Kettlebell Terminology 101

Jessica Lewis doing a Kettlebell Turkish Get UpNew to kettlebells and totally confused by the terminology used to described different drills and aspects of training? No problem...below we outline the definitions of common kettlebell lingo.

Park 
Safely setting the kettlebell on the floor at the completion of the exercise.  The kettlebell always starts slightly tilted on it's side and should be parked in the same manner.  

Hike Pass - can be done with 1 or 2 hands
A drill where we focus on the first part of the swing.  You are set up in your starting position and using your lats (back muscles under your armpits) to aggressively send the bell between your legs.  Keep shoulders back and down and arms straight.  Safely park the bell in the starting position.  Also be sure to stay low and not rise up during this motion.

Dead Swing (or Power Swing) - can be done with 1 or 2 hands
A drill used to focus on set up and hip drive/power.  Set up in your starting position, hike the bell back and do one swing then park the bell.  Each rep is done alone as it's own set.  Focus on your set up with each rep and exploding up to standing.

2 Handed Swing
With both hands on a bell, we do a continuous set of swings before safely parking the bell.

1 Handed Swing 
Using one hand on a bell, we do a continuous set of swings before safely parking the bell.

Float
The kettlebell swing has both a tension and relaxation component.  We must maintain tension in our thighs, butt, core and upper back while we let the bell float down into the backswing.  Our goal is to fight the urge to hinge too soon and follow the bell down making our swing look too squatty.  We should hinge/push hips back once our elbows make contact with the side of our body.

Standing Plank
The top position of the swing.  We maintain tension in our thighs, butt, core and upper back while we let the bell float down into the backswing.

Armpits In
In an effort to engage our lats (back muscles under our armpits) we often cue "armpits in" (or "armpits down/to hips").  This will help us keep tension out of our neck and shoulders and keep our shoulders from lifting up to our ears as we hike pass and let the bell float up as we stand.

Brace Your Core
Maintaining core tension is the key to getting stronger and safely performing kettlebell drills.  Bracing your core means to pull your belly button (imagine your belt buckle) up to your face.  We want to shorten the space between your lower ribs and hips.  We aren't sucking in our stomachs.

Pack Your Shoulder
When holding a kettlebell overhead it's important to keep your shoulders away from your ears.  Our goal is to actively pull the shoulder down using the lats while also keeping the ribcage down.

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