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Kettlebell Foundations: The Hardstyle Kettlebell Swing

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Oct 17, 2017 12:09:18 PM

Our previous posts with Doug Fioranelli have been building towards the Kettlebell Swing. Even though the swing is one of the movements most people are familiar with, you actually should build up to it with the deadlift and the squat in order to prepare your body for the kettlebell swing, rather then going right into it. 

By Doug Fioranelli

As we continue this Hardstyle Kettlebell Series for Kettlebell Kings we have built up our strength and proper movement patterns by learning the deadlift  and then the squat; which are foundational for what we are covering now: The Kettlebell Swing. 

The kettlebell swing is truly the unique movement primarily associated with the kettlebell itself which cannot be optimally performed using any other equipment.  From top athletes to the new trainee, the kettlebell swing has numerous training benefits which include strength enhancement, power production and endurance.    

Kettlebell Swing: Proper Set Up and Patterning

Like the Hardstyle Deadlift, the kettlebell swing is a hinge pattern which primarily utilizes the muscles of the posterior chain (hamstrings and glutes).  It’s important to start with a good ground connection which is essential for stability and power production; a flat sole shoe or barefoot is preferred when performing swings.  After establishing a solid ground connection, here are the steps to take to perform a proper Hardstyle 2-Arm Kettlebell Swing:

  • Set up in an athletic stance with two hands on the kettlebell which is directly in front of your feet making a triangle position.
  • Tip the handle of the bell back towards you and lock your lats into place where the biceps are connected to the ribcage thus creating back tension; think shoulder blades in back pockets.
  • To start the backswing; hike the kettlebell through your legs by hinging your hips (not squatting).
  • When you feel your hamstrings stretch; squeeze your glutes and drive your feet into the ground to move the kettlebell upward through the legs.
  • Make sure the hips and knees always finish (get the hips fully underneath your body and lock your knees); this not only ensures proper technique but also saves your lower back from injury.  You want to properly propel the kettlebell upward (not forward) using your hips.
  • No leaning back; you want a tall body posture at the top of the movement with the arms extended and the kettlebell parallel to the floor.
  • When performing the backswing; wait for the kettlebell to almost hit you before you hinge.  The kettlebell should be above the knees and the biceps should connect to your sides just before you hinge.  Hinging too early will result in a lack of strength and may cause a sore lower back or an injury over time.

Some other details of the kettlebell swing include:

  • Have a good grip on the handle during the swing so the bell does not flop at the top or during the end of the backswing.  This excessive movement will make it difficult to keep your body stable.
  • A slight elbow bend in the arms is allowed during the swing, however do not actively bend your elbows and pull the bell in towards you to assist the bell up to the top of the swing.
  • Traditional hardstyle breathing is one breathing cycle per swing where you inhale through the nose or mouth during the backswing and then a tight exhale (don’t let all your air out) during the upward motion of the swing.

Once you feel comfortable with the 2-arm swing you can start practicing with some of the swing variations that will then help you build the foundation for other kettlebell movements like cleans and snatches.

LEARN VARIATIONS BELOW!

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Topics: Kettlebell Movements, Kettlebell Foundations

Be A Kettlebell Kings Gym Of The Week!

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Oct 12, 2017 8:59:11 PM

Kettlebell Kings is excited to start a new initiave in which we will feature a new gym or homegym each week! We are taking ongoing submissions from everyone who wants to show off their gym and their Kettlebell Kings!

Sharing customer content has always been a huge part of our social sharing and we are so thankful to see happy customers sharing their kettlebell training. We are going to be doing an official Kettlebell Kings Gym of the Week post on our social channels which will feature images you submit of your gym or homegym as well as your very own text about anything you want to share about your gym or your training!

Tell us about how you like to train, how long you have been training, what your goals are or who you train, what types of clients you work with, how you help them and anything else you want to share in the post!

Enter Gym of the Week!

Share with us about your gym and how you use Kettlebell Kings in your gym!

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Topics: Gym Of The Week

Learn Proper Breathing Techniques For Kettlebell Sport From a World Champion

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Sep 12, 2017 5:40:15 PM

Kimberly Fox is a World Champion kettlebell lifter and member of Team USA. She will be representing Team USA at the IUKL World Championships in Seoul, South Korea this year which are the world championships for Kettlebell Sport in which the best lifters from all of the world compete.  We asked Kimberly if she would share some of her best advice and tips for Kettlebell Sport training with us leading up to the World Championships and she was very happy to help.

This is an exciting year for women in Kettlebell Sport because this is the first year women will be competing in Two Arm Long Cycle.  Kim competes with TWO 24 kilogram competition kettlebells and will be going for personal and world records in reps in South Korea. The top kettlebell athletes in the world will be competing in Seoul to represent their countries and Kim has some awesome goals we wanted to learn about. 

Additionally, we were able to ask her a handful of questions to try and learn more about how she started competing in Kettlebell Sport as well as her goals for herself.  You can watch the full video below in which she goes over proper breathing technique and answers our questions about her kettlebell background. 

Q. How long have you been training with Kettlebells?

A. I started training kettlebell 5 years ago.

Q. How were you introduced to kettlebells?

Q. I was mostly doing some hybrid hard style technique I had learned from YouTube videos. A friend, Matt Sanders, saw that I was really interested in kettlebells and told me about GS. I was instantly hooked. When I first started training, I used other people's goals to set my own. But you can never truly grow and develop unless you are true to your own goals.

Q. What are your goals for your kettlebell training?

A. My current goals are to push myself to where I could not think I could go. Kettlebell sport is the opportunity to push myself to a new level at each training session. At some point that level will be 70 Long Cycle reps with 24kg bells and then to win at the IUKL worlds in Korea. 

  

WATCH KIM EXPLAIN PROPER BREATHING TECHNIQUES BELOW AS WELL AS THE REMAINDER OF OUR INTERVIEW AND HOW YOU CAN HELP SUPPORT KIM REPRESENT TEAM USA AT THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS.

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Topics: kettlebell sport, Kettlebell Technique, Team USA

Kettlebell Foundations: Kettlebell Squats

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Sep 10, 2017 5:34:16 PM

By Doug Fioranelli

In the first article and video of the Hardstyle Series for Kettlebell Kings I broke down all the essential kettlebell deadlift movement nuances and their progressions.  The deadlift is the foundation where the hip hinge pattern is established.  This hip hinge pattern is essential to build a strong posterior chain and to learn how to move the body properly when we get to the hardstyle swing.

However, before we get to the swing, which will come in the next instalment, let’s strengthen up those legs and core a bit more by learning how to properly squat with the kettlebell. We have published the full post on our main site at https://www.kettlebellkings.com:

 

Read the full post HERE

 

Make sure to subscribe to our blog through the form on the right side or at the bottom on mobile devices. Get updates when more content like this is published!
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Topics: Kettlebell Movements, Hardstyle Training, Kettlebell Squats, Kettlebell Foundations

L-Sit Swings For Improving Kettlebell Swings

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Sep 6, 2017 2:57:36 PM
 
We have previously collaborated with  Nicholas Anderson of Legion Tactical Athletics in Ventura California in order to demonstrate the utilization of body weight methods for kettlebell training. In this post we will be breaking down how the practice of body weight movements can improve the Kettlebell Swing. First, Nicholas will explain a bit about the principles.  Make sure you have good shoulder mobility and lat control to perform this movement as it is not something you should do as a beginner. The goal of the L-Sit Swing is to do the opposite movement of the hip hinge normally involved in a kettlebell swing to strengthen your body and improve your kettlebell swings.
 

l-Sit Swings

The L-Sit Swing is unique movement that, like a kettlebell swing (both hard and soft style), engages grip, lat activation, and core powered hinging. This movement stands as a complimentary opposite to the kettlebell swing; they use similar mechanics but in a different plane of motion.
 
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Your kettlebell swing drives power from the posterior chain and core, upwards, while the lats engage to resist the cannonball-of-kettlebell from putting a hole into your beloved training space.   The L-Sit Swing uses the lats to try and pull the pull-up bar that is overhead down and forward while assisting the motion by engaging the core for a power hinge at the hips. These two actions together, as in your kettle swing, compound to make a deep, powerful, swing like motion. 
 
Read & Watch More Below!
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Topics: Body Weight Movements

GSAA Australian National Kettlebell Championship Recap

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Sep 6, 2017 1:28:01 PM

Kettlebell Kings recently sponsored the GSAA Australian National Kettlebell Championships at Lonedog in Albury, New South Wales and we are really excited to report about the event! Those who placed at The Championship will be representing Team Australia at The IUKL World Championships in Seoul, South Korea this year. This was the first time in event history that uniform bells were used by all the lifters and they competed with our Competition Kettlebells. We shipped quite a bit of kettlebells to Melbourne and from there they were distributed to the event location in Albury as well as to competitors who had pre-ordered them for training.

READ AN EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT BELOW!

gsaa australian national kettlebell championship recap

One of the exciting things about Kettlebell Sport is how it is growing. Each event we sponsor has been setting attendance records for participants and spectators and this one was no different. 50 Athletes competed at The Championships which makes this the largest Australian Championships ever held. The crows reached up to 300 people with over 500 coming through during the day to support and watch the athletes. This was the first time that our Competition Kettlebells have been used at an event in Australia and as mentioned earlier this was the first time all of one type of kettlebell was used at The Championships. 

Make sure to subscribe to more updates from our blog through the form to the right on desktop or below on mobile!

One of our goals in supporting Kettlebell Sport has been to help events have uniform bells so that all lifters can train and use the same equipment. We believe this is important when establishing national teams, records and ensuring that properly weighted equipment is used. 

Kettlebell Sport in general is growing greatly in Australia as it is around the world, 2017 has had the most competitors compete in GSAA events than in any previous year.

READ AN EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT BELOW!

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Topics: Events & Sponsorships

Hardstyle 101: The Press

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Aug 27, 2017 6:14:25 PM

In our first Hardstyle 101 post with Zack Henderson he broke down the Kettlebell Snatch. If this is your first time reading in the Hardstyle 101 series, we recommend you start there as Zack covers a couple of introduction items other than just the execise itself. In this post, Zack breaks down The Press.

Zack has previously shown us how applying kettlebell movements can help improve your power lifting numbers.  We love working with Zack because of his knowledge and understanding of not only kettlebells movements but how they can be applied to different aspects of working out as well as being able to thoroughly explain them. 

by Zack Henderson: 

The Press

The one-arm military press is one of the best places to practice the subtleties of tension techniques and experience the immediate difference in performance.

Once in the racked position, the goal of tension is to provide a stable “platform” for the press and keep the shoulder in a safe position.

Here, the aforementioned “active static” idea is applied practically through the entire body.  The toes grip the ground with the intention of “burning a hole in the floor” in order to promote a sense of rootedness.  The quads, glutes, and abs, aka “The Holy Trinity of Strength,” are contracted to keep the pelvis and low back locked.

But why involve the entire body to such a degree when the military press is a simple shoulder exercise?

Because this is the groundwork for learning how to channel your strength.

Such an approach runs in close parallel to many philosophies in powerlifting training.  Working high tension techniques with submaximal weights better prepares one for handling heavier loads.  When you treat your warm-ups like max attempts, that new PR will feel like home.

Once the skills are learned, you can begin to dial in the “sweet spot” - the amount of tension needed to lift the weight without going overboard and slowing yourself down.

Watch a demo of The Press below! Make sure to suscribe for most posts like this breaking down technique by entering your email in the pop up, field on the right on desktops or below on mobile!

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Topics: kettlebell press, Hardstyle Training

Hardstyle 101: The Snatch

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Aug 27, 2017 5:24:39 PM

We are excited to have Zack Henderson break down some more kettlebell movements for us. Zack has previously shown us how applying kettlebell movements can help improve your power lifting numbers.  We love working with Zack because of his knowledge and understanding of not only kettlebells movements but how they can be applied to different aspects of working out as well as being able to thoroughly explain them. In this post, Zack breaks down the hardstyle snatch and our quick follow up he will break down The Press next. 

by Zack Henderson: 

I support the swinging, cleaning, jerking, snatching and lifting of the mighty kettlebell in all its forms.  The human body is capable of expressing strength and movement in infinite ways.  Any resistance we use, kettlebell or otherwise, is just a way to explore and develop those capabilities.

There is no “wrong” way to exercise.  If it hurts or otherwise damages your health, that’s abuse, not exercise.  Unfortunately, we live in a world where many people construct artificial divides and argue nuance just to promote their own cause.  Judgement from a high horse is little more than a sign of insecurity or ignorance. 

Before we dive in, understand that I am in not writing as a representative of any training organization.  Rather, I’m sharing my own perspective on a style that I’ve found valuable in my own fitness pursuits and my approach to training others.

I will spare you the history lesson and get right down to the meat and potatoes of what hardstyle means in the context of kettlebell training.

The ballistics are treated with high acceleration and the grinds are treated with tension.  At all other times, your priority to to stay as loose and fresh as possible.

The rest is simply how these ideas can be scaled to different goals and skill levels. 

Let us take a look at how hardstyle principles are applied in action.

 Read and watch the full breakdown below!

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Topics: Kettlebell Snatch, Hardstyle Training

Kettlebell Foundations: Kettlebell Deadlift Progressions

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Aug 16, 2017 4:36:38 PM

We are excited to work with Dough Fioranelli, owner of Rise Above Performance Training on a super informative series about hardstyle kettlebell movements. There are essentially two different schools of thought in kettlebell training and both are great, we have covered a number of Kettlebell Sport type movements and will be working to bring you more of the hardstyle movements which most people are familiar with. In the first part of the series, Doug goes through an awesome progression of Kettlebell Deadlifts and variations designed to improve your overall lift and performance. Doug created and awesome video demonstration and explanation of all the movements which you can watch below!

By Doug Fioranelli

There are two prominent types of kettlebell training that serve the trainee with two completely different purposes.  The first type of training you have seen all over Facebook; athletes moving those different colored bells overhead for five to ten minutes sets often having the look of pain on their face.  The other type reflects a much more common training setting where moving an iron ball with a handle might seem a bit foreign to the new trainee from traditional weights and machines. 

The latter reflects a more hardstyle or foundational form of kettlebell training and, in my opinion, is the most suited for new trainees, athletes, coaches and trainers looking to learn and teach others.

In this Hardstyle Series for Kettlebell Kings I will completely breakdown all of the essential kettlebell exercises in article and video format so you can add this tool, with confidence, to your training arsenal and achieve the results you are looking for.

For this first installment, we are going over the foundational kettlebell deadlift.

Proper Set Up and Patterning:

The hardstyle deadlift is one of my favorite exercises for many reasons.  First, I believe the set-up is much easier to achieve than a traditional barbell deadlift because the kettlebell can sit easily between your feet whereas the barbell deadlift is in front of the body and maintaining proper back alignment during the set- up is much more difficult, especially for the new trainee.

Secondly, it is a great way to teach someone how to hinge at their hips which has many benefits including: increased glute and hamstring activation for muscle building and proper hip drive which is important for proper execution of other kettlebell movement as well as enhanced sports performance.

  • Set the kettlebell on the floor in-between your knees and ankles with a slightly wider-than-shoulder-width stance.
  • Grab the handle firmly and connect your biceps to the side of your body to set your back so it is straight with your chest up, shoulder blades together and lower back arched (not rounded) and head neutral with the chin slightly retracted.  If you visualize a clock you want your head positioned at 10 o’clock and your hips at the 4 o’clock position.
  • Anchor your feet firmly into the ground, tighten your core, squeeze your glutes and drive the body up by pushing the floor away with your feet until you are standing up straight with your hips underneath you at the top.

Read More Below! Make sure to subscribe to our blog through the form on the right side or at the bottom on mobile devices. Get updates when more content like this is published!


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Topics: Kettlebell Movements, Deadlifts, Hardstyle Training, Kettlebell Foundations

Prizes For The Kettlebell Kings Texas Open Championship

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Aug 15, 2017 10:02:36 PM

Kettlebell Kings is really excited to be putting on the Texas Open Championship this year!  This is going to be an awesome event with Kettlebell Sport, Kettlebell Strength competitions and a Jiu Jitsu tournament all in the same venue. We are collaborating on the event with our friends at The Texas Kettlebell Academy and Ignite Fitnez located in Austin, Texas to put on a great event you should definitely come check out.

Admission to event for non Kettlebell Sport competitors is FREE!

The Kettlebell Kings Community is a great group of people we have built up and know this is a great event for members to meet and participate in challenges as well as experience Austin, Texas. We are very fortunate to be located in Austin which is the perfect location for an event like this because of the multitude of things to do, restaurants to try and more.

Listen to our radio interview talking about the event on Austin radio HERE

Prizes

We are excited to officially put on this event for the first time and start building a great destination event for years to come by being one of the first Kettlebell Sport events to offer cash prizes to lifters. This year we will have cash prizes for overall Men's and Women's winners as well as for Kettlebell Strength events. There will be thousands given away in Kettlebell Kings gift certifcates. 

For all Kettlebell Sport events, winners will receive $100 gift certificates to KettlebellKings.com as well as the gold medal pictured.

Here are the Kettlebell Sport Prizes:

Event Level Weight Determined   Prize
           
King Challenge Pro Male 32 Reps in time Medals/Trophy $250
King Challenge Pro Female 24 Reps in time Medals/Trophy $250
King Challenge Amateur Male 24  Reps in time  Medals/Trophy $100 KBKGC
King Challenge Amateur Female 16  Reps in time  Medals/Trophy $100 KBKGC
Youth Overall Male Any Coefficient  Medals/Trophy $100 KBKGC
Youth Overall Female Any Coefficient  Medals/Trophy $100 KBKGC
Veteran Overall Male Any Coefficient  Medals/Trophy $100 KBKGC
Veteran Overall Female Any Coefficient Medals/Trophy  $100 KBKGC
Best Biathlon Overall Male Any Coefficient  Medals/Trophy $100 KBKGC
Best Biathlon Overall Female Any Coefficient  Medals/Trophy $100 KBKGC
Best Snatch Overall Male Any Coefficient  Medals/Trophy $100 KBKGC
Best Snatch Overall Female Any Coefficient  Medals/Trophy $100 KBKGC
Best Long Cycle Overall Male Any Coefficient  Medals/Trophy $100 KBKGC
Best Long Cycle Overall Female Any Coefficient  Medals/Trophy $100 KBKGC

*KBKGC means Kettlebell Kings Gift Certificate

The Kettlebell Kings Challenge -$250 Cash Prizes

We are putting together a special Kettlebell Kings Challenge open for anyone to enter. Men at professiona level must compete with 32 kilograms and women with 24 kilograms. There will be amateur prizes as well with men competing at 24 kilograms and women competing at 16 kilograms. The winners will be determined by who can complete all the reps in the shortest amount of time:

  • 50 Jerks
  • 50 Snatch each side
  • 50 Reps Long Cycle

Listen to our radio interview talking about the event on Austin radio HERE

Athletes may rest in between lifts (clock will be running), but may not drop bells during sets of 50. First athlete to fully complete all reps, in the shortest amount of time, wins. All reps must be completed for the winning time.

Kettlebell Strength Events

Event Level Prize Event Description
Kettlebell Kings Streghth Event #1 1st Male `$250
2 ROUNDS: (20) - 92kg/203lb Deadlifts, (2) Rope Climbs, (20) - 24kg/53lb Overhead Thrusters
Kettlebell Kings Streghth Event #1 1st Female $250
2 ROUNDS: (20) - 92kg/150lb Deadlifts, (2) Rope Climbs, (20) - 16kg/35lb Overhead Thrusters
Kettlebell Kings Streghth Event #1 2nd Male $100 KBKGC
2 ROUNDS: (20) - 92kg/203lb Deadlifts, (2) Rope Climbs, (20) - 24kg/53lb Overhead Thrusters
Kettlebell Kings Streghth Event #1 2nd Female $100 KBKGC
2 ROUNDS: (20) - 92kg/150lb Deadlifts, (2) Rope Climbs, (20) - 16kg/35lb Overhead Thrusters
Kettlebell Kings Bottoms Up Event 1st Male $250
Bottoms Up Press, Max Weight
 
Kettlebell Kings Bottoms Up Event 1st Female $250 Bottoms Up Press, Max Weight
Kettlebell Kings Bottoms Up Event 2nd Male $100 KBKGC Bottoms Up Press, Max Weight
Kettlebell Kings Bottoms Up Event 2nd Female $100 KBKGC Bottoms Up Press, Max Weight
Vikn Farmers Hold Male Determined by Vikn Chalk
Max time hold of two 150 Lb Kettlebells in Farmer's Hold
Vikn Farmers Hold Female Determined by Vikn Chalk
Max time hold of two 97 Lb Kettlebells in Farmer's Hold

About Austin:

Austin, Texas is the capital of the state and called The Live Music Capital of the World because of the abundance of venues hosting live music every night. Austin is the fastest growing large city in the United States and has a vibrant restaurant scene with all kinds of delicious food that will leave you wanting more. Austin is consistently voted one of the fittest cities in the country and we are doing our best to make sure it stays that way with our event!  You can read more about the many things to do in Austin here like the entertainment districts, food & drink, things to do and more!

The Event & The Event Website

The event will be held Labor Day Weekend, September 1-3, 2017 at Ignite Fitnez in Austin, Texas.  Ignite is a great venue that will be able to host six different kettlebell sport platforms, our kettlebell strength events as well as a BJJ tournament. You can view the full event website here. September 1-3 is a three day weekend which allows for ample time to experience Austin, participate in our events and travel.

The event will be held at Ignite Fitnez pictured to the right.

 

Read more about the events below!

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Topics: Kettlebell Kings Texas Open