In Kettlebells

July 01, 2007

PDF Article

There is an art to kettlebell lifting and it begins with selecting a formula for success. This article aims to highlight differences among kettlebell training methodologies and to help you understand these differences so you can maximize the productivity of your kettlebell lifting practice.

If you ask someone why they do something a certain way and their answer is "because that is the way it was taught" or "because that is the way everyone else does it," is that a sufficient reason to adopt the same way? I think that would depend greatly upon the performance of the person doing that thing.

It is performance that drives the CrossFit athlete, and it is performance that can be measured and tested. My opinion about kettlebell lifting styles is not necessarily important to your goals. However, rather than just my opinions, what I try to offer here is an analysis that allows you to test and evaluate the two methodologies with respect to your performance and progress.

Free Download


10 Comments on “A Performance-Based Comparison of Kettlebell Methods”


wrote …

Link is broken,"not found on server"


wrote …

Link'll be amazed to learn that the year in the filename should have been 07, not 09...


wrote …

The link is still shown as "The webpage cannot be found." Thanks, it looks like a very interesting article. Bill


wrote …

Nope; it works fine! ;^)

Tested from 2 different systems, 8 hours apart...if you still have trouble, send me an email (take the NOSPAM out of my addy) and I'll send it to you.


Anonymous wrote …

i don't understand the differecne in grip


wrote …

I don't understand the difference in grip


Catherine Imes wrote …

Fluid style has a hook grip, where you grip the corner of the bell and you hook in the index finger over the thumb. It has an automatic tightening effect on the downswing..(Think locking your oil filter into place on your car).



wrote …

the day after. I cant bend down to tie my shoes.

my workout
20min. swim timed for laps (10 laps)
30mins bike ride (2.8mi)
db sq (35lbs)10x30 timed 10mins
chest press 35lbs 10x30 time 10 mins


Kirez Reynolds wrote …

In the section "Rigid vs. Fluid Styles: Mechanics," on p. 4, Steve wrote:

"Breathing matches the trunk movement, and exhaling at the point of greatest spinal load offers greater protection."

He's describing the fluid style's different breathing prescription. Instead of exhaling at the extended position, --I think-- he's saying you exhale at the back of the swing. I'm not sure. I've never been trained in the use of kettlebells. I know that when I'm snatching heavy KBs, I exhale at the top of the lift (or, as I'm turning my hand over at the top of the snatch, i.e. when I've completed the exertion). This is the natural and most comfortable breath to me, and it's consistent with what I've learned of using the valsalva for power lifting and olympic lifting.

In fact, I recall Rippetoe saying that you do NOT want to release your breath under load, as this would release the pressure that your core is using for rigidity and protection. I recall Everett writing that involuntary releases of air occur to many lifters, but at the extended position -- which Cotter says is the Rigid Style of breathing.

Am I misunderstanding this? Do Fedorenko / Steve Cotter advocate releasing your breath at the bottom of the swing movement? I'd appreciate any clarification or insights anyone can offer.


Kirez Reynolds wrote …

I watched some AKC snatch test videos and saw these features displayed clearly. I'm also amused to discover that I've been doing fluid style for quite a while: opening my hand, resting at the top, keeping the head & neck neutral throughout the swing. Learning to rest at the top was a key step in learning to follow Valery Federenko's pacing guidance. However, I still breathe in the "hard style," I think.

Leave a comment

Comments (You may use HTML tags for style)