Grip The Bell

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Last week I encouraged you to pay extra attention to the Power Breath when you were lifting. This week, I want you to concentrate on a solid grip on the kettlebell.

One reason that kettlebells can give you a serious strength training effect compared to barbells of the same weight is that the dynamics of the movement adds to make the effective weight of the bell heavier.

To handle those dynamics, you need a solid grip on the bell - and putting a strong grip on the bell will create tension from your fist to the floor through full nervous system irradiation.

I always like to say that kettlebell lifting is all about finding a way to instantaneously go from extreme tension to extreme relaxation. When you’re putting energy into the bell, you should be death gripping it as hard as you can. And when it’s floating under the ballistic movement, you want to relax and let the bell do the work.

Not only does the relaxation help save your hands and callouses, the quick shift from tension to relaxation and back is a dynamic effort that helps your nervous system. It’s just like our A+A work - we don’t just grind out lifts until exhaustion - we burst and rest. Fractally speaking, each rep in an A+A set would be a dynamic switch between tension and relaxation.

Kettlebells can help you get in a zen-like state where you have to be one with the bell. By paying attention to your own girevik-bell-as-one system you can find the right way to flip between tension where you are in charge and controlling the bell to yielding and relaxing and letting the bell do its thing…and then back.

For the grinds - maximum tension all the time.

For the ballistics - flip between maximum tension and yielding to the bell.

Michael Deskevich