Demonstration of Level I StrongFirst Kettlebell Techniques

Yesterday I had the great opportunity to hang-out with Senior StrongFirst Instructor Delaine Ross at the StrongFirst Kettlebell User Course hosted by the great people at Kosama. (Thanks Mike & Kelly)

In addition to meeting and learning from another awesome StrongFirst instructor I was able to assist with the teaching  a bit and meet a great group of people.

The StrongFirst User Course is intended to introduce the most essential kettlebell techniques and StrongFirst principles to the new users so that they can start training safely and effectively with kettlebells. The User Course covers the 4 following fundamental techniques: The Swing, The Goblet Squat, The Getup and the Press.

Although I filmed the following video a few years back, the technique still holds up to standard and serves as a bit of reminder of the techniques covered yesterday plus a few more. (Exception: The goblet squat is not shown)

Techniques Shown:
The Swing, The Front Squat, The Clean, The Press, The Snatch, The Getup

If you’re experienced with kettlebells but have never trained with a StrongFirst Certified Instructor take a peak and compare how safe or powerful the techniques look to what you’ve experienced in your own training.

Pay particular attention to the following:

  • The plank makes an appearance in every technique (the top of the swing, the top of the squat, the entire getup, the press, the top of the snatch & clean)
  • The wrists are kept in a neutral position (like a punch) and never forced into extension the way they would be with a barbell
  • The shoulders are allowed to steer independently of another (something that is VERY difficult to do with a barbell)
  • The squats although using relatively light weight are held in front of the body so they can be dropped safely.
  • The hips go into full extension at the top of the kettlebell front squat, something that is not done with the barbell back squat.
  • During the front squat the lower offset center of gravity places a significantly greater load on the body than they would if the same amount of weight were placed on a barbell across the back of the shoulder as in a back squat.
  • The swings are a hip centric movement where energy is directed forward, not overhead.
  • The snatches and cleans are exercises in directing energy upward or overhead, yet the hip motion is identical to the that of the swing and distinctly different from the squat.
  • The swings, cleans and Snatches use little to no spinal flexion and maximum hip flexion to extension to move the kettlebell.
  • The getup is slow controlled movement with ZERO spinal flexion; essentially a moving plank.


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