One of the strengths AND drawbacks of high volume kettlebell training is that it places a tremendous emphasis on grip strength. There are two sides to every coin. Strength requires muscular tension, but too much tension is not healthy. Overworking the grip can lead to elbow pain if not balanced with open handed exercises to train your finger extensors so… the answer should be pretty obvious: balance grip work with open hand exercises or extensor work. Once I was training pull-ups, bottoms up kettlebell work, C.O.C. grippers and heavy deadlifts simulateously which lead to some serious elbow pain. I was able to remedy it quickly by readjusting my programming and inserting a healthy dose of open hand exercises to balance out the grip work. This kind of overuse can occur with any muscle group and it’s very unpleasant. Since then, I try to pair a kettlebell exercise with a technique that moves me in the “opposite” way. For example front squats usually result in spending a great deal of time in the bottom position (almost a fetal position with the fists clenched), so any exercise that looks like full body extension with open hands such as a cartwheel or hand stand is a great complimentary exercise.
Intelligently pairing kettlebell techniques with bodyweight techniques is a force multiplier than can
increase the health benefits, challenge, efficiency and benefits of any workout.
Matches Made in Heaven and Hell
Some of the following pairings are “heavenly” providing a welcomed change of pace in the form of active rest
while others are Continue reading