Wednesday, November 21, 2007

New kettlebells!

I have just bought some new kettlebells from the great Stan Pike at Intense Fitness. I dropped in to his place on a drive South last weekend and was impressed to meet this great bear of a man and see inside his garage gym. He is not at all Russian (but a very tall Scot).

A 16kg, a 24kg and 32kg. I've been playing around with swings and some snatches. At the moment the 32 seems like a real beast and I wonder if I'll ever get it over head.

Despite what I might say sometimes I am an increasingly big fan of kettlebells...or at least of kb movements. I think the swing is great for developing the posterior chain, that series of muscles that "uncurl" you and extend your body. So much of the day is spent sat down and curled up. The swing, I think, works the hips and gets you into extension - a real antidote to the amount of time that we spend in flexion.

Of course you can swing with dumbells too, but the kettlebell is a nice toy!

I've been watching the video below to try to perfect my swing (I'm not getting into the RKC/AKC debate!)

.......Regarding snatches, I am still a big fan of the dumbell snatch / power snatch. Great for explosive power:


Anonymous said...

I think those and simple dumbell motions are great for people who are simply interested in conditioning and strength for light sports (as opposed to American style football, heavy track events, etc).

I like olympic lifting and PL but get real annoyed when some "coaches" mostly in the past felt that turning people into OLers or Plers+some aerobic thing was the only way to go. In the time you teach someone to do a decent squat snatch they could already be on the road to something that actually relates.

I like the little things but I think you can still get most of the work done with dumbells like the kind you mention at the end.

I experimented with different catch stances at one time too. It's on my site somewhere.


Mark Reifkind said...


while i agree that db swings are a great movement, the fact that the kb is an offset weight and pivots around its own center of mass as you swing it really changes the way the movement feels, and its effect on the body.
the kb is "alive" and a dynamically moving object while the db is basically an extension of the arm/hand. very big difference. The kb actually swings, while the db does not.
much more stabilization require with the kb and much more velocity possible( as you can swing it around the hand- or snatch- it.)


Chris said...

Rif - your opinion is fine (and one I'd value). I wasn't trying to belittle the kb - as you say, the position of the centre of mass does significantly change the movement in the swing and adds velocity. I really like my new tools!

The post was really just an excuse to put photos of the new kbs on the site!