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  • Rehearsal

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    Roger Parks


    Why do you do what you do? Why have you chosen the kettlebell form that you currently use? The form many people use is appropriate, but sometimes something doesn’t work. Whether it’s stance width, shoulder posture, or timing, most of us have form tendencies in place simply because we have always done something a certain way.

    What are your assumptions?

    You may not even realize that you are making any, but your form choices make assumptions for you. If what you are doing is intentional, then you are assuming that what you are doing is the best way to do it. But is it? There is little objectivity in exercise, unfortunately. There are general anatomical truths and physical laws that govern time and motion, but beyond that, you are on your own or at the mercy of your coach. Though you are offered specific form directives, and many of them are great starting points, those directives may not work for you. Further, those directives assume things that may not be accurate. Rehearsal, or moving slowly and curiously through a given skill, examines those assumptions and helps determine if your form matches your context.

    Common assumptions that prompt form suggestions are anatomical norms or how many people can comfortably perform a skill. As a corollary, form is often dictated by your coach’s anatomical condition. Your coach has a separate reality and a separate structure, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming that your reality matches someone else’s.

    Another common assumption is your goal. I would suggest a different set of form points to someone snatching for endurance vs. power. Your goal matters, and it changes everything.

    This post assumes that how you move slowly and unloaded will give you insights into how you will move under load. It’s common to see coaches working out with one weight but demonstrating with a much lighter weight. I think that’s because it’s easier to hit “ideal” with a lighter weight. Load changes everything, and when you add speed to load, you get different form. Perhaps the form you have always used for a skill has worked with every weight you’ve lifted thus far, but don’t assume that it will be the same when you bell-up. And don’t assume that the form for one bell will be the same for another.

    The last assumption I will call out (though there are many) is your current health state. Whether you are dealing with an injury old or new, or are under recovered, form assumes “healthy” and pain-free. If you aren’t at your best, your form will likely need to deviate. However, it isn’t up to the person suggesting proper form to adjust for that. We must all be responsible for our training. As someone who has spent a long time trying to educate other trainers and coaches, I acknowledge how hard it is to give advice that works for many people. Especially when coaches are insistent on knowing the “right” way to do things, it’s easy to feel the pressure to say, “this is how it should be.” That’s why we need to take responsibility for our form. We need to share with our peers and our community. We need to let people know what worked well for us and what didn’t, rather than arguing about what is right and what is not. Luckily, a little bit of rehearsal and the willingness to ask questions and be wrong is all we need to get this process started.

    Rehearsal in action

    In the video below, we give you some options to rehearse a two-arm Swing, a one-arm Swing, and a Snatch. These are just some things to consider. You can be more exhaustive or less, and of course, you can rehearse any of your kettlebell skills, not just ballistics. We hope this helps.

    Click this link          https://youtu.be/QGXw3jwpH1g



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