In the RKC School of Strength, we often discuss how heavy two arm swings can carry over and improve our regular swing. This is true, as we cannot “cheat the system” when it comes to swinging heavy kettlebells. Our form must be precise to swing a heavy kettlebell. What we find though is the heavy swing often corrects our regular swing form, and the added bonus is making our lighter swings feel super light! Heavy swings thus end in increased strength all around.
Ok, I’m sure you’re wondering what the above paragraph has to do with snatches. Stay with me here! This will all make sense in a minute! 🙂
A few weeks ago I made an interesting discovery as I had combined some hand stand pushup practice with snatch practice. At first, the routine seemed a little weird and freaky as I don’t usually combine high volume ballistics with heavy strength training. However, after practicing my hand stand push ups in a unique fashion, I came across a pretty amazing discovery that lead to this very blog post. Hand stand push up practice lead to effortless snatches just as heavy kettlebell swings lead to effortless lighter swings. Today, we will be discussing WHY that is the case.
I haven’t said this in quite some time, but folks, get excited! Yinz ain’t seen nothing yet ! 😉
First, let’s talk about the hand stand push up practice I have created to lead to easier snatches. I am still practicing my hand stand push ups against the wall for added support. If you are able to do hand stand push ups without wall support, by all means go for it! Anyway, what you are going to want to do is set up your hand stand practice as a ladder with a full lock out in a hand stand position. What I mean by that is this: first, elevate yourself into a hand stand and then perform one push up. Hold yourself in the hand stand position for a few seconds and then perform 2 push ups. Hold yourself for a few seconds locked in a hand stand position, and then perform 3 push ups from there. The total ladder will count as one work set. You are to complete 3 total work sets of this hand stand and hand stand push up ladder. Now, I realize that this description of this may seem a tid bit confusing. To alleviate any lingering uncertainty on how to complete this ladder, please view my video below! I will be instructing you on exactly how to complete this (note: coaching you all when inverted is difficult. just saying 😉 )
As I mentioned above, the reason why the hand stand holds and hand push up practice leads to effortless snatches is due to how you are loading your upper body. Not only do we have to tighten our abs to ensure we are tense enough to maintain the hand stand, we also have to load your entire body weight onto our shoulders with enough control to push ourselves up and down in an inverted position. All of these movement require incredible strength, but they also over tax the body to hold more weight than what is necessary for an actual kettlebell snatch. So, if you can suspend your entire body weight with precision, there should be no problem snatching a kettlebell that is much much lighter than you. This advanced training tactic is especially helpful for those of you on the brink of the RKC weight classes. Trust me, if you need the strength for heavier snatches, this hand stand ladder will do the trick!
That’s all for today! Remember to eat smart, train hard, and enjoy your life!
Janelle Pica, RKC