Thanks to friend of Intrepid Al Viquez from CrossFit Inland Valley, we’ve been working the Russian Kettlebell Swing (RKBS) into our warm-ups and skillwork these past couple of weeks.  Today we’ll also have the opportunity to work the RKBS and I wanted to post some info on the movement and how it differs from the American style KBS we’ve done up until now.

Strength coach extraordinaire Dan John recently posted an article on about the KBS where he highlighted the hip hinge for the KBS and gave some pointers in the process of learning the new movement.  The first part of learning this movement he calls patterning, where we uses the wall drill to understand and integrate the hip hinging motion into muscle memory.  Many of us may only get this far today and that’s ok.  Note how the hips and butt are pushed back causing a forward lean and bending at the hip joints but the knees aren’t bending all that much.  So today we’re going to try and break many of you of the habit of bending those knees and squatting in the KBS.  Other differences in the RKBS include the peak height of the swing which is around waist to chest height, using the hip pop as the “gas pedal”, and the lats and abs as the brake of the swing.

RKC Instructor Jordan Vezina of Average to Elite Kettlebells in Palo Alto, CA posted this in-depth RKBS video on his YouTube channel.  We’ll definetley be incorporating some of his drills, skills, and cues into our lessons in the future so check it out if you have some time to learn up on the RKBS.

WOD 03.09.11

RKBS Skillwork

Power Snatch+Overhead Squat 3×3

3 Rounds:
5 Wallball Shots (as high as possible)
10 Box Jumps (as fast as possible)
200 yd Sprint

14 Responses to “I’ve Got a Fever…and the Only Prescription is More Kettlebell!”

March 9, 2011 at 6:17 AM

Despite the running, this WOD sounds fun. Speaking of kbs, note that hotel lamps can’t be used for that purpose. Yea, I tried it, and almost broke it. I was desperate.

Very nice post Sean!!

March 9, 2011 at 7:12 AM

Sean. The kettlebell (cowbell) comment brought tears of laughter. Hope you’re proud of making a grown man cry!

Nik Werre
March 9, 2011 at 8:01 AM

Timely post Sean. Been thinking of doing only russian swings from now on, seeing how inflexible my shoulders are. Also, seem to get more posterior work with them vs. American swing.

Side note: Sean, how’s the heavy week coming? Ruth, decided to do a Catalyst Program from their site – I am a convert. haha


March 9, 2011 at 8:17 AM

@Nik-The heavy week is going ok so far. Monday was tough but did better yesterday. Glad you’re working from Catalyst programming…let us know how you hold up with it.

@Tom: Lol, glad you got a kick out of it. Thanks for lending us the measuring contraption. It helped with today’s WOD.

@Alia-Too funny, I’m trying to picture you swinging a hotel lamp around. We miss your energy, or lethargy (j/k), in the mornings. I hope you’re having a blast in the UK.

March 9, 2011 at 8:38 AM

soon as i read the title, i knew this post belonged to sean. nice post

March 9, 2011 at 9:21 AM

More cowbell!!

@Tom, what Sean meant was ‘thanks for helping us find a true 200, 100, 400m run routes as we were doing a disservice to our peeps with the previouse shorter run routes!”

@Nik, sweet! Glad to hear you’re conitnuing the oly work! Keep us posted!

@Alia, love the creativity! Hmmm. How about swinging your suitcase? Miss u lots. Add them moon pie samples!!

Nik Werre
March 9, 2011 at 9:40 AM

Will do guys. Here’s the link to the program, just picked a short one, hopefully it’s a good one for me.

Doing like 3 days on and then maybe 2 metcons or so. Will keep you guys posted. Thanks again!

March 9, 2011 at 9:40 AM

Uh what? Longer run routes. Tom you are quickly becoming the least popular person in the gym!!!

March 9, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Way to throw him under the bus, Mom!!!

Michael H
March 9, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Is the 400M we’re currently running shorter or longer than the actual?

March 9, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Love me some cowbell and the reference… I cracked up during lunch and we had all the guys making one line references:)

March 9, 2011 at 12:08 PM

@Dad-Hope you get those new KBs soon so you can start putting the guys to work.

@Mike-The lap is almost exactly 400 meters +/- a few depending how wide or tight you hug the turns.

March 9, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Who’s the sexy guy in that photo?? Haven’t seen him in awhile.

March 9, 2011 at 9:47 PM

@Ruth- Thanks for diming out. What is it that the kids are saying on the streets these days? Something about stop snitchin’..

@Anna-I thought Ruth was going to use the measuring thing to make sure I was doing proper handstand pushups. Sorry………………