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My Three Favorite Russian Kettlebell Exercises

I have been using Russian Kettlebells for exercise for over three years now. While I wouldn’t say that they are the absolute best tool for strength training or fat loss, that is only because I believe that the perfect tool will be different for everyone. Not everyone is going to enjoy lifting kettlebells, and that’s fine. Finding something that you enjoy is the best way to ensure that you have longevity in your strength training.

As for me, I’ve made no illusions about my love for kbs here on World’s Strongest Librarian. They are the best tool for me because I enjoy using them the most. That’s it.

I also have my favorite exercises, which I consider a clue. The more I look forward to doing something, the more progress I usually make, and weight training progress is all I care about when I step into the gym. I care about better. That’s it. Here are my five personal favorite kettlebell exercises:

The double kettlebell snatch

This is just like a snatch with one kb, except that you have one in each hand. The motion with the hips is the same, the motion of the bell passing over the hands at the top is the same, the only thing that is different is a slightly wider stance and of course, heavier weight. You’ll have to snap your hips quite a bit to get two bells to go up there.

To date, the most popular book advocating use of two bells is Pavel Tsatsouline’s Return of The Kettlebell. If you try this program, I would recommend testing out all of the movement with biofeedback, a la Gym Movement. I started RTK before I ever heard of biofeedback, and if I could go back, I’ve no doubt that I’d make even more progress than I did.

The double kettlebell long cycle clean and jerk

Cleaning a kettlebell is simply to put it in the rack position. Jerking them is to put them overhead without pressing them. This is done by dipping underneath the bells and snapping the hips forward so that the bells move off the chest. You then drop under them and stand to complete the movement. This video shows a girivek from the Singapore kettlebell club doing the movement:

LCCJ is nasty and awesome. Great for packing on slabs of muscle due to the total body involvement. Good stuff. I have made quick progress in developing strength with long cycle, but my endurance sets are pitiful compared to what the Girevoy Sport loonies are doing. All respect to these mighty competitors.

Bottoms up kettlebell press

This is simply military pressing a bell with the bell held upside down by the handle. Here’s a brief video of yours truly doing the press with an 88 lb kb.

Bottoms up pressing develops tremendous pressing strength.

So, can you see a pattern with me? I like to put weights overhead. These three movements are a great combination of ballistics and slow, grinding movements. They keep me lean and strong, and I make progress every day, as long as they test well (check out Grip and Rip to see what I mean) and I’m in the mood to do them.

What are you favorites?

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