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Old 08-13-2008, 09:01 AM   #1
daniel doiron
New Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 31
Default 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.

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Old 08-13-2008, 09:27 AM   #2
Catherine Imes
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 69

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.

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Old 08-13-2008, 10:21 AM   #3
daniel doiron
New Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 31

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,
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Old 08-13-2008, 10:55 AM   #4
Catherine Imes
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 69

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.
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Old 08-22-2008, 11:09 AM   #5
John Kaupp
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Manhattan, KS
Posts: 53


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?
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Old 08-23-2008, 05:05 PM   #6
Catherine Imes
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 69

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.
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