Monday, August 25, 2008

Increase the Weight and Challenge of your KB's: Kneel!

Some have shown that if you want a cheap way to increase the weight of your upper body Kettlebell work, go "bottom's up": hold the handle so the butt of the bell is in the air, rather than hanging down. Here's another that can increase the effort on your presses, whether with dumbbells or kettlebells: kneel. If you want to challenge your stability as well as strength, genuflect.

Taking the legs out of the equation to induce more of an upper body challenge is not new: Pavel Tsatsouline in More Russian Kettlebell Challenges uses various seated presses; Mike Mahler does likewise at least once in most of his DVDs.

The difference is that these are seated variants, and kneeling is the kind of halfway house between standing and sitting; kneeling vs genuflecting provides even more opportunities for working balance and motion. In the CK-FMS, more about these challenges are taught as corrective strategies for mobility and stability.

But even without such study, you can give kneeling/genuflecting a try: you'll be surprised no doubt at how the bell you feel comfortably challenged pressing from your feet becomes impossible on one's knees.

This simple positional change adds a radical new dimension to one's training. I'm personally blown away by how an adaptation that costs nothing gives me a whole new way to practice familiar moves with a new perspective, as shown by Rif here

Give it a try. Let me know what you find.


Mike T Nelson said...

Another version I like to do is KB presses from various lunge positions. Make sure to keep a tall spine---esp in the low back area as it is easy to "cheat" and arch the back too much.

Once that is easy and you have good lumbar and thoracic movement, add a rotation to it.

For example,
Lunge forward, rot rt, press.

You can press with the same arm or opposite arm. Works well to combat some fascial winding issues some have. Be sure to test your movement each time to make sure it is a good movement for you and progress slow.

Good stuff!
Rock on
mike N

The Endos & Morenos said...

Hi mc,

What does it mean if it easier when I am kneeling?

dr. m.c. said...

Rich, i really hope that Mike will come back on this one.

In the meantime could i confirm that you're saying that when on both knees, you can press heavier weights than when you're standing?


The Endos & Morenos said...

Hi mc,

Kettlebell weight increments are too big for me to press heavier, but it is easier and smoother when I kneel.

I think this is because it is less effort for a solid base.


Mark Reifkind said...

thanks for the link MC. Those were my second set of presses after the CK- FMS - after not having pressed ANYTHING for over a year and half! Just snatches , swings and snatch holds. Crazy huh?
Kneeling was actually easier for me than standing. what does that say about my lower body,lol.

Anonymous said...

Cool ... A new way to play kettlebell :)

Thanks. I'll give it a try out this week.

Hope you are having a great week!



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