YOU CAN'T SWING A BARBELL BETWEEN YOURLEGS!:
TRAINING FORCE REDUCTION AND REDIRECTION WITH KETTLEBELLS
Brett Jones, CSCS, RKC Sr.
An athlete must continuously produce, reduce, and redirect force. Traditional athletic conditioning protocols emphasize force production. This is an essential aspect of explosive performance but not the only one. The athlete is still unprepared to reduce/control the forces he has produced and the forces acting upon him during competition.
“A sport does not treat one to a slow negative; the word is IMPACT!”
The Olympic lifts are excellent for training force production.
However, once the barbell is overhead or at the shoulders, the weight is dropped back to the platform. This results in the ability to explosively move a great amount of weight but does not train the athlete to control the same amount of weight during the impact of force reduction.
The powerlifts are great for training force production as well but they do incorporate a controlled eccentric movement.
There is a hint of training to reduce force but it happens at a speed that will never be experienced in athletic competition. A sport does not treat one to a slow negative; the word is IMPACT!
Incorporating a variety of jumps can begin to teach the athlete to reduce and redirect force. However, these programs are often not applied correctly and do not teach the athlete to handle additional forces imposed upon them during competition. The jumping and bounding of plyometrics lacks the outside load of a competitor and the unpredictable nature of the athletic field.
So how do we train athletes to handle force reduction and redirection? -The ballistic movements of kettlebell training bridge the gaps between force production, force reduction, and force redirection.
“Kettlebell training teaches the athlete to explode, catch and redirect force. It is functional training for athletes.”
Due to the design and size of the kettlebell it can be swung back between the legs. Try swinging a barbell back between your legs! While you could do it with a dumbbell, its dimensions threaten the knees and do not allow safe performance of swings and such, except with really light, useless weights. So once the kettlebell is in motion and has been swung either out in front of or above the athlete, it is allowed to swing or fall and then be "caught" by the athlete. By allowing the weight to be swung back and having the athlete "catch" the kettlebell in the loaded position similar to a vertical leap, the athlete is not only trained to reduce force, but then is automatically loaded to redirect that force into another explosive hip snap.
Swings are only the beginning of the kettlebell experience.
There are snatches, cleans, jerks. Then you start to enter the truly unique aspect of KB training – the KB’s design allows for it to be passed from hand to hand. You can literally flip, spin, and “juggle” the kettlebell. Force reduction and redirection is trained in every plane. There is a freedom inherent to kettlebell training that loads the body from every conceivable angle and truly unlocks one’s potential.
“There is a freedom inherent to kettlebell training that loads the body from every conceivable angle and truly unlocks one’s potential.”
Brett Jones, CSCS, RKC Sr. is the pioneer of ‘The All-Russian Kettlebell for the All-American Sports’. Brett’s specialty is seamlessly implementing kettlebells with other effective strength training modalities for your athletic team or program. Contact him through his website: inmotionathletics.com. (no longer active)
I will be pulling a few articles for reposting here and providing links for other Hard-Style magalogs that feature articles by myself and others over the next few days.