The Texas Kettlebell Academy is where some of the top Kettlebell Sport athletes in the United States train. Additionally, they put on one of the great kettlebell sport events in the country each year in Austin, Texas. Kettlebell athletes from around the country and the world attend, compete and stay for additional training from world champions. If you are looking for a kettlebell sport event to train for, we highly recommend you consider the Texas Open as one of your first events. It is hard to beat traveling to a city like Austin and you will get the opportunity to meet some of the top athletes and minds in Kettlebell Sport.
What is Kettlebell Sport?
Kettlebellsport, also known as girevoy sport (GS), is competitive kettlebell lifting. Lifters compete in mostly 10 minute sets, going for as many repetition as possible in three different lifts: Snatch, Jerk and Clean & Jerk. Athletes really need everything to compete succesfully; technique, mobility, strength, endurance and mental focus.
We recommend most men start with 16,18 and 20 kilogram Kettlebell Sport style kettlebells and most women start with 8,12, and 16 kilogram Kettlebell Sport style kettlebells. Why this style of bells? These bells are designed for maximum comfort during high repetition exercises so that your hands, wrist and forearm lock into position comfortably and easily. They are all the same size and dimension regardless of weight so the training is uniform at all times.
By Aaron Vyvial, Texas Kettlebell Academy:
Denis Vasilev, 6x world champion and MSIC athlete has a unique but proven snatch technique that we really respect and teach to most of our athletes. It almost can be compared to long cycle, which is clean and a jerk, but with one bell and without the 'clean' movement to chest. This technique works well for athletes that compete both in biathlon (two arm events) and long cycle.
In the video below, Denis shows his slower paced snatch and then switches to his sprint or higher paced technique:
Technique interpretation and usage at Texas Kettlebell Academy:
- We always teach a second dip (under squat) to beginners in order to soften and stabilize the catch and help with insertion. We recommend you watch this specific part broken down in another TX KB video HERE. Then we would progress an athlete to doing the movement without the second dip as technical skill increases and repetition speed moves above pace 20 (this means 20 snatches in one minute)
The swing portion of the snatch uses a long pendulum instead of a short. We allow the bell to rise as high at it can, almost parallel to the ground, before leaning back and straightening our legs for the acceleration pull. The hip turn on the pull becomes much shorter, because body lean does most of the work. Notice the arm stays mostly straight from back swing all the way up until overhead fixation. See image:
Example of catch in second dip. It should closely match the same angle as the drop of the bell from overhead.
- For beginners. We always start with a thumb forward swing technique, this means a vertical handle without letting the hand turn back in backswing, because it helps reinforce a more stable arm without overhead rotation and more importantly gives a newer athlete a better chance at hand insertion without bruising the forearm.
- The swing portion of the snatch uses a long pendulum instead of a short. We allow the bell to rise as high at it can, almost parallel to the ground, before leaning back and straightening our legs for the acceleration pull. The hip turn on the pull becomes much shorter, because body lean does most of the work. Notice the arm stays mostly straight from back swing all the way up until overhead fixation. See image:
Example of body lean back for long pendulum.
- The path of the bell is forward on the center-line, allowing both legs to work instead of just the opposite leg. It's a very balanced technique. If you have a bit more girth in the belly area, you might need to adjust to a little more diagonal movement which will place your forearm in the hip groove. This changes the work from 50/50 for each leg to about 60/40.
This technique is very adaptable and as long as you follow principles, you can make it your own. We never want to strictly copy anyone's technique, just start introducing ideas for a training cycle and see how they work.
As a plus sized athlete that has been cultivating mass, my technique looks like THIS.
For more details on the drop into the back swing you can check out our other video and blog post.
What Is Next?
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About Aaron Vyvial:
Coach Vyvial has the distinction of being the first student, outside of Russia, of the legendary Sergey Nikolaevich Mishin, former Russian National Team Coach, who was the first Honored Master of Sport of Russia in Kettlebells. He was also the first person in the USA to earn the rank of Master Coach under KETACADEMY. Aaron runs the Texas Kettlebell Academy which boasts the largest collection of competition style kettlebells in the United States and home of many MSIC and MS ranked athletes. He continues his education by working closely with his coaches Sergey Rachinskiy and Sergey Merkulin. Checkout www.txkettlebell.com to learn more about his training, coaching, online coaching and facility.
- The Texas Open Kettlebell Championship
- California Open Kettlebell Sport World Championship
- Norcal Open Kettlebell Sport Championship
Let us know how we can help.