Nov 13, 2023

Balance, Breathing and Intention: A new framework for kettlebell sport technique.

Balance, Breathing and Intention: A new framework for kettlebell sport technique.
Outside of the athletes lifting posture, coaches often rely on their intuition and experience when providing client feedback for other nuanced components of their technique. This blog aims to explore a different framework and offer contextual factors around feedback other than just the position/posture.

Feedback will vary depending on the goal. For example, an athlete doing the multi-switch (military) snatch adopts a technique for optimal effectiveness (i.e. most reps),  this may not be optimal for sparing the grip. In contrast, a traditional single switch snatch event (for most people performing under 200 reps) requires higher priority to efficiency and sparing the grip.

We can look at both position and ’balance, breathing and intention’ and compare a single vs. multi-switch set.

The balance is likely to be different, given the tempo of the multiswitch set will be much higher. The set may have a slightly reduced backswing to accommodate the increased tempo and will, therefore, not require as much of a shift. A single switch set may benefit from a longer backswing as it can help to reduce peak force through the grip, which may, in turn, prolong performance as this may spare the grip, which is likely the limiting factor.

Many people pace themselves with their breathing, As such, there would be fewer breaths overhead during the multi-switch snatch compared to the single switch.

The intention of a multi-switch snatch technique may be to power through reps as quickly as possible. Whereas in the single-switch set, you need to tune into your grip and attempt to use the minimal effort possible for each repetition. So the intention in this example is one on output with more of an external focus vs. attempting to be as relaxed as possible using minimal effort per repetition with more of an internal focus attempting to tune into your body.  

By no means are these hard-and-fast rules, but they should help provide a framework for providing technique feedback in addition to looking at posture and position. I’m hoping to run some workshops where we will address these other points if you’re interested, please let me know.