World Champion & Kettlebell coach Brittany van Schravendijk answers one of the most kettlebell training questions, “… how do I protect my wrist during kettlebell workouts?”.
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| Kettlebell Grip |
Whether you are training with a competition kettlebell or standard kettleblel you do not want use what we call the ‘death grip’. The death grip is clutching the handle so hard that the kettlebell does not glide through your hands and allow for insertion. We commonly observe new lifters make this mistake by grasping their whole hand around the handle of the bell and thinking they need to hang on for dear life! You should utilize the Hook Grip. The kettebell should be between your first knuckle and your fingers (demonstrated above) with your thumb locked over, this allows your wrist to be straight, but is loose enough to allow you to transition to different positions easily while still controlling the kettlebell.
| Arch or Path |
You should keep the patch of the bell closer to your body on the way up as opposed to a fully extended arm. With fully extended arms, this creates a large arch or path of the kettlebell which reduces the control you have over the weight. You can control weight easier the closer it is to your body. Additionally, by trying to bring the weight in closer to you after a large arch or path, the force generated by the distance the weight covers to get back to you makes it harder to control and increased the likelihood of slamming into your wrist on the way back (demonstrated above). You can see the difference between the two paths demonstrated. So, reducing the path of the kettlebell and using the Hook Grip allow you to more easily insert your hand into the rack position.
| Timing |
You should generate the momentum needed for the kettlebell to rise with your hips rather than pulling it or yanking it with your arms. Using the hinging pattern we teach here will generate the momentum of the bell. This should all be done with very minimal force from your arms whether it is going into the rack or overhead position. Using the hinge/thrust of your legs and hips also gives you more time to insert your hand properly compared to if you are yanking the weight around just with your arm. If you make sure to generate the power from your hips that should give you time to insert your hand properly so that it does not flop over on your arm at the top. As you go into the clean, open the hand and drive the elbow into place.
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