I got in late last night from and Original Strength 2 day
workshop in Northfield, MN. It was great.
Got to meet lots of great people there and our host,
Gretchen Falck, is awesome, along with her facility,
“Forza!” (Italian for “strength” – cool huh?). I highly
recommend you go train with her if you’re ever in the
Anyway, after the OS workshop, I was talking to a couple
of the attendees – Steph and Cara – and they were asking
me about that whole controversial grip thing I wrote about
a few months ago.
What grip thing is that?
Yeah, the one where you’re grip is making your KB workouts
That’s right – we’ve talked about this before – but it’s where
you point your thumb back through your legs for your
I’m not a big fan.
In fact the more I think about it, the less I like it.
I no longer use it. And I no longer advocate that anyone
else uses it.
Anyway, back to Steph and Cara – specifically Steph.
She was wondering how doing the opposite was any
better – turning the thumb up 45 degrees and leading the
backswing with her pinky.
And that was because her two main concerns were 1)
losing her grip on the backswing and 2) keeping the KBs
from banging her wrists.
So rather than try to explain it I just had her do it.
Or rather, Cara did and I watched.
The look of surprise on Steph’s face was priceless.
It’s pretty much the same look everyone gets when they
The KB just flies up and effortless ends up overhead in
the snatch or in the rack as in the case of the clean with
Not only that, but it spares the grip on the backswing,
actually making it stronger through some unique neurological
processes. (Cool relationship between your pinky and your
lat – I’ll explain some other time.)
It’s just biomechanically more efficient.
The point is, just because others are doing the “traditional”
way, doesn’t make it either a) the most “effective” way or
b) the “right” way.
In kettlebell lifting, as in life, the most effective / right way
is the way that gets the job done in the quickest, most
Why make your lifting unnecessarily hard on yourself
to the point where you’re actually getting in you own
way – and hindering your own progress?
When you want to see faster results in strength, power,
and conditioning in your ballistics – change up your grip
and leave the “thumb back” on the backswing behind.
If you want to know more about the why and how of
the kettlebell ballistics set up, I go into great detail
about them in the “Kettlebell STRONG!” DVDs.
I also go into great detail about all the subtle nuances
in set up that when applied, add up to BIG changes in
your power output, strength, and overall results.
– foot position
– eye, head, and neck position (DEFINITELY controversial)
In “Kettlebell STRONG!” You’ll learn the shortcuts, the
P.S. What was really cool was that Gretchen and her
husband tried out the new hand position on the ballistics
and both looked shocked with how easily the KBs flew
You will be too.