Differences between kettlebell sport training and hardstyle.

I have started training with my new trainer in earnest now. I was a little nervous at first because others had spoken about challenging sessions. I’m sure I’ve got them to come but the first three have been easily manageable. He is keener to teach new skills rather than pushing me to the limit. That’s for circuit class.

We have started work on glute activation through a range of stretches and small circuits and he has begun to introduce me to GS style training. I was surprised by how quickly this was introduced.

GS style kettlebell work has many similar features to hardstyle; the swing, clean, snatch and press are central movements too but there are also significant differences which will take some working on because I’m undoing five years of hardstyle training.

Breathing has a higher profile and is used in the opposite way, put simply, breathe out on the way down and in on the way up. Breathe into the chest to help the kettlebell move up not into the belly. Movement is more relaxed, less sharp hip snap and smoother. In the rack position the elbow sits on the hip and the upper body is curled round the bell. The kettlebell moves straight up during the press not out. Power for the press comes from breathing in and opening up the chest before using the back.

At the moment I am lifting smaller weights this way as I get used to the change. The aim is to perform more repetitions and use the body and your energy efficiently. Although heavy weights are often lifted, there is less emphasis on strength. Hardstyle is still the safest and most productive way to swing heavy.

I am really enjoying learning a new skill but changing how I breathe and stand is taking some time. Relaxation has never come easy for me butthat does not mean it is not important to work on and learning a new breathing style could help. I can swing for longer like this, seven minutes so far- working towards ten minutes. Clean and press form is also developing but I tend to revert to hardstyle form when I get tired.

We’ve also been starting some preparatory work towards the jerk. This is a move I’ve never mastered because I couldn’t get the coordination quite right. Not unusual apparently. I am really looking forward to actually getting to grips with this move at last.

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About kettlebellqueen

Tiny middle aged kettlebell enthusiast from Nottingham England. I've just passed my RKC and am still learning.
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