Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Single Racked Kettlebell

I'm getting to be a big fan of a single kettlebell held in "rack." That's held against the chest and shoulder, with a straight wrist.

The advantages I find to this are:

Offset weights work your abdominal and back muscles. If you are holding more weight on one side than the other, or no weight on one side, you'll force your abdominal muscles and back to contract to keep you in proper posture.

A racked kettlebell forces better posture. It's hard to lean forward on a squat, split-squat, or lunge if you have a weight held up against your chest. Lean forward, and the weight starts to pull you forward. You correct by keeping your chest up, your lower back arched, and the weight held in tight. Those are all parts of proper form for squats and farmer's walks, so you're encouraged by the weight to do the right thing.

A racked kettlebell is stable. Held in tight, the weight doesn't pull or strain at the shoulders. The shoulders are held in a safe position, and it teaches people a safe place to pull and hold a weight.

A racked kettlebell doesn't encourage shrugging. If you get folks with tight or injured traps or shoulders, a racked kettlebell can help a lot. They can't comfortably shrug the weight up, so they naturally pull the weight in by tightening their scapula and shoulders instead of shrugging up.

You only need one. Hey, kettlebells are expensive. So this means I don't need pairs to use racked weights.

Again, this is in my experience. Those are the reasons why I've been using single racked kettlebells a lot lately with my clients.

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