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Old 11-29-2010, 09:57 AM   #1
Grissim Connery
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Default Any thoughts on this article - Less snatches, more swings

http://www.dragondoor.com/articler/m...m_nooverride=1

Quote:
The Snatch: Not an "Advanced" Swing
Max Shank, RKCII

No matter what your goal, sport, or athletic ability is, you should be doing kettlebell swings.

A quick rundown of what the swing does:

* It trains hip extension, which is the foundation of all athletic movements.
* It stretches the hip flexors and strengthens the glutes. This is especially important when you consider that the entire population is, by evolutionary standards, sedentary. We sit too much. Swings help fix the problems caused by too much sitting down. In fact, a swing could be looked at as the OPPOSITE of sitting down.
* It strengthens the lower back as a stabilizer rather than a dynamic flexor/extender (which could cause deterioration of the discs)
* It teaches the abs to brace against dynamic force making them stronger without creating bad movement patterns (as many conventional ab exercises do)

I could go on, but I digress...

You'll notice in the list above the one thing I didn't mention was anything about the upper body. Shoulder stability is a side effect of a good swing, not the main focus. My biggest problem with the kettlebell swing, is that as SOON as someone learns the snatch, they substitute swings for snatches… And I HATE it.

The problem, I think, stems from the fact that the snatch is technically more difficult to learn initially which makes people think of it as an "advanced" swing -- and everyone is advanced right!?? It's not.

It's not.

It's not.

It's not.

Why you should choose the swing over the snatch in your training:

* You can do more swings at a faster cadence--this means more work for your legs
* You can use a heavier weight.
* Less variables. This is key because it lets you focus on the hip extension (which is the main goal as well as part of a good snatch anyway).

Here's the funny thing; even if your goal is to snatch more, you should swing.

An example:
In preparation for a number of Tactical Strength Challenge and RKC Certifications that require a high number of snatches, I did almost no snatches, nor did I practice the tests. I did put in time initially to practice snatch technique, but that is the extent of it in my training, once my technique was down, it was back to swings. The result of this??? I have won every TSC I have competed in, my best score on the snatch being 111 reps in 5:00 with the 70-pounder, and I can easily pass the RKC snatch test standard of 100 reps in 5 minutes.

Interval training seems to work best for this, take a sample training session I did as part of my preparation for RKC Level II:

Bottom up Press:10x1
Pullup: 10x3
One arm swing 48kg on the :30 x 10 reps. 20 swings per minute, close to a 1:1 work:rest ratio. For 5 minutes. That's 100 swings.
Hanging leg raises to finish.

This finisher is far more demanding than 100 snatches with a 24kg--double swings could work well here too--and it will give you great explosiveness in the hips. If you throw in some finisher like this once or twice a week, you will be amazed at how everything you do starts to feel lighter and easier.

The next time you plan to snatch for high reps try this instead;
10 minutes of swings :15/:15 work/rest ratio with a 32kg and hit 10 reps/set and see how you feel.

More swings.

Trust me.

Snatches aren't bad, swings are just better.
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:43 PM   #2
Derek Weaver
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I saw this article a little while ago and didn't put much thought into it.

Makes sense to an extent. Swings are the foundational movement wrt to KB work.

I like doing snatches, but I've also had some instruction, and am pretty careful not to tear up my hands or bang my forearms once fatigue sets in. I see this article being analogous to the somewhat common PL argument for not doing the DL much. No reason to put so much into a lift that can take so much away if you can get improvement from other lifts and movements.
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And if you don't think kettleball squat cleans are difficult, I say, step up to the med-ball
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:24 PM   #3
Donald Lee
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The Swing may be more useful than the Snatch, but his argument isn't very persuasive if you break it down.

- Training hip extension and training the glutes aren't really all that different.
- I'm not sure you really want to use a dynamic exercise like the Swing to stretch your hip flexors. If you have hip flexor tightness, there are probably a lot of other things you should be doing before you ever use the Swing to stretch your hip flexors.
- Many exercises strengthen the lower back as a stabilizer vs. a dynamic flexor/extender (Is extender a made-up anatomical term?). The Swing is great from your lower back, but not really for the reason he wrote.
- A heavier weight does not necessarily mean better. Heavier weights bias toward more strength-speed while lighter weights bias towards more speed-strength.
- Why do you need to focus more on hip extension?
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Old 11-30-2010, 08:01 AM   #4
James Evans
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Remember the kettlebell obsessive deliberately limits the tools available. The Party insisted. Most people here choose to have more weapons at their disposal.

However, swings = good.
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:09 AM   #5
Jarod Barker
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Like Derek said, the swing is the foundation of KB work.

In my opinion, the swing has more carry over than the snatch. I mean, truly, the KB snatch is just a KB snatch, it's not like you'll learn to snatch a barbell practicing the KB snatch. However, repeatedly drilling that hip extension with the KB swing could carry over into other movements that require an explosive hip extension. I'm not saying the swing will teach you to clean, jump, or snatch, but just simply that the hip extension of KB swings could create some muscle memory that might make learning or developing other movements easier and faster.

I know that's not his argument at all, but it was just my immediate thought when I saw the title of the thread.

As for the argument, from a conditioning perspective, swings are better. I've gotten out of breath doing swings. It's hard to get out of breath doing snatches. Doing snatches, my strength fails before my conditioning does, so I'm limited by the fact that I'm weak rather than being limited by needing to slow down and catch my breath.
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Old 11-30-2010, 02:46 PM   #6
Donald Lee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Cilli View Post
Like Derek said, the swing is the foundation of KB work.

In my opinion, the swing has more carry over than the snatch. I mean, truly, the KB snatch is just a KB snatch, it's not like you'll learn to snatch a barbell practicing the KB snatch. However, repeatedly drilling that hip extension with the KB swing could carry over into other movements that require an explosive hip extension. I'm not saying the swing will teach you to clean, jump, or snatch, but just simply that the hip extension of KB swings could create some muscle memory that might make learning or developing other movements easier and faster.

I know that's not his argument at all, but it was just my immediate thought when I saw the title of the thread.

As for the argument, from a conditioning perspective, swings are better. I've gotten out of breath doing swings. It's hard to get out of breath doing snatches. Doing snatches, my strength fails before my conditioning does, so I'm limited by the fact that I'm weak rather than being limited by needing to slow down and catch my breath.
The Swing is very different from the Olympic lifts, unless you're doing them the way Rip prescribes.

Also, being limited by strength probably means you need to lower the weight if you want the desired conditioning effect.
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Old 11-30-2010, 03:29 PM   #7
Derek Weaver
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Donald,
I'm not sure I get what you mean wrt swing vs. oly lifts. They are certainly different, was anyone noting that they're not?

Agreed though that if strength is the limiting factor when using a conditioning tool, then lower the weight, or get stronger, or both.
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And if you don't think kettleball squat cleans are difficult, I say, step up to the med-ball
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Old 11-30-2010, 05:04 PM   #8
Donald Lee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Weaver View Post
Donald,
I'm not sure I get what you mean wrt swing vs. oly lifts. They are certainly different, was anyone noting that they're not?

Agreed though that if strength is the limiting factor when using a conditioning tool, then lower the weight, or get stronger, or both.
I think Chad was saying that the motor pattern of the Swing was beneficial to the Olympic lifts, in terms of the hip extension. The motor pattern of the KB Snatch is much closer to that of the Olympic lifts. I'm not saying that the Swing can't be used to teach hip extension for the Olympic lifts, but that the motor pattern doesn't really match the Olympic lifts.

Hopefully, I didn't make something out of nothing. I'm saving my critical reading abilities for other endeavors at this time.
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Old 11-30-2010, 05:40 PM   #9
Derek Weaver
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I get that. With this quote, I see how it could be construed. Don't mean to think for Chad, but this one could conceivably be taken more than one way.

Quote:
I'm not saying the swing will teach you to clean, jump, or snatch, but just simply that the hip extension of KB swings could create some muscle memory that might make learning or developing other movements easier and faster.
I remember a Strength Coach Podcast with Jonathan Chaimberg (sp?), the strength coach to GSP and other top MMA fighters noting that he wasn't a huge fan of KBs, but that they did teach double extension well. Swings aren't much for teaching extension at the ankles, but they are beneficial for teaching the extension of the hip and knee.

In the end though, you're better off teaching someone how to jump before they touch a barbell or a KB. And, if you have to teach someone how to jump, they're f'ed and aren't notable athletes anyway.
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And if you don't think kettleball squat cleans are difficult, I say, step up to the med-ball
- CJ Kim
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Old 11-30-2010, 05:50 PM   #10
Donald Lee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Weaver View Post
Swings aren't much for teaching extension at the ankles, but they are beneficial for teaching the extension of the hip and knee.
I'm not very familiar with KB practice or literature, but I don't think the Swing should have very much active knee extension.
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