Kettlebell Classes

I have just finished writing a 12 session programme for kettlebell training, and this programme is for a beginner’s class. It takes a class with little or no experience of the bells through the basic swings, and grinds, to the stage where they can enjoy a little competitive marathon in the last session. It does NOT suggest we swing little plastic –coated bells akin to a tennis ball, but assumes that the class wants to lift weights and see progression.

When setting up a new class in kettlebell training, there is a lot to consider: venue, pricing, equipment and programming that will suit a range of abilities, and produce results.This course deals with programming.

Rule the Kettlebell

Rule the Kettlebell

This is a section taken from Session 4. Focus on the Clean

The clean needs to be a highly controlled movement: the bell should not come crashing onto the client’s wrist or forearm: instead the bell comes towards the chest at a rapidly decreasing pace, as the forearm is braced, with grip open, to take the impact in mid-air, slowing the bell so effectively that there is no velocity left by the time it nears the client’s chest. Encourage the class to work in pairs to observe when the pull is initiated, and how well the bell slows down.

It can be useful to look at the movement in reverse, so suggest the class achieves a strong rack position before moving onto the clean. If the class is struggling to achieve a comfortable-looking clean, set them the challenge of managing a posterior clean. This is a much more demanding move, and works the posterior chain that much harder, so that when they return to managing a standard clean by comparison it’s infinitely more achievable!

Double Arm Clean and Press

Double Arm Clean and Press

The clean starts with a one arm swing, but the bell is drawn into the body, the forearm tenses to receive the bell, slowing down the momentum, so that the impact is absorbed, and the bell is cradled between bicep and forearm. This cradle is known as the rack position.

The two arm clean uses two bells, and delivers both bells into the rack position. From this position, and facing forward, press the bells overhead. Elbows should be locked out at the top.

Bottom-up Clean

Bottom up Clean

The Bottom Up Clean has a similar technique to the standard Clean, however, instead of it resting on the forearm, it is racked with the Kettlebell upside down. It is an excellent exercise to improve grip strength, as well as challenging balance and co-ordination (for holding the bell in this awkward position.)

The Clean Five!
Cleans working for time: 1 minute sets, 1 minute rest, 5 sets
Clean to rack to press: 5 each arm
Double arm clean: 5 reps
Bottom Up Clean: 5 reps each arm
Cleans: 1 minute sets, 1 minute rest, 5 sets

After all these cleans, it will be good to get back to some swings, so choose a couple of these swing variations(10 minutes) See Session 2 for coaching points.
Multi Planar Swing
Walking Swing
Swing to Flip

Finish with
Double arm swing, low weight, as cool down