The ying and yang of crossfit kettlebells.

The ying and yang of crossfit kettlebells.

With exercising being the current health and fitness mantra for lots of people.  Any equipment that will help a weight loss program, will fill the participants with gratification as if the heavenly angels have already shown them the direct way to Paradise (well something like that).

A case in point, the exercise function of the CrossFit kettlebell deserves plenty plaudits. It epitomizes the speed, strength, explosive plyometrics and all the other facets of CrossFit training program as outlined by Greg Glassman.

The CrossFit kettlebell can be used to make three different swings:

  • The Russian swing
  • The American swing
  • The Hybrid swing.

So let’s take a sneak peak of the movements involved in these swings. A person is normally advised to practice the swing that will best fit in their pre-established CrossFit program smoothly.

The Russian swing

The Russian swing involves swinging the kettlebell from the groin to the chest level, such that there is an angle of approximately 90 degrees between the base of the hands and the torso. It is a short but compact movement.

The American swing

There exists a thin line between the Russian swing and the American swing. Instead of swinging the kettlebell to the chest position, it is swung overhead in the American swing.

The hybrid swing

The hybrid swing is simply a combination of both the Russian and the American swings. It is normally practiced after mastery of both the Russian and the American swings.

How the Russian and the American swing compare.

  • The Russian swing is shorter than the American swing. This makes the American swing more superior than the Russian swing, if the principle of increased length of motion for elite fitness is anything to go by. In essence, lifting a weight to a higher level involves doing more work than lifting the same weight to a lower level.
  • Depending on the weight of the kettlebells, the frequency and the velocity of swing varies, with the American swing requiring almost double the period required for the Russian swing.
  • A proper CrossFit workout could feature both the Russian and the American swing. In this case, the Russian swing should come first, followed by the Americanswing. However, this requires a qualified kettlebell instructor and a professional kettlebeller.
  • Both Russian and American swings are hip-hinge movements. They conspire with rhythmic diaphragmatic breathing to fill the participant with passion of the most profound kind.
  • Both Russian and American swings can be performed using different sizes and weights of kettlebells. Obviously, this depends on the strength and endurance of the participant in question.
  • There are several moves that go well with both the Russian and American swings. These include clean and jerk, repetition snatches, heavy swings and jump squats, to mention but a few. The thruster and clean and jerk are specifically useful in lowering the power demands of the American swing.

So, CrossFit is not complete without kettlebell swings. These swings place emphasize on the muscle development, enhanced sport performance and beauty benefits of the CrossFit training program. Well, beauty may be only skin deep but what else do you want- a good looking spleen?

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