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Is Kettlebell Strength Training

author
Maria Johnson
• Sunday, 04 October, 2020
• 26 min read

If you are looking to gain strength then Kettle bells can be a great tool to help you achieve your goal. The truth is you can build strength with any type of added resistance, whether that is Dumbbells, Barbells or Power bags.

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Contents

During the Squat the Kettle bell can be placed in the rack position nicely resting against the upper arm and forearm and enable much larger weight to be held against the body. Efficiency of movement means recruiting more motor units which in turn will activate more muscle fibers for greater contractile strength.

With practice, you can educate your body to recruit the maximum amount of motor units during each lift and therefore increase your strength. In fact when most people begin resistance training (lifting weights) it is this efficiency of movement or motor unit recruitment that gives the impression of gaining muscle.

The beginner weight lifter becomes more skillful at lifting over time and this helps improve their strength much more than muscle development. However, there does come a time when efficiency and motor recruitment are maxed out and additional muscle mass is the only way to develop further strength.

I’ve noticed this principle of strength as a skill rather than being related directly to muscle mass many times when training clients and educating personal trainers. If you started training at your max lift of 7 reps x 3 sets it would leave you beaten up and tired for days.

Also remember that more practice time means more development of skill and improved motor unit recruitment. The double kettle bell clean and press or long cycle is possibly the best full body strength training exercise.

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The kettle bell double racked squat exercise will heavily strengthen the legs, buttocks, hips, core and back. You can use the double clean exercise in order to get into the top position ready to begin your set.

You can build a lot of strength with the double kettle bell swing but I would recommend slightly higher reps for this exercise. Extra caution needs to be taken when swinging heavy kettle bells due to the dynamic nature of the exercise.

I really like this exercise because when loaded up nice and heavy it really challenges the core sling system that runs from the hip across to the opposite shoulder. The Central Nervous System (CNS) will fatigue heavily if you push yourself too hard and although you may feel physically ready to exercise again, mentally you will not have recovered.

Again, another reason why training at 50% of your max is so important, you can lift more often without totally fatiguing your central nervous system. For strength building workouts rest periods should be extended to 2.5 – 3 minutes per set.

Double Kettle bell Clean and Press x 5 reps Rest 3 minutes Repeat x 3 sets All efforts should be placed on lifting heavy at 50% of your max and then taking nice long rests between sets.

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What many believe to be initial physical strength gains through muscle are actually an increase in motor unit recruitment. More frequent strength training practice means more training volume and more exposure to improvement of motor unit recruitment.

Use large full body kettle bell exercises for your training to develop more useful strength. Kettle bells, which look like cannonballs with handles, have become a popular strength training alternative to traditional barbells, dumbbells, and resistance machines.

Kettle bell exercises often involve several muscle groups at once, making them a highly effective way to give your arms, legs, and abs a great workout in a short amount of time. Kettle bells can be used for a variety of exercises that improve both your strength and cardiovascular fitness.

Russian strongmen in the 1700s developed kettle bells as implements to build strength and endurance. Using lighter kettle bells at first allows you to focus on using the proper form and technique for the different exercises.

Aim to add more reps each week, then work toward adding more sets as you build strength. Push your hips backward, and bend your knees to reach the kettle bell handles.

kettlebell strength minute workout
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Firmly grip the kettle bells, keeping your arms and back straight. This is an excellent exercise to boost both your muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness.

While your shoulders and arms will do a lot of the work, most of the effort should come from the hips and legs. Exhale as you make an explosive upward movement to swing the kettle bell out in front of you.

Squats are an excellent lower-body exercise that work your quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, as well as your abdominal muscles. Using your leg muscles, with your upper body still, straighten up to your starting position.

Alternatively, you can hold a kettle bell by the handle in one or both hands, with your arms at your sides. Slowly step forward with your left leg, bending your knee while keeping your right foot in place.

Make sure your left knee doesn’t extend over your toes. A great exercise for working your abs and obliques (the muscles on the sides of your abdomen that run from your hips to your ribs), the Russian twist can also be done with a weighted medicine ball or barbell plate.

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When using a kettle bell, be sure to keep a firm grip so that you don’t drop it on your lap. Sit with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor.

Holding the kettle bell handle with both hands, lean back so that your torso is at about a 45-degree angle to the floor. With your heels a few inches above the floor, rotate your torso from right to left, swinging the kettle bell slightly across your body.

When you’ve completed your repetitions, return to your starting position. Push ups target your chest, triceps, and core muscles.

When your chest is even with the kettle bell handles, exhale and push your body back up to its starting position. Hold a kettle bell by the handle so that it rests against the outside part of your shoulder.

While exhaling, push the kettle bell upward so that your arm is almost straight. There are many benefits to working out with kettle bells, for both men and women, across all age groups.

kettlebell windmill exercise double academy onnit kb
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According to a 2019 study, a kettle bell workout is a highly effective way to improve your strength, aerobic power, and overall physical fitness. Compared to resistance circuit-based training, the same study found that a regular kettle bell workout is just as effective at improving cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength.

A 2013 study reported that participants who completed an 8-week kettle bell training session saw noticeable improvements in their aerobic capacity. Kettle bell exercises have the ability to restore muscle mass and improve grip strength in older adults, according to a 2018 study.

According to Harvard Health, kettle bell exercises can also help improve your posture and balance. You typically use your core muscles more with kettle bell exercises than with dumbbells or barbells.

If possible, ask a certified personal trainer at your local gym or fitness center to show you the proper form for kettle bell exercises. Kettle bells tend to swing, so get used to the feel and movement in your hands before using one.

A little mild soreness after a workout is normal, but you shouldn’t feel sudden, sharp pain while working out. Kettle bells can take a little getting used to, but working out with them is a highly effective way of improving your muscle strength and cardio fitness.

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The key is to start slow and, if possible, with the help of a certified personal trainer. A 16-kilogram (35 lb) “competition kettle bell Arthur Saxon with a kettle bell, cover of The Text Book of Weight-Lifting (1910)The Russian girl (, plural girl) was a type of metal weight, primarily used to weigh crops in the 18th century.

They began to be used for recreational and competition strength athletics in Russia and Europe in the late 19th century. The birth of competitive kettle bell lifting or Gregory sport ( ) is dated to 1885, with the founding of the “Circle for Amateur Athletics” ( ).

Russian girl are traditionally measured in weight by Food, corresponding to 16.38 kilograms (36.1 lb). The English term kettle bell has been in use since the early 20th century.

Similar weights used in Classical Greece were the halter, comparable to the modern kettle bell in terms of movements. Variants of the kettle bell include bags filled with sand, water, or steel shot.

By their nature, typical kettle bell exercises build strength and endurance, particularly in the lower back, legs, and shoulders, and increase grip strength. The basic movements, such as the swing, snatch, and the clean and jerk, engage the entire body at once, and in a way that mimics real world activities such as shoveling or farm work.

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Unlike the exercises with dumbbells or barbells, kettle bell exercises involve large numbers of repetitions in the sport, and can also involve large reps in normal training. Kettle bell exercises are in their nature holistic; therefore they work several muscles simultaneously and may be repeated continuously for several minutes or with short breaks.

When training with high repetitions, kettle bell progression should start out slowly to build muscle endurance, support the joints and prevent injury. They can offer improved mobility, range of motion, agility, cardio vascular endurance, mental toughness and increased strength.

The following is a list of common exercises that are uniquely suited to the kettle bell for one reason or another. A kettle bell exercise that combines the lunge, bridge and side plank in a slow, controlled movement.

Keeping the arm holding the bell extended vertically, the athlete transitions from lying supine on the floor to standing, and back again. As with the other slow exercises (the windmill, get-up, and halo), this drill improves shoulder mobility and stabilization.

It starts lying on the ground with the kettle bell over the shoulder in a straight arm position, as in the top of a floor press, but with the other arm along the floor straight overhead. The trainee then gradually turns their body away from the kettle bell until they are lying partially on their front.

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The kettle bell is held hanging in one arm and moved smoothly around the body, switching hands in front and behind. Also called a front leg pass, this is a backward lunge, circling the bell around the front leg, returning to the standing position, and repeating.

Like the slingshot, but the bell is swung forward until the arms are parallel to the ground. Starting with the bell in the rack, the bell is pushed away to the side slightly, the swung down to the other side in front of the body, and reversed back up into the rack.

A variation of the press where the other arm assists by pushing open palm against the ball. Stand on one leg and hold the kettle bell with the opposite arm.

By then lowering and raising the kettle bell you can work stabilization and power. A press utilizing a bent-leg windmill position to lift heavier weight than is otherwise possible.

One bell is rowed to the chest while maintaining the plank position, then returned to the ground and repeated with the other arm. Alternatively performed with a single kettle bell, one arm at a time.

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This requires more control than an ordinary push up and results in a greater range of motion. Feet may be elevated to increase the difficulty, until the trainee is performing a handstand push-up on the kettle bells.

In any movement involving the rack or overhead position, the kettle bell can be held with the ball in an open palm (sometimes called the waiter hold) for a greater stabilization challenge, or for even more precise control and added grip challenge, the bottom-up hold, squeezing the kettle bell by the handle upside-down. Holding a single kettle bell in the rack position bottom-up with two hands (“by the horns”) makes for goblet exercise variants.

Conventional swing: The kettle bell is swung from just below the groin to somewhere between the upper abdomen and shoulders, with arms straight or slightly bent, the degree of flexion depends on the trajectory of the kettle bell. Hang clean: The kettle bell is held in the rack position (resting on the forearm in the crook of the elbow, with the elbow against the chest), lowered to below the knees, and then thrust back up in to the rack.

The kettle bell is held in one hand, lowered to behind the knees via hip hinge, swung to an overhead position and held stable, before repeating the movement. Jerk: As a push press, but with two dips, for more leg assistance (as in the barbell clean and jerk) Thruster: A rack squat with a press at the top using momentum from the squat.

An easier variant for those with less hip mobility is to perform the squat parallel to a step or ledge, so that the foot of the free leg can dip beneath the pushing leg at the bottom. Carry: Walking with the kettle bell held in various positions, such as suitcase, rack, goblet, or overhead.

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Row: While bent over anywhere from 45 degrees to parallel with the ground, the kettle bell is held hanging from a straight arm, pulled up to the hips or laterally, and lowered again. Keeping the bell arm vertical, the upper body is bent to one side and rotated until the other hand is touching the floor.

The single kettle bell version is called the suitcase walk. These build grip strength while challenging your core, hips, back and traps.

The kettle bell is swung from just below the groin to somewhere between the upper abdomen and shoulders, with arms straight or slightly bent, the degree of flexion depends on the trajectory of the kettle bell. The key to a good kettle bell swing is effectively thrusting the hips, not bending too much at the knees, and sending the weight forwards, as opposed to squatting the weight up, or lifting with the arms.

The one-arm swing presents a significant anti-twisting challenge, and can be used with an alternating catch switching between arms. Within those variations there are plenty more variations, some are, but not limited to: pace, movement, speed, power, grip, the direction of thumb, elbow flexion, knee flexion.

The kettle bell has more than 25 grips that can be employed, to provide variety, challenge different muscles, increase or decrease complexity, and work on proprioception. Competitive lifter (Greek) performing jerk with 32 kg kettle bells (rack position). Contemporary kettlebelltraining is represented basically by five styles.

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Hard style has its roots in powerlifting and Gj-rykarate training, particularly hobo undo concepts. With emphasis on the “hard” component and borrowing the concept of time, the Hard style focuses on strength and power and duality of relaxation and tension.

Gregory, sometimes referred to as the fluid style in comparison to the Hard style, represents the training regimen for the competitive sport of kettle bell lifting, focusing on strength endurance. CrossFit kettle bell refers to implementation of kettlebelltraining as in CrossFit curricula, often with significant modifications to preceding styles (e.g. American Swing vs. conventional swing, placing the kettle bell down between snatches).

Juggling is a training style where the practitioner releases and catches the kettle bell with all manner of spins and flips around the body. Kettlebelltraining is extremely broad and caters to many goals, some being, but not limited to: mobility, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, strength, speed and power.

If an athlete is training in the gym, on the beach, or in the park, and not performing any of the above disciplines, they are participating in kettlebelltraining. The sport can be compared to what the CrossFit Games is to CrossFit, however, the sport has been much longer in existence, and is only recently gaining more popularity worldwide, with women participating as well.

One such example being Valerie Wazowski, who at age 52, was the first US female lifter in the veteran age category to achieve Master of Sport in 24 kg Kettle bell Long Cycle. ^ , «» .

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« » “ ”, 22 August 2016 (with period photographs). 21 (1908), p. 505: “PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE USING SCHMIDT'S Celebrated 'MONARCH' DUMB-BELL, BAR BELL AND KETTLE BELL SYSTEM”; also spelled KETTLE-BELLS (with hyphen) in a 1910 advertisement for the “Automatic Exerciser”) ^ a b c Rathbone, Andy (2009-01-04).

Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies 15 (2011): 542-544 ^ a b Iv ill, Laura (2008-11-22). “Exclusive ACE research examines the fitness benefits of kettle bells” (PDF).

Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies 15 (2011): 125-127 ^ Kettle bell Swing Vs. High Pull”. ^ “The Kettle bell Clean, Stop Banging Your Wrists | The Complete Guide”.

Imagine you’re a soldier posted at a foreign military base. Western : occasional soul-crushing, long, brutal workouts followed by days of weakness as you recover.

Eastern : easier, shorter training performed every day with little weakness or recovery. Pavel Tsatsouline, the “father of the kettle bell ”, focused his entire career on the Eastern strength approach.

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Greasing the Groove (GTG) is a micro-workout approach to every day kettlebelltraining. Instead of long dedicated blocks of all-out workouts, Pavel prescribes light sessions every day.

Sessions with long rests between sets, and stopping well before failure. Best of all, light, every day kettlebelltraining doesn’t require recovery.

Greasing the groove can stand alone as a complete workout, or layered on top of an existing routine for faster results. Like conventional barbell and dumbbell programs, intense kettlebelltraining tests your ability to recover.

To keep the system in balance, daily workouts must be less intense and shorter. If this all seems too confusing, Pavel designed a great program for every day KettlebellTraining called Simple & Sinister (Amazon).

He gives you daily kettle bell routines and lays out the common rookie (and veteran) mistakes. While exercising, the moment your form slips up just a tiny bit, STOP.

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I can trace back most of my injuries to ignoring poor form cues. For the best results, perform 70-250 kettle bell swings daily before breakfast when hormones and enzymes are primed to burn stored body fat.

For an average strength man, he recommends 24 kg for KBS and 16 kg for TGU. For an average strength lady, Pavel recommends 16 kg for KBS and 8 kg for TGU.

I’ve found that I can complete a workout of Kettle bell Swing and Turkish Get-Ups in just about 10 minutes. Most people begin noticing big results and improvements in 2-4 weeks.

Cardio and strength benefits begin earlier, while goals like weight loss can take a little longer to show. You’ll notice that your usual everyday activities become easier.

Every time you enter the room, hit a few kettle bell swings. I started GTG and reclaimed 15 hours previously consumed by the gym.

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Paradoxically, swinging kettle bells kept me consistently near full strength while I continued to build muscle. I no longer spent 90 percent of my weeks recovering from monstrous personal-record setting workouts.

I hack my workouts with an incredible technology I wrote about called blood flow restriction training. Every day I make a point to get a few minutes of a little exercise “snack”.

Barbells and dumbbells are wonderful tools, but they're not always forgiving, and many a fledgling lifting career has been cut short by just one momentary lapse of concentration or lack of judgment. Kettle bells can dramatically reduce the wear and tear on the body while still serving to increase strength, muscle, and power.

With kettle bells, you can decrease the training load by up to 75% and still make significant progress in strength, power, and body composition goals. While some may argue that kettle bells put you at a mechanical disadvantage (which is what forces you to use less weight), it really all boils down to tension.

After the kettle bells have been cleaned into the rack position, a posterior pelvic tilt should be performed to ensure proper alignment. Crush the handles of the kettle bell and develop lat tension by imagining pencils in your armpits that you're trying to snap in half.

Maintain tension throughout the entire movement and initiate the ascent with a forceful grunt and exhalation. The double kettle bell military press requires intense focus and tension through the whole body.

The kettle bell also increases the demand on the external rotators of the shoulder in order to stabilize the weight at the top of the press. Maintain a neutral spine and pelvic alignment, tense the glutes and lats, and use breathing behind the shield throughout the lift.

Avoid arching the lower back and allowing the rib cage to rise as you near the top of the press. Olympic lifters have some of the most impressive physiques in the sporting world thanks in part to the many cleans and snatches they do.

What makes these lifts such great muscle-building exercises is that they can't be narrowed down to one particular muscle group being worked. However, the problem with barbell cleans and snatches is that there's a very high learning curve coupled with extreme mobility demands.

With kettle bells, the weight can be swung between the legs, increasing the eccentric load and leading to more powerful hips. Key Points Ensure that you lock your arm out overhead with a neutral wrist at the top of the kettle bell snatch.

The aim here wasn't to dismiss the barbell variations, but to simply offer alternatives that have similar movement patterns albeit with a different implement. Today I’d like to share how to use strength training for cyclists in order to improve performance and reduce the potential for injury.

Adding a series of strength training exercises for cycling will help improve your strength for climbing hills, power for sprinting and core for reducing injury potential. You will also feel more stable on the bike with better control and alleviate any back and neck fatigue that you may experience.

Develop strong core muscles for improved handling of the bike and a reduction in back issues Increase overall body resilience and reduce the potential for injury Increase power production for sprinting and strength for climbing hills Create a strong stabilization system to support the body’s main prime movers Remedy muscle imbalances that are caused by the cycling position Ultimately there are no real downsides to adding a cycling strength training element to your program you just need to ensure you don’t overdo things before races, but more on that later.

Below I’ve listed the 8 kettle bell exercises that will deliver the best results for the least amount of time invested. These fears should not be a concern, with a balanced diet and a sensible distribution of kettlebelltraining and longer cardio sessions on the bike, weight gain should not be a problem.

The slingshot will develop core stability as the hips work to maintain position as the kettle bell is passed around the body. Strong core muscles will also reduce the potential for back issues by helping to better support the spine.

The technique for the farmers carry is simple, hold one kettle bell in one hand and then walk forwards ensuring your shoulders and hips stay parallel. These cyclists squat will develop strength in the legs, hips, core and buttocks.

Keep your weight on your heels and mid-foot and drive the knees outwards not allowing them to cave inwards. You thighs need to reach at least parallel with the floor in order to properly activate the buttock muscles.

Pause at the bottom of the goblet squat for a second or two before pushing back up to the standing position. Slowly lower down so the front leg bends at least to parallel with the floor and then drive back up as quickly as possible to develop more power.

Those with tight hip flexors may feel a stretch with this exercise and should be careful not to over-arch the lower back. The hamstring muscles are a prime location for injury due to the overwhelming use of the quadriceps when cycling.

Perform this kettle bell exercise by hinging at the hips and keeping the back flat and core braced tight. Prevent the hips from rolling outwards by pointing the rear foot towards the ground throughout the exercise.

The strengthening of your core muscles as you pivot at the hips during this exercise will also help to prevent back problems while riding. The kettle bell swing is a hip hinging exercise that is performed with a flat back and a slight bend in the knees.

The hips should be powerfully snapped forwards and backwards to drive the kettle bell up to chest height. Do not overextend or lean backwards at the top of the kettle bell swing instead squeeze your core and buttocks tight.

The kettle bell regular row will develop strength and stability in the scapula and help with neck fatigue and other issues caused from the hunching cycling posture. You will also achieve excellent core activation for preventing lower back injuries as well as strengthening the hamstrings with this exercise.

Pull from the elbow slowly and pause at the top of the movement, then lower the kettle bell back down under control. The kettle bell renegade row is excellent choice for cyclists because it will develop a strong core as well as improving shoulder and scapula stability.

The challenge is to keep your body rigid from shoulders to heels, any sinking or dropping of the hips will be counter-productive for your back. As with the regular row, pull from the elbow and avoid hunching up your shoulders towards your neck.

You can perform this exercise on the handles of two kettle bells but I prefer using a box, bench or chair for safely reasons. In order to achieve the most from the above 8 kettle bell exercises for cycling I’ve put together a cyclists' workout plan that you can use.

Each workout ticks off the major movement patterns that need to be worked in order to achieve the best results in the least amount of time. For many people it doesn’t matter how hard you train and lift weights you may never be a great cycling sprinter, sorry.

Fast twitch muscle distribution used for generating explosive power is genetic and although it can be improved it can never be totally overhauled. Using strength training for cyclists can help increase your power for sprinting, strength for hill climbing and reduce your potential for injury and back problems.

I hope you embrace the above kettle bell exercises and experience the great benefits that just a few workouts per week can achieve. When used correctly, kettle bells are extremely effective training tools for providing total-body strength and conditioning.

As with any technical movement, lift, or skill, proper coaching is required to maximize the benefits. It's a two-for-one exercise, meaning you're able to combine strength training and cardiovascular conditioning into one efficient movement.

Though it looks easy to perform, the swing can take a significant amount of time, practice, and coaching to perfect. Unfortunately, this exercise is often performed incorrectly, which will limit your results as well as any further progressions that are based on this basic movement.

It's a powerful full-body exercise that requires attention to detail and a respect for human movement. For strong, resilient shoulders, improved hip and trunk strength, and enhanced mobility, the Turkish get-up is essential.

You just feel like you have more power to press efficiently with a kettle bell, mostly because of the more natural plane of motion. Similar to the kettle bell swing, the clean is another explosive exercise for total-body strength and conditioning.

The difference here is that the kettle bell finishes in the rack position as opposed to being projected horizontally away from your body. The kettle bell snatch is physically demanding and technical, but offers outstanding total-body strength and conditioning benefits.

It can help transcend athletic performance to new levels, build explosive strength, and forge strong, powerful shoulders. The snatch requires proper technique, explosive hip power, and athleticism.

This exercise should not be attempted until the kettle bell swing hip-hinge pattern and explosive hip drive are established. Though watching videos is helpful, the best way to learn how to correctly do these challenging movements is to work with a certified kettle bell instructor.

Build Strength and Power With This Complete Kettle bell Program | STACK In Greek mythology, Prometheus is a Titan, who is credited with the creation of man from clay, and who defies the gods by stealing fire and giving it to humanity, an act that enabled progress and civilization.

You should have plenty of rest between sets in the form of stretching and mobility work. In the video, I demonstrate the workout with the BEAST (48 kg/106lg) for the swings and rows and use a 32 kg/70lb for the jerks.

Buy the program to understand what weight to start with, alternative exercises, why the rep range, how to make it heavier or adjust the program if you only have lighter kettle bells, recommendations for rest time, key safety points, what to do when you’re too sore to train, bonus material, etc. The program comes as a PDF of 7,800 words over 50 pages with bonus resources.

You get access to several coaches and are able to ask questions about the program, your progress, form check, and the new workouts we post each week. This is truly a full-body kettle bell workout, you’ll be hitting every muscle in your body with these two compound exercises.

The row is also considered a compound exercise as it works multiple muscle groups at the same time, but I personally would put it low on the list of compound qualities, however, there is a clear reason I included this in the program and that is to work those areas often neglected in kettlebelltraining. The focus of the jerk is the quadriceps, gluteus Maximus, biceps memoirs (long head), semitendinosus, semimembranosus, adductor Magnus, triceps brachial, Antonius, deltoid, serrated anterior, coracobrachialis, and biceps brachial.

The kettle bell jerk is a push press and then dip under with elbow fully extended and the arm positioned overhead. The focus of the bent-over row is the rear felt, latissimus Doris, tears major, and triceps brachial (long head), but there is way more going on as you create a stable base to row/pull the heavyweight from.

You lunge forward and take a step back to create the position to row from. Your back remains neutral and your non-working arm is resting on the forward knee.

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