Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Swing!

The Swing:

When I think of the human being and the human body I see the amazing beauty that we all share and at the same time the unique aspects that distinguish us from each other. Through the 15 years I have been coaching I have had to opportunity to study many different forms and theories/practices behind human movement practices and observe an inordinate of people performing these practices through my coaching or other observational opportunities (i.e. certifications, videos, sporting events, etc.).

I have trained with some well versed coaches and observed countless number of swings in my time as a kettlebell instructor, 5 years this April 2010. And through that time I have constantly evaluated and reformed my teaching of the movement. What I have learned is that there is specific principles that form the foundation of the Kettlebell Swing and no one does it better than the RKC, as Westside Barbell and Louie Simmons says about the Westside Method, ‘often imitated but never duplicated’ and this is the case with the RKC swing.

However, as a coach I am sometimes confounded how we try to put people in a box when teaching a movement, assuming that all people move and operate or can function in the same way, as if there is one and only one answer. And based off of what I know and understand about the human being and more important the human body, this is indeed not the case. Principally speaking things such as keeping your spine straight, rooting your feet, linking your body, moving through and from the hips, moving the kettlebell in a pendulum based motion, maintaining center of gravity are all key points that I believe all Kettlebell swingers should employ based on the concept of what a swing is.

The point is that everyone has a unique anatomical structure comprised of different length of segments, various muscle length/tension relationships, various strength/weakness relationships, etc. and these all need to be taken into careful consideration when teaching and making adjustments of any particular movement. As a coach it is imperative that we understand the logic behind any movement and more importantly then be able to apply our understanding to our students and teach/coach everyone for what they are, an individual. We must look at each person and be able to identify how we can best help them based on their goals and advise them appropriately treating them as an individual.

In addition, we need to take the skills imparted upon us by top notch organizations like the RKC and then take that information and apply it to the community, people and individuals. As coaches, teachers, athletes, we need to remember it is our job to serve the individual, even in a group setting and to do so within their abilities not any box. Take the foundation and apply with discretion. Safe and effective, with the principles of the movement and the individual working together

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