As far as DVDs go – I just got the Kettlebell Basics for Strength Coaches and Personal Trainers by Brett Jones – it is THE best instructional DVD for learning the fine points of the kettlebell moves I have ever seen by far. I strongly recommend it.
1.) Keep in mind people have broken their forearms doing snatches – but only CrossFitters. Most people don’t have the strength to hurt themselves like that, but CrossFitters totally have the strength and the hip drive to hurt themselves with kettlebells.
2.) Work on the swing, work on the swing, work on the swing. Make sure you are using absolutely no arms at all. Work on wedging yourself between the bell and the ground. Try to swing the bell to a certain height using 50% energy, then try to swing it to the same height using more and less energy. This is a drill that will give you a really amazing feel for swinging the bell. Get to a point where you are really comfortable with head high swings. Really look at projecting the kbell up so that it’s weightless right above head level – and no higher. If you swing with the power to put it full overhead (like CrossFit’s “American Swing”) you are look to get smacked pretty hard when the kettlebell flips over.
3.) The “putting on a sweater” analogy people use sucks. I still don’t get it.
4.) The kettlebell should not flip over your hand. I repeat: The kettlebell DOES NOT ROTATE AROUND YOUR HAND. The kettlebell gets weightless, and your hand ROTATES AROUND THE BELL. THat is the secret to punching up. The kbell is weightless and you punch under it.
5.) Try corkscrewing the kettlebell around your hand, like in a clean. The way to learn the clean is to start with the kettlebell in the racked position and then JUST drop it between your legs. Follow the same groove back up.
6.) A lot of fore-arm bruises come from weird things that happen when you muscle the weight up with your arms, instead of project it up with your hips. You need to project it up with your hips so that it gets weightless right above head level.
By Josh Hillis
National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer
Russian Kettlebell Challenge Certified Instructor
Russian Kettlebell Challenge Combat Applications Specialist
CrossFit Level II Trainer
currently studying National Academy of Sports Medicine Sports Fitness Specialist