The Kettlebell-Systema Controversy Part 2

Considering the response I got from the last article, people have some, shall we say “strong views” on kettlebell training, both for and against.

The Controversy Continues…Should You Use Kettlebells as part of your Systema Training?

You know I hate the word “should” (and its corollary “should NOT”). So my short answer to everyone here is if you like it, do it, along with my slightly less-short answer, whatever gets you moving and exercising is better than reclining in your Lay-Z-Boy.

Ok, so you’ve decided to “Kettlebell It.” The question now becomes, WHAT exercises should you do and HOW should you do them?

Let’s look at a common Kettlebell exercise:

The Swing/Snatch. As you know these exercises entail you to hinge at your hips and bend forward–in Systema what we refer to as “breaking your structure.”

The Danger? Through hundreds of repetitions, ingraining the habit of bending over, breaking your own structure.

NOTE: the AKC vs. RKC Methods.

The RKC method bends your knees and hips while keeping your head looking straight ahead as you swing. The AKC method only hip-hinges, keeping your entire spine straight and aligned, with your head following the bell during the swing. (there are other differences that are not pertinent here)

For Systema, I recommend the AKC style because you can think of it as a vertical Systema Sit-Up.

The Solution? Perform Systema-type squats with the kettlebells to ingrain Proper Form for combat. Over the years I routinely have had students hold a weight out in front of them to help their squat form, especially if they can’t put their heels on the floor. Who knew someone would come along and give it a super-cool name? So do this Goblet Squat or Front Squats with the Bells in the Clean Position.

THERE IT IS: Your Training Quick Tip. Video soon to follow?

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