kettlebell terminology

Kettlebell Terminology

Every sport, hobby, and clubs have their own unique terminology. There are certain words that describe movements or things. These give people a common way of communicating within their group. Here are some common terms in kettlebell lifting that will help you understand what others are talking about.

Girevik – Someone who lifts kettlebells

Girevoy Sport – Also known as Kettlebell Sport which is the competition of lifting kettlebells. Lifters see how many reps they can do in a certain time frame without putting the kettlebells down.

Pood – Is a unit of mass equal to 16kg. This is a Russian term and the unit of masses looked like kettlebells. These were used at farmers markets to weigh crops. In kettlebell lifting it is common to hear the phrase 1 pood which is 16kg or 2 pood which is 32kg.

Biathlon – Used in Girevoy Sport. This is when a lifter competes in both Jerk and Snatch.

Long Cycle – Another Girevoy Sport lift. The movement is a clean and jerk.

Backswing – This is the part of the swing when the kettlebell is behind your legs in the air and the arm is pressing into your crotch.

Rack Position – This is where you hold the kettlebell against your body. The elbow is in the ribs and the forearm resting against the chest. The kettlebell is resting on both the bicep and forearm.

Deflection – This is used in both the clean and snatch. It is the moment when the kettlebell goes back into decent. While the kettlebell is dropping, your body is creating separation from you and the kettlebell. The kettlebell moves in one direction and your body moves in other direction.

Acceleration Pull – Used in both the clean and snatch. This happens when the kettlebell has started its way back up. Once it reaches about 7 o’clock is when you will redirect the kettlebell by shrugging your shoulder back.

Insertion – Used in both the clean and snatch. What happens is that the grip changes from a pull to a push. Right after the acceleration pull you will shoot your hand through the window in the kettlebell. This happens while the kettlebell is weightless in the air.

First dip – Used in the jerk. This is where the elbow is pushing into your stomach and your knees start to bend.

Bump – Used in the jerk. This is when you start to push the kettlebells up into the air after the first dip. Your legs shoot the kettlebells up by extending the hips, knees, ankles, and even your back.

Second dip – Also know as an under-squat this is used in the jerk and also may be used in the snatch. This is when the kettlebells have shot up in the air from the bump and you lower your body underneath the kettlebells. As the kettlebells come up you push your hips back and sink underneath the kettlebells. The arms will lockout and at the same time you land in a squat position.

Lockout – This is when everybody joint is locked out on the body. Primarily the elbows, hips, knees. The kettlebell is not moving but in control like a statue. This is what judges look for in a girevoy sport competition in order for it to be considered a rep.

The Drop – This is when the kettlebells are lowered down from overhead and absorbed by the body.

No Count – When a lifter misses a rep or does not perform a properly executed rep. Judges will tell a lifter no count every time they perform one in girevoy sport competitions.

Bottoms Up – These are any movements done with the kettlebell while it is upside down.

Double – Simply means using two kettlebells instead of one.

Open Palm – These are movements done with the kettlebell where you transition your hand from the handle to holding just the body of the kettlebell.

Crush Grip – Your hand is squeezing the handle of the kettlebell.

Relaxed Grip – While holding onto the kettlebell your hand is relaxed around the handle. Not squeezing.

Thumb Back – This is involved with the swing, clean, and snatch. You keep your thumb in a downward position while moving the kettlebell in those movements. This is a slower pace with more range of motion.

Thumb Forward – This is involved with the swing, clean, and snatch. You keep your thumb in an upward position while moving the kettlebell around in those movements. This is a faster pace with less range of motion.

There you go! These are just some of the common kettlebell terms to add to your vocabulary. Now you know what these terms mean and will be able to understand other kettlebell lifters when they talk about them.

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