Everyone has their pet lifts, the drills and exercises that are the most fun to do.
For blokes it’s usually bench pressing and bicep curling, women it’s those daft inner thigh (adductors) machines and anything involving those paperweights called gymsticks.
And while this is fine, it does leave the question asked, could my pet lifts be improved by training other areas of the body? Or even more importantly in my book, can my main skill set be improved by working on specifics of that skill?
The answer is a resounding yes. If your in any doubt look up Louis Simmons and his legendary Westside gym. He’s famous for having his lifters work on their weakest lifts while almost ignoring their strongest. His gym is known as being one of the strongest gyms in America.
With Kettlebell lifting, especially the Jerk, there seems to be three main areas that people seems to struggle with. The leg drive, core strength and the lockout. The Leg drive is simply a matter of practicing, bringing up the leg strength and getting the timing down. The lockout is usually a lack of flexibility and stability in the shoulder. Core strength can be built in any number of ways, but overhead will bring about the most specific strength.
So we need to practice stabilising the shoulder, build core strength with some kind of overhead work and bring up the leg strength. Are you starting to see where we are going with this?
You got it.
The bell is locked out overhead which will promote core and shoulder stability, the bells centre of gravity is behind the arm assisting in pulling it back giving a stretch to the shoulder. The weight is bourne by the midback area.
Now as you squat down you will really test the flexibility of the hips, thorax and shoulder. This is real flexibility, able to move through a full range of movement while under load, not the floppy flexibility of an amateur yogi.
While there are better ways to load the legs, there are few that promote total, full body strength.
So with that in mind here’s the workout from last Thursday (19/11) Kettlebell Fitness session:
Complex training, 1 kettlebell, 5 reps of each drill no rest, repeated on the other side. Total of 3 sets L/R
Overhead split squat
“Sissy” front squat
1 leg Romanian Deadlift
This was followed with 10 sets of Long cycle, every minute we knocked out a set of 6 reps, resting the remainder of the minute. And to finish we did heavy 1 arm clean and jerks in sets of 3 per arm. By the end of the session everyone’s shoulders and quads were well and truly worked.
Give the workout a try and drop me a comment below
All the best