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-   -   Kettlebell grip (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2882)

daniel doiron 08-13-2008 08:01 AM

Kettlebell grip
 
I am looking to figure out how to correctly hold a kb when coming down from a snatch (is my primary concern) and coming down from a press and going immediatly into a swing position (or a second snatch).

With the arm in a vertical position and kb between the knees / legs, should the kb just be held by the fingers (like a pull up grip) or is it more like a gymnastic false grip, where the handle would be resting on the joints / pads of skin where the fingers meet the hand?

It seems to be hard for me to come down from a snatch, into a second snatch and get the kb out onto fingers only.

Thanks,
Dan

Catherine Imes 08-13-2008 08:27 AM

The grip I find most effective in the snatch is the finger lock. It is opposite of the hook grip (for deadlifting). So, it is thumb over index finger gripping towards the corner (not the middle) of the bell. When I start the drop, I lead with the pinky (I don't flip the bell over my hand). I catch it in the finger lock. Avoiding the usual callous area is impossible, but the bell is primarily in the fingers and not in the palm.

The drop in this fashion will depend on the overhead position. When the bell is locked out overhead, it is on the heel of the hand. I've got some snatch videos on Youtube (can't access it at work) under the account cimes01. Also, Valery Fedorenko's videos are good if you pay attention to how he locks out and how he drops it. Those would be under WorldKettlebellClub.

CI

daniel doiron 08-13-2008 09:21 AM

Nice !
I see what you mean by rolling off the pinky... I will try tonight or tomorrow morning.

...This brings to another question...

I notice you had 'sanded' off the coating on the handles. I have a kb with a 'nice shinny finish', but I find it 'sticks' and have trouble letting the kb rotate freely when coming down from snatchs. Do you recommend sanding the handle? and pros and cons?

Thanks again,
Dan

Catherine Imes 08-13-2008 09:55 AM

I strip the paint from the handles using a chemical paint stripper, then use sand paper to get any spots I missed. I just cover the rest of the bell so the stripper doesn't get on it.

For snatches, I definitely recommend it. I've gotten heat blisters from bells that had the paint. The other thing is that I do long sets. So, I have to make sure that chalk sticks to the handle. Chalk typically will not stick to a painted bell. So, yes..I would take the paint off the handle.

John Kaupp 08-22-2008 10:09 AM

Catherine,

i have DD bells and can barely get my thumb around my finger, but can't get it to stay there longer than two or three reps. Are the competition bells that much thinner that it is not as much of a problem or do I need to suck it up and grip harder? Another question since I have you here, I can do more jerks with the 32's after a set of 15-30 squat jumps(dip and drive, heels come up off the floor) with about 245 on bar. Have you had similar results or even do squat jumps at all for GS?

Catherine Imes 08-23-2008 04:05 PM

I used the DD bells for the first 2 years of my comp training. I will guess my hands are smaller than yours. No, I couldn't get my thumb and index finger to meet. The best that I could do is maintain a "C" grip. Not a crush grip, just enough to hold the bells. I could still manage 200 reps with a DD 16kg (one switch). So, it's nice to have a smaller handle, but you can get by without it.

The comp bells have handles 33-35mm. Actually with the 35mm, I cannot get this finger lock or maintain it.

Men who do Jerks with the 32s use squat jumps as an assistance exercise. It is actually only to a depth that closely mimics the first dip/bump of the jerk. It sounds like what you are doing. I haven't found a need to do them yet, but I only do work with the 16s and 20s for double jerks right now. But, yes, what you are saying definitely makes sense. Typically, these are a supplemental exercise performed for 40-50 reps (sometimes with as much as 300lbs depending on the athlete). My guess is that if you are doing them before it is priming you well for the first bump. What has worked for me in the past, is jumping rope. But, a set of 15 won't kill you or your legs from the sound of it.

Pat McElhone 09-21-2008 06:28 PM

I have developed some serious blisters on both hands, where the index and middle finger meet the palm. On the descent from the snatch I can feel the bell push the skin in this spot up and then run over it, burning and pinching the skin. I do not think this is right.

I watched Catherine's video, and it looks like she maintains a tight grip (hand closed) on the handle throughout the snatch. Does this hold the bell in place? In lockout, I have been "catching the bell" on the skin between my thumb and index finger, hand open, then grabbing the handle on the descent. Is this wrong? Also, it seems like if I maintain a straight arm on the descent, the bell does not rub as much. Is that a key? Is there a specific technique or video demonstrating the best way to bring the bell down from overhead? Thank you.

Catherine Imes 09-22-2008 10:25 AM

I don't maintain a tight grip. The only time I'm gripping is on the drop about the time the bell hits chest level. Then I lock my thumb over my index finger (think reverse hook grip).

In my fast videos it is hard to see what my hand is doing. I've also got small hands and they are not easily seen in those videos.

The videos on Youtube (my channel), I'm doing 25rpm. That's fast. My fingers are loose and may be around the bell (although now I tend to not even do that., but they are not gripping. In fact, the bell lands overhead on my hand so that I don't even have to grip it to hold it there. The bell has to land on the heal of the palm to do this. But, if you do this, you can rest overhead with a relaxed wrist. But, it has to be on the heal of the palm.

When the bell goes between your legs, the arm should be straight. The hand pointed at about 45 degrees. If the arm is not straight when it swings back, the bell tends to move in the hands and this causes callous tears.

Watch Valery's youtube Videos on the American Kettlebell Club channel.

The other issue is that you need to follow the bell. If you drop the bell and don't move with it, hand issues can occur because your hand is absorbing more of the drop.

Now, if you are new to snatching, there is acclimation if you didn't have callouses under your index fingers before.

CI

Pat McElhone 09-22-2008 11:55 AM

Catherine,

I have a few follow-up questions.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Catherine Imes (Post 39267)
I don't maintain a tight grip. The only time I'm gripping is on the drop about the time the bell hits chest level. Then I lock my thumb over my index finger (think reverse hook grip).

Your thumb is outside your fingers, reverse hook, but you're not gripping the bell, until it drops and then your grip it at chest level. Is this correct?


Quote:

Originally Posted by Catherine Imes (Post 39267)
When the bell goes between your legs, the arm should be straight. The hand pointed at about 45 degrees. If the arm is not straight when it swings back, the bell tends to move in the hands and this causes callous tears.

I will focus on this. I did this with the 35lb bell and it did not feel like it was rubbing in my palm.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Catherine Imes (Post 39267)
The other issue is that you need to follow the bell. If you drop the bell and don't move with it, hand issues can occur because your hand is absorbing more of the drop.
CI

Does this mean actively moving my arm down with the bell as oppose to letting the bell drag my arm down?

Catherine, thank you for taking the time to answer my (our) questions. I recently dove into KB Snatching after only doing CF-style swings. I really, really am impressed with how effective an exercise the KB snatch is.

Catherine Imes 09-22-2008 12:34 PM

On the drop...

If the bell is resting on the heal of the palm. I initiate the drop by turning the pinky.. I sort of cast the bell to the fingers and catch it with the finger lock. Now, my hand isn't off the bell, but I'm not actively gripping it on the drop until the finger lock. It's not a strong "cast" or throw. But, I try to make the bell jump to my fingers to reduce the friction on the palm. Not sure if that makes sense.

What I'm not doing is flipping the bell over the top of my hand and then trying to finger lock..That would create a lot of friction on the hand because the bell would be rubbing the hand.

What you should do is cast it that it creates a slight arc (not drop straight down). ON the drop, you fold at the hips and follow the bell (So that you get a good swing back between your legs..pendulum effect). This also helps reduce the stress on the grip. This means that you don't stay up right; you fold more at the hips. If you do this, the bell won't pull or drag the hand and arm down.

Valery's videos are some of the best to watch. I can't get to youtube right now, but he has snatch set with a 24kg bell that is good to watch.

Hope this helps.


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