Relaxing During KB Ballistics

Kettlebell Snatches, Swings and Cleans are ballistic movements ... meaning they are fast, aggressive and challenge our cardiovascular endurance.

We love them. It is like running with weights. So much is going on with the body that 5 minutes of non-stop ballistics is a really long time.

One of the cues I've been using lately is to mentally and physically RELAX during the ballistics. Sounds contradictory doesn't it?

Recently, some of our advanced kettlebell students did 100 snatches, 100 swings and 100 cleans with rest points after each -- or during if needed.

Staying mentally calm, thinking positively, keeping good form and listening to their bodies was essential for them to get through this challenging complex.

Rest at key points in the movements is important so that the next rep is a quality rep.

And of course, the hardstyle breathing is essential to protect the organs and spine (by creating abdominal pressure) and assisting the body under tension.

Tim does a very nice job of staying calm and maintaining his hardstyle breathing with heavy single-arm swings:

So where are those tiny rest points during the ballistic kettlebell movements?

In the swing, it is at the top when the bell appears to be an extension of your shoulder that it is momentarily 'weightless'.

With the Snatch, it's at the top when the arm is locked out overhead.

With the Clean, it's when you are holding the kettlebell in the racked position against your body.

Jerry relaxing after his first time cleaning up the beast (106 lb.)

Jerry relaxing after his first time cleaning up the beast (106 lb.)

Finally, don't think about the actual physical kettlebell itself; instead relax and think about moving well.

When we progress to the heavier kettlebells, sometimes people get psyched out and all they can think about is how HEAVY it is and how the kettlebell is impacting their body.

Instead, think about how what your body is doing.

Calmly cue yourself to drive those hips back, press feet into the floor, lock knees out, squeeze glutes, breath, RELAX, repeat.

It's a lot of fun to move ballistically and conquer the iron.