Whenever a trainer I have been working with goes on a training course, I view the next PT session with a mixture of trepidation and anticipation. In the past the trainer has come back, thrown out all that went before and started again, so I wasn’t too surprised when my PT session last week went that way…
My current trainer went away last weekend to work with Eddie Sheenan and Mark Stapleton on Russian style Kettlebell Sport techniques. I was tempted to go to the course but decided to wait and hear some feedback from him before signing up myself. The feedback he gave was very positive so I’m now considering booking myself onto their course in Newcastle in December despite the fact that my bank account is looking rather sad at the moment. This kettlebell sport thing is not cheap! I’ve not quite forgiven Mark for Kilkenny but I think I need to take learning new technique seriously if I am going to continue to compete.
The changes are quite fundamental. I’ve been swinging hardstyle for around six years now but have made some changes over the last year to improve efficiency. I’ve already reversed the breathing and changed the downward movement when snatching. However my press technique is still very much hardstyle when not doing the jerk and my hip thrust is still based on hardstyle technique.
Russian GS style swings are very different, the legs straighten as you swing back and there seems to be more of a bounce than a hip thrust. This affects the snatch as swings are really just half snatches in GS. I’m also going to need to lean further back on my heels during both jerk and snatch and change my rack position.
However the most fundamental change is about relaxation as this increases efficiency and speed. For me that’s hard because I’m such a tense person, however, health wise, learning to relax is good. Relaxing my legs but keeping them straight at lockout will take some learning. Breathing will have to change too, but I can only take so much change at once.
My partner has been laughing at me as I’ve been practicing the new swing move in the kitchen without kettlebells. As one friend said – air kettlebells! I am beginning to apply this move now, but tend to revert back to hardstyle when I’m tired at the moment.I’m not expecting to have implemented all this by the time I compete in Wales, we’ll make the real changes when this competition is over.
Stretching and flexibility are also important so I’m also following a twenty minute stretch routine most mornings. I’m stretching out my back, hamstrings, hip flexors, calves and heels. I’m not yet performing the splits (not sure I ever will)but not far off being able to push myself into a crab position – the last time I did that I was 14! The benefits of this will go beyond GS sport as I move into my 50s and my body starts to stiffen up, the stretch work will keep me moving, which is a good thing.