At CrossFit we swing the kettlebell overhead while the kettlebell community swings to eye or shoulder height. No matter how many times we’re admonished for our excessive swing we proceed unabated? What gives? Are we in need of additional, more “qualified”, kettlebell instruction?
While admitting a penchant for iconoclasm, we are not contrary solely for the sake of being contrary. Rational foundations for our programming, exercises, and technique are fundamental to CrossFit’s charter. We swim against the current only when we believe that doing so delivers a stimulus truer to our product - elite fitness.
In the March 2004 issue of the CrossFit Journal we stated that, “Criteria for (exercise) selection include, range of joint motion, uniqueness of line of action, length of line of action, strength of line of action, commonness of motor pattern, demands on flexibility, irreducibility, utility, foundational value, measurable impact on adherents, and, frankly, potential for metabolically induced discomfort.”
This month we apply some of these criteria to an analysis of the two kettlebell swings and then assess two other CrossFit staples, the clean & jerk and the“thruster” for comparison and further elucidation of our thinking in selecting exercises for regular inclusion in our program.