would be an extremely annoying street improved my skills rapidly over the course of just a few hours. Dead stop swings can do the same for your kettlebell technique. As Andrea’s article points out you can also practice snatches this way too. I wanted to really drill the small group (they’re pretty advanced by now) on both one hand and two hand swings. So after we did a joint mobility warmup and selected our kettlebells (RKC kettlebell snatch test kettlebell, then one twice the weight or heavier. (Someone chose a 12kg kettlebell and a 24kg kettlebell, someone else took a 16kg and 28kg, I had some fun with a 14kg and 32kg other combos heavier up the line included 20kg and 40kg…)
Five rounds, minimal rest but each person at their own pace:
- 5 dead stop one-arm swings right hand (with lighter kettlebell)
- 5 dead stop one-arm swings left hand (with lighter kettlebell)
- 5 dead stop two-arm swings (with heavier kettlebell)
After we finished with that, I set the timer to chime on the minute, every minute for 10 minutes. I was reminded of the extreme fun, built-in rest, and self-scaling capacity of “on the minute every minute” circuits by Senior RKC Mike Krivka, who has included a few of them in his fun workout ebook, Code Name: Indestructible (I am pestering him to release a 2nd volume!! If you know Mike, be sure to pester him about it too! HAHA!) For this next circuit, ee each selected a kettlebell that was RKC kettlebell snatch test weight or a little heavier if desired. At the chime, the following happened…
On odd-numbered minutes:
- 3x 1-arm swings right hand
- 3x kettlebell high pull, right hand
- 3x kettlebell snatches, right hand
- 1x clean and then 2x front squat (right hand)
On even-numbered minutes:
- 3x 1-arm swings left hand
- 3x kettlebell high pull, left hand
- 3x kettlebell snatches, left hand
- 1x clean and then 2x front squat (left hand)
Next, it was time to do some pressing… we each selected a reasonably challenging kettlebell (but that we could press for at least 5 reps without compromising our form – for me this is about 20kg for example) and completed a short reverse ladder with minimal rest (but resting as needed to maintain great form for EVERY rep on EVERY set… that’s the point here):
- 5x strict military press right hand, then 5x left hand
- 4x press right hand, 4x press left hand
- 3x press right hand, 3x press left hand
- 2x press right hand, 2x press left hand
- 1x press right hand, 1x press left hand
Last but not least, was the optional extra credit circuit for 2-3 rounds:
- 15x straight leg raises from the floor (as in the Convict Conditioning progression towards hanging leg raises)
- 3x bridge practice (1x shoulder bridge, 1x straight bridge, 1x full bridge)
Finally, we finished up with some joint mobility and some much needed water… many good hearty dinners were eaten after this I am very sure.
In other news, check out this brand new interview from Italian Street Workout Athlete and PCC Instructor Daniel Cirilli, he shared some very interesting info with me in the course of the intervew then sent some jaw-dropping, gravity-defying photos to go with it! Don’t miss it!!
*You can meet the original kettlebell goddess herself (Andrea Du Cane) and hear her speak at the upcoming Dragon Door Health & Strength Conference in August! Click here to learn how you can hear from her and 12 other Dragon Door authors. The networking alone at this event will be out-of-control awesome. Hope to see you there!