January 11, 2019

Step by Step, Rep by Rep

Ever catch a clip of someone executing a really awesome movement on social media?

I come across them often as well. They’re dynamic, graceful, challenging and complex.

Yet, how does one get from Point A to Point B?

Kettlebell Snatch

The Kettlebell Snatch is a dynamic movement that engages your entire body. In this blog, I’ll discuss the value of progressions when pursuing a goal of snatching a kettlebell.

In this blog, I hope to share some insights on the element of progressions. And how moving from what seems like Point A to B is actually about Point A 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 etc.

There’s a ton of steps in between, that often get overlooked.

Let’s start off by discussing the value of progressions.

Progressions, are steps each of us goes through in order to succeed. Progressions in exercise, start off small and build on top of one another.

In many cases, dynamic movements, like a kettlebell snatch shown above, are from hours of practice.

Hours preparation, hours of mobility, hours of, hours of intentional “good” reps the brain can attach to. When summed up, these hours equate to a pretty cool looking movement.

In the video clip below, I am demonstrating movements that I went through for months before I was able to snatch a kettlebell.

Kettlebell snatch progressions

  1. Hip extension bridge:

    1. A snatch, requires full hip extension, driven from a strong swing. Bridges are a great prerequisite drill to learn how to fully gain hip extension.

  2. Push up plank position holds

    1. Provides the brain with an understanding of the “lockout” position at the top of the swing and snatch positions

    2. Reinforces bracing and tension

  3. Eye extension isometrics

    1. Primes your nervous system to be in eye extension

    2. Exercises and moves the eyes to be in extension (up)

    3. Inability to comfortably move the eyes up, creates stress on the body, which can result in pain, lack of full range of motion, fatigue and discomfort.

  4. VOR (vestibular occular reflex) extension

    1. Vestibular reflex drill to help your body coordinate with with your brain for the dynamic motion of a swing

    2. As you move with speed your body needs all systems work together, especially your eyes and inner ear. Your inner ear helps you orient yourself to gravity. Using this drill helps your body understand where it is in space and reflexively helps contract your extensor muscles

  5. Deadlift:

    1. Is a fantastic movement to hone in on the hip hinge (which is the predominant movement in a snatch/swing)

    2. Allows you to focus on feeling your hips and glutes

    3. Take a look at the tutorial video attached below on the Deadlift

  6. Swing:

    1. Progressing from the deadlift

    2. There are roughly 3-5 individual progressions that make up the swing (which I can explain and demonstrate in a separate post).

  7. Single Arm Swing:

    1. Understanding how to grab, hold and create tension unilaterally.

  8. Snatch:

    1. There are 1-3 progressions to master a snatch, which I show in the second video below.

So when it comes to mastering a movement, please do not feel discouraged if your movement practice looks less of what you see on social media.

Progress looks different for everyone. And should look different for everyone. We’re all built similarity, we’ve got a brain and a body, but our individual nervous system’s interpret information uniquely based off of past experiences, health and injury history, current stress and activity load, etc.

Take your time learning all the small stuff because once you reach the “end goal” (ex. A snatch) it’ll feel easier, natural and as though you’ve learned it before:)

Also, if interested in creating a larger support network, please join me on my private Facebook group. I aim to open up conversations that help all of us feel more supported.

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