Are Kettlebell High Pulls Safe

James Smith
• Friday, 18 December, 2020
• 9 min read

Kettle bell exercises are a fantastic way to build strength and develop aerobic capacity at the same time. The swing is a foundational kettle bell move that's perfect for beginners and for those working up to more difficult movements, like the high pull and the snatch.

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A hip pop at the end of the movement enables the kettle bell to “float” in midair for a moment. A notable difference between a kettle bell swing and a high pull is the bell's proximity to the body.

In the swing, the bell begins close to the body but reaches a full arm's distance away at the end of the move. That straight upward trajectory is performed with elbows bent, keeping the bell closer to the body.

In a high pull, however, the shoulders, scapular area and muscles surrounding the elbows, in both forearms and upper arms, also need to work dynamically to complete the movement. Grab a kettle bell in your first week of training and start doing snatches like you’ve seen other more seasoned kettle bell enthusiasts perform with ease, and you’re playing with fire, there is no doubt you’re going to get hurt.

The same applies to grabbing a barbell in your first week of training and start snatching it like you’re in the CrossFit Games, you’re going to get hurt. This fact doesn’t change whether you take a dumbbell, tax, sandbag, fit ball or anything else, you need to respect the tool, treat it with care and progress from step one.

*I throw the “Assisted single-arm clean” in very early, as I like my students to get familiar with the corkscrew motion, dealing with the proper weight distribution of the kettle bell to avoid pressure on the forearm, which is not dealt with early-on hinders progression at the stage of racking, cleaning and pressing. Yes if you start doing weird things that you should not be doing or your body is just not ready for, otherwise, no they’re not bad for your shoulders, they’re amazing for shaping your shoulders, creating better range of motion, making them stronger and resilient to injury.

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The people that ask these questions either have participated in a kettle bell class with a cowboy trainer teaching or heard their friend complain about their back who just started swinging the bell while watching the Julian Michael's version on YouTube. I would lie if I said I never seen anyone get injured during kettle bell training, I’ve never seen serious injury from a kettle bell, I have seen people out for a week because they did not listen to the weight suggested to them, they did not listen when the coach said, take a step back, regress and learn the hip hinge first.

In fact, when CrossFit coaches receive their L1 certification, the sumo dead lift high pull, or DHP, is taught as one of only a handful of foundational movements. In fact, when I was doing my orientation training at my box, our coaches told us essentially that they would teach us the movement, but not to expect to use it because they didn’t feel it was safe.

This is done by gripping the bar in the middle with both hands and doing a full hip extension as you pull, keeping your elbows high and pointed out. Sumo dead lift high pulls, when done correctly, are a movement driven from momentum from your hips and core.

If you want a really science-y version, we enjoyed this excerpt from Dallas Hart wig’s piece I Heart My Supraspinatus. Hart wig is the founder of Whole9, functional medicine practitioner, Certified Sports Nutritionist and licensed physical therapist.

In his piece “The Sumo Dead lift High Pull is Stupid”, published in Breaking Muscle, McCarty is frank about his feelings when it comes to SDPS. I can think of a number of movements I would want to invoke in order to lay a foundation of strength and conditioning.

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After doing a good bit of research on my own, I’m fine with my affiliate’s decision not to include sumo dead lift high pulls in programming. When performed properly, the sumo dead lift high pull is a decent way to improve on strength and well as hip-pocket explosiveness.

In fact, when CrossFit coaches receive their L1 certification, the sumo dead lift high pull, or DHP, is taught as one of only a handful of foundational movements. In fact, when I was doing my orientation training at my box, our coaches told us essentially that they would teach us the movement, but not to expect to use it because they didn't feel it was safe.

The kettlebellhigh pull is a very cardiovascular exercise that builds on from the one handed kettle bell swing. Horizontal pulling exercises help to balance out all the sitting and rounded shoulders that so many of us suffer with in today's office based society.

Full body conditioning exercise using over 600 muscles per movement Highly cardiovascular without the need to move your feet Great for improving posture due to the horizontal pulling action Excellent full body fat burner due to both cardio and muscle activation Fun transitional exercise to add into your kettle bell circuits You achieve the benefits of the kettle bell swing but with the added bonus of the horizontal pulling movement and ramped up cardio.

As the high pull is very dynamic the smaller muscles have to work hard to keep the joints in correct alignment. You will achieve more benefits by mastering the one handed swing first than trying to use the high pull exercise.

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Be aware that sweaty or greasy kettle bell handles may interfere with your grip and make this exercise really challenging. The kettlebellhigh pull exercise lends itself beautifully to be used with other kettle bell workouts.

You can also set an interval timer to beep every 30 seconds and use that as your signal to change exercise. Technique and forearm endurance are often a determining factor on the length of a set of Highballs.

The kettlebellhigh pull exercise is a highly effective full body movement. Once mastered it adds a great variation to many kettle bell workouts and is excellent for improving cardio and full body conditioning.

Instead, novices to the mature version of the exercise will have the ability to work on hip-rhythm and the motion they'll eventually use to toss weight skyward. “The move has explosive hip action like a snatch, but it won't bang your wrist when your technique is not that great,” said Saladin.

Try the kettlebellhigh pull if you're working up to a full snatch, or use the move to build power and coordination in your typical workout routine. Brett Williams, NASA Brett Williams, a fitness editor at Men's Health, is a NASM-CPT certified trainer and former pro football player and tech reporter who splits his workout time between strength and conditioning training, martial arts, and running.

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(Source: arkitectfitness.com)

Few exercises build muscle and develop power and strength in your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back like the kettle bell swing. Whether you’re a new entry to kettle bell training or a veteran, injuries can still strike at any time if you’re practicing the moves incorrectly.

To set up, begin with the KB about a foot in front of you, grab it, and then throw your arms back as if you were hiking a football. This engages the wrong muscles, wastes energy, and is a telltale sign you should be using a heavier KB.

Overemphasis of upper-body muscles during ballistic movements deteriorates exercise flow and can place strain on vulnerable areas like your neck, shoulders, and lower back. Instead, relax your upper body, use a hip snap, and lock your knees out with each rep.

Ultimately, your form will suffer and lead to injury, so make sure you stop several reps short of failure. Stop, and put the bell down before paying the price in your lower back.

Attempting to invent new movements outside the basics won’t provide a reward worth the risk. Make sure you relax your grip and hold the bell in the hook of your fingers, rather than the meat of your hand.

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(Source: www.fitdrills.com)

To avoid making this mistake, punch the kettle bell upwards instead of swinging it while relaxing the grip and allowing the bell to gently catch against your forearm. Step 3: At the top of the motion, quickly pull the kettle bell back keeping it horizontal to the ground.

Push the kettle bell handle back into the down swing quickly and repeat. Innit Academy is the most comprehensive database of information related to Unconventional Training, a unique new form of fitness methodology that focuses on functional strength, conditioning, and agility using the most efficient means and tools possible.

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The kettlebellhigh pull is very similar to the single-handed kettle bell swing, except we add a little pull in the top, which means we get all the benefits of the regular single-handed swing, but we also start to activate a lot more muscles at the back of the body, too. Then with a nice, tight grip, pull the kettle bell back towards us with a straight arm, high elbow.

Absorb the weight with our heels, hamstrings, and our buttocks, then we drive back for the second repetition. Start with the kettle bell in front, nice flat back.

Nice tight wrist, high elbow. So, you would change hands after the turn of the single-handed swing, and then you’re going to move straight into the high pull.

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5 www.sportskeeda.com - https://www.sportskeeda.com/health-and-fitness/get-toned-and-toughen-up-with-kettlebells
6 www.stack.com - https://www.stack.com/a/the-best-kettlebell-flow-you-havent-done-yet