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What Are The Top Kettlebell Powerlifting

author
Elaine Sutton
• Friday, 27 November, 2020
• 15 min read

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.

kettlebell lifting powerlifting
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Contents

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.

It teaches you to move fluidly, and when you add the external load (a kettle bell) it requires strength, mobility, and skilled movement. It's a powerful full-body exercise that requires attention to detail and a respect for human movement.

The unique shape of a kettle bell and offset handle allow you to press in the natural plane of motion relative to your shoulder joint. 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.

bench kettlebells bodybuilding press academy kettlebell hanging into powerlifting
(Source: www.onnit.com)

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. Whether you use sex for procreation or recreation, this herb makes everything better, from libido to erections to fertility.

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titan weight kettlebell adjustable lifting lb workout swing fitness amazon kettlebells equipment training
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All it takes to make serious gains is to come up with 10-15 exercise variations that you enjoy and can hit hard. The effects are similar to that of a reverse hyper which places a lot of tension on the glute complex, spinal erectors, and hamstrings.

titan kettlebell fitness adjustable weight lb lifting swing workout kettlebells
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Additionally, the anterior core experiences a fair amount of contraction at end range. Stronger folks usually won't have access to a heavy enough kettle bell to get the job done, which is why you may want to add a band for resistance.

Keep in mind though, adding band resistance changes the intent of the movement, increasing the demand on fast-twitch fibers. While this isn't a bad thing, it may be harder to sustain this level of power output for bigger sets so changing the rep counts may suit you better.

Band-Resisted Russian Swing Do 100-200 total reps and increase volume over time. Another great option if you don't have access to a particularly heavy kettle bell is to add another 'bell to the mix.

The contraction of the glutes at the top of each rep may be stronger with this variation compared to the last. By using the box and breaking up the phases of the lift, you'll add an even greater level of difficulty.

But that'll defeat the purpose of what you're trying to achieve, which is single-limb strength while keeping the midline engaged. It's a nice change from its dumbbell counterpart because of the placement of the load and the higher demand on the forearm flexors.

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(Source: www.onnit.com)

Because it's a globally demanding movement that's more challenging for the respiratory system than it is for local musculature. While it's “higher skill” than any of the other listed movements, the learning curve is still not nearly as long as its barbell counterpart.

And most people don't need to go into an excessive amount of spinal extension to gain range of motion, particularly at lockout. Additionally, the unilateral component is exactly what more people need anyway, so this version will actually strengthen your overhead press.

The biggest limiting factor with this exercise (which is almost why I decided NOT to share this one) is finding the right load. But if you do have access to a pair of lighter 'bells, this is an excellent version to train the top range of your bench press lockout while enhancing stabilization of the lats.

Plus it's a novel version of the one-arm row because of the placement of the load versus a standard dumbbell. This teaches you how to brace and create 360 degrees of tension, which is paramount to staying safe with big lifts like the squat and dead lift.

In this case, I've opted for the single-arm front rack carry simply because I see too many people do this incorrectly. When performing this unilaterally you can use the opposite hand to provide a tactile cue to keep the abs tight and turned on.

press bench floor kettlebell 48kg
(Source: www.youtube.com)

Whether your goal is strength and performance, or getting better at the “sport of fitness,” kettle bells have a variety of benefits. The fact that you can experience a novel stimulus during otherwise basic movements is important in avoiding stagnation.

It's also important in keeping you interested and excited to train each day. For the rest of us, we have to find ways to make up with assistance work and careful planning what we lack in talent and choice of parents.

Kettle bells are not the sole answer to every weakness, but they are an absolute must-have in the average Powerlifter’s bag of assistance tricks. They are amazingly effective for improving General Physical Preparedness, for Rehabilitation and Rehabilitation of Injuries, and for Dynamic/Explosive work.

The Kettle bell swing or snatch can be done either for higher reps or in interval type workouts to increase overall conditioning. Farmers walks are great for improving conditioning and about the best grip work for holding a Dead lift I know.

The fatter and smoother handle makes the hand work harder to hold the Kettle bell. For narrower squatters I like heavy one arm snatches in the squat stance.

kettlebell lifting
(Source: www.youtube.com)

In the bench press Kettle bells are not direct assistance, but are best for change of pace on back off weeks, for the best shoulder rehab work I know, and great for single arm and Renegade Rows. Doing double military presses will hit your chest if you lean back a bit.

Floor pressing a KB is easier to get into position yourself but much harder to handle weight wise. Finally, the KB arm bar is not only a great low back adjustment but fantastic for rehabilitation of bench press shoulders.

A word of caution on Turkish get ups;if you have shoulder issues and/or you have not done much overhead work, you could easily strain a rotator or rear deltoid. The front squat with KB's is great for building the conventional pull start off the floor.

The margin of error is narrow here because hitting yourself in the shin with a fast moving heavy KB will leave a mark. After Squatting: Double KB Swing Heavy 3-4 sets of 7-12 reps.

Conditioning/Extra Workouts: KB snatch 7-10 reps per hand x8-12 sets with 30-60 seconds rest. CONCLUSION; I am not sponsored lifter, so every bit of gear or equipment I buy and then give a review of is measured in Return on Investment.

kettlebells training fitness pair
(Source: smartgrouptraining.com)

Just registered here since I finished reading Enter the kettle bell and Simple & Sinister and have some unanswered questions. I've been a competitive powerlifter for 10 years. Some back problems have made me a bench press specialist and nowadays I only compete in full meets (all three power lifts) for fun.

I have always been curious about kettle bells, since I love all types of strength training but the barbell bench press always came first. Some shoulder asymmetric has made me pause the barbell training and I've been doing a lot of unilateral dumbbell movements to fix that.

Kettle bells seem like the ultimate unilateral strength trading, so I went and bought Etc and SAS because I like having some references to what I'm about to engage in. The problem is I can't find a lot about combining KB's with other strength sports.

If a bench press specialized powerlifter wanted a basic KB program that included swing, get up, clean and press (and maybe even snatch down the road) to combine with his “down-sized” powerlifting program. Thank you! My weekly training schedule differs a lot over the year depending on when the big competitions take place.

The volume and intensity are never the same two sessions in a row and the variations are planned to target a specific part of the lift on different days. I realize that I cannot just plan KB-training on top of all this, that's where I end up contemplating.

titan kettlebell weight adjustable lifting swing workout fitness lb equipment workouts amazon own personal
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Would you recommend a powerlifter to switch out everything to KB's if he wanted to learn the basics really well? If a bench press specialized powerlifter wanted a basic KB program that included swing, get up, clean and press (and maybe even snatch down the road) to combine with his “down-sized” powerlifting program.

Here are a couple examples to draw from: SFG 1 or 2 prep SFG 2 prep For both of those, you would probably have to dial back the volume and cut/paste a few movements. A bastardized version of a well-designed program is still probably better than a completely self-made program. I think your planned 1:1 ratio of KB to BB stuff would work well.

I wouldn't plan on getting much carryover from the KB stuff to your comp lifts for at least a few weeks, since the learning weights might not be enough to stimulate much adaptation. I believe cal Camp has some experience with your chosen powerlifting pursuit... I don't think he did much with KB's during that period of his lifting career, but I'll tag him in case he has any opinions.

Here are a couple examples to draw from: SFG 1 or 2 prep SFG 2 prep For both of those, you would probably have to dial back the volume and cut/paste a few movements. I wouldn't plan on getting much carryover from the KB stuff to your comp lifts for at least a few weeks, since the learning weights might not be enough to stimulate much adaptation.

If a bench press specialized powerlifter wanted a basic KB program that included swing, get up, clean and press (and maybe even snatch down the road) to combine with his “down-sized” powerlifting program. I'm not a powerlifter, but I am a weightlifter, which means competing in both the snatch and clean & jerk.

fitness titan kettlebell adjustable lb weight swing lifting workout iron
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I'm currently in an off-season prep cycle, but in a couple of months will transition to a pre-season and then competition prep cycle for the American Masters meet in November. I currently do barbell work 2x a week (Monday, Friday), each time doing a squat variant (back or front), pull / dead lift variant (clean grip / snatch grip), press or jerk variant (Blood press, Sots press, power jerk), and finish off with loaded carries. Tuesday, Thursday is rehab / conditioning day for me, which means KB swings (following Marker hybrid conditioning protocol), KB Thus, then body weight work to balance out what the barbell and kettle bell are neglecting (pull ups, ring push-ups, L-sits, back bridges).

Wed, Fri are mobility / active recovery day for me -- splits work, yoga -- because as I get older, increasing sheer explosiveness and raw strength comes slower, so I have to get under the bar lower, and faster. However, the Marker protocols are quite a bit more time and volume -- it took several weeks of dragging performance, and increased food, before I got over the conditioning hump such that they didn't interfere with each other.

I can't take my HP, divide it by 2, and say “that's a gimme” on TGU weight. I haven't noticed much shoulder fatigue issues with barbell work interfering with TGU.

If my backside or legs are still fatigued a day after BB work, my TGU suuuuuuucks. KB swings help my dead lift and 1st and 2nd Only pulls, lots of carryovers.

Thus, BB font squats remain necessary for weightlifters mixing modalities. TGU definitely helps with overhead lockout on the snatch and jerk.

weight lifting form perfect kettlebell weights double snatch swing fitness national kb workout weightlifting watchfit while tips protocol suggested overhead
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I tried training both KB and BB cleans / snatches at the same time -- I got fried. However, I've been a power lifting and kettle bell hobbyist for many years. For me, the 2 best exercises that have helped me bullet-proof my shoulders is the 1 arm KB snatch and the TGU.

After time, once your form is great and the 32 kg bell feels like a toy, consider replacing the swings with snatches. The swing adds a shear stress on the spine, that if not used to it and not maintaining proper form, could pose a problem.

Here is an example of how I integrated KB's into my last power lifting cycle. There are other things as well, non KB exercises, but I won't bore you with those details.

I focus on lighter weights (24 kg) and higher reps, sets of 15. I do what are described as shadow swings in the SAS book, but 1 handed(I'm pulling down the KB very hard).

KB Examples include single leg dead lift s, walking lunges, one arm rows. Day 4-Lots of very light bodybuilding stuff like side lateral, rear felt raises, floor presses, upright rows, standing calf raises, 2 arm Bell press.

kettlebell lifting
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I'm not a powerlifter, but I am a weightlifter, which means competing in both the snatch and clean & jerk. I'm currently in an off-season prep cycle, but in a couple of months will transition to a pre-season and then competition prep cycle for the American Masters meet in November. I currently do barbell work 2x a week (Monday, Friday), each time doing a squat variant (back or front), pull / dead lift variant (clean grip / snatch grip), press or jerk variant (Blood press, Sots press, power jerk), and finish off with loaded carries.

Tuesday, Thursday is rehab / conditioning day for me, which means KB swings (following Marker hybrid conditioning protocol), KB Thus, then body weight work to balance out what the barbell and kettle bell are neglecting (pull ups, ring push-ups, L-sits, back bridges). Wed, Fri are mobility / active recovery day for me -- splits work, yoga -- because as I get older, increasing sheer explosiveness and raw strength comes slower, so I have to get under the bar lower, and faster.

However, the Marker protocols are quite a bit more time and volume -- it took several weeks of dragging performance, and increased food, before I got over the conditioning hump such that they didn't interfere with each other. I can't take my HP, divide it by 2, and say “that's a gimme” on TGU weight.

I haven't noticed much shoulder fatigue issues with barbell work interfering with TGU. If my backside or legs are still fatigued a day after BB work, my TGU suuuuuuucks.

KB swings help my dead lift and 1st and 2nd Only pulls, lots of carryovers. Thus, BB font squats remain necessary for weightlifters mixing modalities.

exercises kettlebell press challenging most squat dog bench exercise pistol mensjournal downward
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

I tried training both KB and BB cleans / snatches at the same time -- I got fried. If so, how did that go? It seems that maybe I can benefit more from the KB work, since your competition style movements fatigue (posterior chain) more than mine (bench press).

Full body conditioning and shoulder strength/stability is my main goal with kettle bells. On top of that is just strength curiosity and keeping training fun with a lot of tools in the box.

9-12 weeks out from competition I'll move to barbell 3-4x a week (depending on how much assistance work I want), with the intent to peak the competition lifts about 7-10 days before competition. At that stage, my basic strength work in squat and dead lift are put on to a much slower progression (almost maintenance mode), so they're far less taxing and I can put more of my energy into the competition lifts and their direct accessories (power cleans, hang cleans / snatches, snatch pulls, etc. This year, I'm planning to try using low volume / modest weight KB work as finishers on accessory days.

I have, and it's a little paradoxical. I've done 1 arm KB strict presses and as a unilateral exercise, I can tell it's creating a better left/right balance in my shoulders and making them healthier. On the other hand, the rack position, grip, and lift mechanics are very different from a barbell HP, let alone a jerk (which has leg drive).

From what I can tell, the unilateral KB press doesn't help me jerk or snatch more weight, but it does let me lock out better and stick more lifts / miss fewer. This is pretty consistent with how barbell HP translates to the jerk and snatch -- stronger press helps you stick the lift and hold it, but doesn't help to get the bar higher (that's all from the pull).

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It seems that maybe I can benefit more from the KB work, since your competition style movements fatigue (posterior chain) more than mine (bench press). Instead of squats and dead. Full body conditioning and shoulder strength/stability is my main goal with kettle bells.

On top of that is just strength curiosity and keeping training fun with a lot of tools in the box. The Simple & Sinister routine basically has no horizontal push / pull (which is why I supplement with ring push ups / rows just for balance), so plenty of room to work on the bench.

I would expect the TGU to help the bench a bit, too because of shoulder girdle support. I strongly doubt your competition lift(s) would suffer if you're still doing powerlifting training 3 days a week.

You might have to fiddle with the volume to make it all work together, but it seems like a good place to start. I say let 'er rip for a month or two and see what happens. In between these sessions I will do Pull ups and Horizontal pulls GTG-style (~10 reps x 5 sets at a time).

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Sources
1 www.kettlebellsusa.com - https://www.kettlebellsusa.com/pages/what-size-kettlebell-should-i-buy
2 www.setforset.com - https://www.setforset.com/blogs/news/what-size-kettlebell-should-i-buy-the-complete-guide