Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Kettlebells and Rehab

In my professional career I have seen several techniques, trends, and tools come and go. For many of those, if you purchased certain equipment you could do whatever the technique was. However, without the specialized equipment the technique was less effective.

I go back to one of the first things Pavel said during the RKC weekend - "It's not about the kettlebell." How great -and contradictory - is that, the individual who is responsible for bringing Kettlebells to the Western world at the course to become a certified kettlebell instructor saying it's not about the kettlebell. At the end of the weekend I understood - the kettlebell is just a tool. The philosophy behind the kettlebell is where the importance lies.

There are many tools to do rehab with. Catalogs full. So why is the kettlebell so special, and why does it work so well in rehab. In the world of athletics, a majority of the acute injuries occur due to contact with an opponent or during the eccentric loading phase (ie. landing, change of direction). In either situation, you are dealing with the ability to absorb and control force(s).
In the words of Brett Jones - The kettlebell is brutally simple: a large handle with an offset weight. The simple design allows us to do things that cannot be done with freeweights, machines, or other implements.

By utilizing the kettlebell - just one tool- you can teach the body:
  1. To move under a load (Turkish get ups, windmills, or arm bars)
  2. To absorb force (two arm swings, snatches, one arm swings, single leg deadlift)
  3. To create force ( swing variations, snatches, cleans, presses, goblet squats)
  4. To control forces (figure-8's, plus all the ones listed above)
Again, it is just one tool that in the properly trained hands - a whole other blog - can accomplish many different tasks. What other single piece of equipment has so many uses??

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