This is an overview of how we teach our Kettlebell strength training program. 

This is an overview of how we teach our Kettlebell strength training program. 

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The History of kettlebell training

Russian strongmen and military units have been using Kettlebell for generations to improve strength, muscular endurance and burn fat.

Kettlebell classes are a mix of strength conditioning, core fitness and endurance. When swinging a kettlebell, a relatively large number of muscles are used simultaneously, resulting in a full body workout that also improves mobility and core strength. Similar to how we teach our Krav and Strike classes, courses are usually taught in interval formats, resulting in bursts of high intensity spaced with breaks. This type of training results in a body conditioned for explosive movements, but with extreme control of the body throughout the motions. Again, kettlebell training is exactly the type of training needed to get extremely toned, burn fat, build muscle and directly improves our ability to do Krav Maga as well.

Margaret is probably stronger than you.

Margaret is probably stronger than you.

At StrongFirst SFG certification with Pavel

At StrongFirst SFG certification with Pavel

why hardstyle kettlebell

A kettlebell uses the muscles of the body in a completely different manner then traditional dumbbell workouts. The shape of the kettlebell (round with a relatively thick handle) plays an important role in getting such powerful results. The off center weight of the kettlebell forces your body to engage additional stabilizers, which improves the entire range of motion. This allows the body to experience a unique development of the muscles while also undergoing significant increases in endurance and strength. The use of a thick handles improves hand and forearm function. 

If you are looking for proof, the experts at Ace Fitness partnered with the fitness experts at the University of Wisconsin.

"We estimated oxygen consumption and how many calories they were burning aerobically, and it was 13.6 calories per minute. But we also measured the blood lactate, so anaerobically they were burning another 6.6 calories per minute," explains Porcari. "So they were burning at least 20.2 calories per minute, which is off the charts. That's equivalent to running a 6-minute mile pace. The only other thing I could find that burns that many calories is cross-country skiing up hill at a fast pace."

Researchers credit the brisk calorie burning to the fact that the kettlebell snatch workout is a total-body movement that is also done very quickly due to the interval-training format. "We knew it would be extremely intense," says Schnettler. "It's a quick workout, and you do get a big bang for your buck in a very short amount of time."

A Hardstyle Kettlebell workout can be designed for strength or endurance, but it is also a skill that requires correct technique, provided by trained and certified instructors. We want you to exercise safely, so Crucible has HKC, RKC and StrongFirst SFG certified instructors to guide you through the proper use of kettlebells.

 

Finishing class with some rounds of slam ball

Finishing class with some rounds of slam ball

Kettlebell class doing a set of kettlebell swings together.

Kettlebell class doing a set of kettlebell swings together.

how do we teach our kettlebell program

Safety first! Understanding how to use the kettlebell correctly and safely is the primary skill we teach when new students join the program. To accomplish this we put every student through a Fundamentals Course that teaches Russian hardstyle kettlebell techniques in a semi-private lesson format. 

Our Fundamentals Course consists of the following lessons over 3-5 classes:

  • Mobility - We teach our students how to warm up using mobility work, rather than stretching. The goal of the mobility lessons are to teach students how to move better, become more coordinated, improve proprioception, and increase their balance.
  • Deadlift and Kettlebell Swing - This is usually the first lesson we teach as students begin the fundamentals course. By teaching deadlifting and swings first, we are able to assess and correct their ability to property execute a hinge movement, which is key to safely using a kettlebell. During this lesson we also teach how to properly plank, perform push-ups and pull-ups. There are variations of all these movements so that we can progress or regress each to the level of the students.
  • Clean and Press - Once we have a solid and safe hinge, we can progress to the clean and press. This allows us to get the kettlebell in the rack position, which then allows us to press the bell safely above the head. Once part two is finished, we can start combining swings, cleans and presses in the first Kettlebell Complex workout, which is the basis for many of our strength programs.
  • Goblet and Front Squat - Learning to squat is essential for core stability and leg strength. In the part of the Fundamentals Course we show two variations to kettlebell squatting - goblet and front squat. The goblet squat is generally done with a single bell held with two hands, and the front squat is generally done with either a single bell or two bells, each held with one hand. By teaching both we are giving different options that can be used during different programs. 
  • Turkish Get-Up - The Turkish Get-Up is a complex series of movements that require advanced coordination, while having a kettlebell overhead. We usually wait a few weeks/months before teaching the Turkish Get-Up so they can develop the core and shoulder stability required.
  • Carries - Doing carries allows students to improve grip strength, shoulder and core strength, and improve their posture, all while moving. We try to add different variations of carries to each lesson during the Fundamentals Course.

Once a person has gone through the Fundamentals Course (free with your membership) we teach them how to use a number of different programs based on their needs.