Slow is Smooth….

Last week we spoke about the Kettlebell a fair bit.

The snatch, like all the clasical Kettlebell lifts is ballistic in nature, you essentially throw the Kettlebell up to lockout, and do little more than guide it as it falls.

This is great for explosive power and particularly power endurance development .

But not great for strength, or strength through a full range of motion.

For that full range strength we need what Pavel refers to in his excellent Beyond Bodybuilding text as 1 gear strength.


(That’s an Amazon affiliate link, if you take my advice and purchase a copy of the book, Amazon kindly gives me a kickback. Which is nice)

What is 1 gear strength?

Its best described  using the analogy of towing a car.

When you tow a vehicle you must pull smoothly at an even speed. If you just take off, there’s a damn good chance you’ll snap the rope.  No good for anyone, especially if of the car is currently stuck in a ditch.

So you pull slow. Tension the rope gradually, take the slack and then creep forwards keeping the tension as constant as possible.

Bringing this back to lifting, this means using a controlled tempo, moving smoothly and slowly through the lift.

This slow action will highlight any weak points, help you shore them up, teach you to move the body as a unit.

It should also have the effect of improving the ballistic/ explosive movements

One key kettlebell “grind” is the 1 leg Romanian Deadlift, excellently demonstrated here by keen amateur runner / triathlete Vinnie



Kettlebell work isn't always ballistic or explosive Here Vin is using 3 second push ups and 1 leg RDL's which is the first part of todays Lunchtime Fitness session. Slow allows you to work into rather than blast through sticking points and weak areas. To feel the whole body engage and coordinate. #WGFamily #irishfitfamily #kettlebells #strength #mobility #endurance #lunchtime #dublin2

A post shared by Dave Hedges (@dave_hedges) on Jan 30, 2018 at 6:05am PST


Vinnie is supersetting 1 leg RDL’s with Slow Push ups. An excellent full body combination.

Other grinding movements you should be doing:

Squats, Presses, Turkish Get Ups, Windmills, Rows

We’ll be talking about combining the ballistic and grinding type movements to suit various client needs on the upcoming Kettlebells for Coaches workshop. Details of which are here:

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