Well yesterday I sought professional help.
No, not for my head. Can’t work miracles.
Had my private session with Brad Hamilton, RKC to check my form. I arrived a couple minutes before he did and helped him carry a couple of Dragon Door kettlebells up the steps to the office. We were in the door before the appointment time. This is what we did:
Dynamic Stretching, looked a little like Systema stretches to me, but I don’t stretch much so I’m probably wrong. You hold the stretch for a couple of seconds if at all. And Halos. He suggested I look into Pavel’s Super Joints ( I did ), Scott Sonnon, Steve Cotter or Z-Health mobility drills.
Then I had to do a Plank. I can hold one for 2 minutes, barely. This was to make sure I was tight in the right places, which translates into power for presses and remembering the feeling when I tense up at the end of a swing. He recommend I do more, so on my Variety Days, I’m adding Planks.
Turkish Get-Up, he wanted to see mine. I did pretty good. He showed me the improved one, called the Tactical Get-Up. They never rest at the RKC. I had seen it before, tried it, but he broke it down well.
It now has a high bridge and your hand doesn’t move. The guy in the video repositioned his. Still impressive.
Swings, two hands and one hand. What I thought was my weakness was sitting back, however that wasn’t my issue. I had two problems.
- Power Breathing. Breathing and holding some air to protect my back in my diaphragm. Done right, it sounds like hydraulics at work.
- Leaning back when I swing. Can cause me to topple over with a heavy weight.
Also told me with one arm swings let the other ride along freely. Like a two kettlebell swing except one hand’s empty. That helps me stay square and not torque nothing. And play chicken with the ‘bell.
Cleaning the Kettlebell. Needed work, I knew it would. I’d let my elbow flare out and to prevent that he made me hold a piece of paper between my side and elbow when I dropped the ‘bell to reclean or park it.
Kettlebell Overhead Presses
Presses, the mother’s milk of upper body strength with a kettlebell. On the way up, I did good. I went straight down on the way down. He stopped me and asked why? I thought it was a Military Press. The better way is to trace the arc around my head again. More work for the shoulders and lats. He checked me with the 26lb (easy), the 35, (little heavier than my current) and the 44, (the next one I’ll use). He said I was ready for the 44lb kettlebell. That’s no small amount of pride in myself for working to that.
Snatches, the reason I came. I have a hard time doing them cold. I like a High Pull or two to find my groove. Except my high pulls were actually one-hand swings. So I learned proper two-hand or one-hand high pulls. Then I snatched. I wasn’t driving enough for a proper Hardstyle Snatch, it was the Sport version. The ‘bell rolled around my wrist. Then I snatched 26, the 35 and the 44(if I remember, did a lot yesterday.)
Goblet Squats. I heard of them from Scott on Twitter, but never did them. Until yesterday. I have to remember to lead with my chest out and up on the way up, driving through the heels. And on the bottom, do a slight figure-8 rocking motion. Another Variety Day addition.
When I was standing he noticed my posture, imbalanced. My shoulders are pulled forward. Showed a way to fix it, that I can’t entirely remember other than turning the femurs in with turning the knees. So I asked, and he said it was from the Feldenrais Method. And Rows. He checked my form, said pull up with my thumb going into my armpit. That will pull my shoulders back by developing lats and rhomboids.
I asked how to do it. Between my presses. For every press, two rows. Or Pull ups.
All in all a very productive hour, to bad it wasn’t taped. I suggested that. He has a veritable tool kit of diagnostic tools I haven’t covered but I’m already over 700 words into this post. He told me I was fairly advanced for someone who was teaching himself. I credit that to Pavel’s breaking down the drills in ETK and the YouTube videos various RKC’s put out. However I recommend all kettlebellers have their form checked by an RKC at least once.
Monday I’ll finish this cycle of the ROP, and post my gains for the 12 week cycle. Then I’ll be offline working on getting my book published.