Kettlebell Sport Training: Grip Saving Techniques

In my last Kettlebell Sport workout I practiced a change of hand position during my set of Cleans and I'm thinking it will be what I use moving forward. Instead of fully rotating my hand around (as I normally have for the past couple years) when I pass the bells between my legs, so that my thumb points back, I kept my thumb facing up as almost like I'm holding a hammer. Below I'll get into exactly what the differences as well as benefits of each grip is.  This is what I notice some of the top level lifters using and figured if they're using it most likely it's the better technique. Here's a quick video where I demonstrate both grip variations. Sorry about the parts where my head got chopped off. I didn't judge the camera distance from where I was standing too well. LOL

Which Grip Is Best? The reason why one should rotate your hands is if you either have a weak grip or are getting weak in the grip say after a long set or using heavier bells. When rotating the wrist you will preserve your grip, but place a slight tax on your shoulders. I know, 6 in one and half a dozen in the other, BUT you gotta do what you gotta do. If you have a long set in your training or competing in Girevoy Sport you might need to use both methods.

Hammer Grip: Let's say your grip is good when you start, but you don't want your shoulders to get tired right away. The grip you'll want to use is thumb up, without any or much hand rotation at all, and hammer orientate the kettlebells. This will allow your shoulders to relax as much as possible as you descend the bells, but the only downside is that you'll be holding onto the bell handles a bit more than a Rotated Grip.

Rotated Grip: Let's say your grip tires quickly or you're at the tail end of a long set and need to preserve your grip so you can last. What you will do is fully rotate your hands so that your thumb faces downward and back when the bells are between your legs. This will save your grip as much as possible and hopefully allow you to complete your set. The downside of this is that your shoulders will feel a bit more stress since they roll slightly inward when you rotate your hands. This causes the muscles to continue to work and thus is a leak on efficiency should wise. But if it's between dropping the bells and ending your set or hanging onto them I'd go with the later.

By no means are you stuck with either grip. You can change it up as you need to and as your set dictates your body to do.

The below workout is what we last practiced at Kettlebell Sport Club. The below weights are what I used, but everyone else simply used their appropriate bells. It's not even been 3 months since I started working with the 24kg kettlebells and I am finally feeling much more solid in my movements- especially my Jerk lockouts.

Warm up: Synergy Dynamics Cleans 2x16kg x 10, 2x24kg x 10, 2x32kg x 10


Long Cycle: We have several people preparing for the IKFF National in September who scale their weights accordingly. Cleans 2x24kg x 20 + 2x28kgx5 immediately after the 20 x 5 (rest 2:00 min between sets) Jerk 2x24kg x 12 x 3 (rest 2 min between sets)


Biathlon: The below weights were for Tammy since she's training for Biathlon for the IKFF Nationals. 2 other ladies also performed this workout with her because they preferred Snatching today. Snatch: 8kg, 12kg, 16kg, 20kg, 16kg, 12kg, 8kg - all @ 1 min per hand @ 8-12 rpm -non-stop (14 min set) Jerk: 16kg x 12 x 3 (rest 2 min between sets)


Finisher: Kettlebell Jump Squat 32kg x 15 x 3 (rest 1 min between sets)

R. Garon

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