Kettlebell jerk - execution technique

Most athletes today build their training program around simulators and exercises with dumbbells and barbells, bypassing the weight. Such an attitude towards the projectile is completely unfair. There are exercises that can be performed using a kettlebell, but not with a barbell or dumbbell. A distinctive feature of this sports equipment is its compact size, a characteristic grip, a special distribution of loads. For versatile training, the kettlebell is simply irreplaceable and must necessarily take its place of honor in the arsenal of every person seriously involved in sports.

There are two main kettlebell exercises - push and jerk. Each is worthy of a separate article, but today's one is dedicated to the latter. Running a jerk is much harder than a push. A similar feature is due to the need to perform one movement - raising the projectile from the lower to the upper point. The jerk takes place without any intermediate stages, in contrast to the push, where the projectile is transferred to the chest and held before the final lift. To perform this movement, you need to have good coordination. At the same time, all muscles must work in a coordinated and timely manner.


  • 1 What muscles work "> 2 Variations of exercise
  • 3 The correct technique for jerking weights
  • 4 General recommendations for jerking weights
  • 5 Historical background and some facts

What muscles work?

It is erroneous to believe that during a jerk of a kettlebell, the main load falls solely on the forearm. When performing the exercise, the main muscle groups involved are leg and dorsal. The muscles of the core are most loaded.

A kettlebell jerk requires the connection of the entire muscle frame. It is not carried out with the help of brute force, but requires well-coordinated and technical work. Exercise involves not only strength and power, but also contributes to the development of good coordination and muscle dynamics. It brings the greatest benefit to the postural muscle layers - the skeletal deep.

Getting good results from a jerk of a kettlebell takes time and regularity. If you include it in your training program on an ongoing basis, you will soon see an increase in the power of muscle groups involved in the work.

Exercise variations

You can jerk in different ways:

Option 1. Experienced athletes with good physical fitness can make a more complicated jerk. when it is carried out without involving legs, but exclusively by the strength of the back muscles. This becomes possible, for example, when sitting on a chair, which does not allow you to use the lower limbs.

Option 2. Assumes the use of two shells at once. They can rise either simultaneously or in turn on each arm.

You should understand the difference between a jerk and a broach. The latter is performed not by inertia, which allows the weights to fly up, but is carried out by muscular effort. This is a completely different exercise.

The correct technique for jerking weights

Phases of jerking: 1 - start, 2 - swing, 3 - undermining, 4 - landing, 5 - fixing, 6 - lowering, 7-9 - swing for changing hands, 10-13 - jerking with the second hand.

Exercise is quite complicated. It is carried out in one motion, but in several stages:

The first phase is "Start". The athlete is in the starting position. The kettlebell lies on the floor and is located at an equal distance from the legs, which are located slightly wider than the shoulder girdle.

The second phase is "Swing." You need to sit down a bit, taking the shell with your hands. You can not bend, because this will not allow you to include leg muscles in the active work. A free hand should not meet obstacles or lean on anything. Otherwise, the balance will be disturbed as a result of the fact that she was ahead.

The body is obliged not to impede the movement of the weight, but to accompany the projectile. This moment is especially difficult for beginners who stop the movement of the projectile back, making their own jerk, and do not lead it to the end.

Proper swing implies that the kettle, having reached the extreme point at the back, will begin to move forward (according to the law of the pendulum), so the explosive force of the back and legs needs to be given to it even more additional energy.

The third phase is "Undermining." The presence of a kettlebell in front of the athlete is a “signal” to straighten the legs and tilt the body back to give the projectile the necessary power to perform upward movement. No other effort should be made.

The lack of disruptive energy does not allow a breakthrough in any situation. Attempting to lift the weight up by your own efforts increases the risk of injury. When at this lowest point the effort is not enough at this phase, the projectile will fly upward on its own. It remains only to accompany him with his body and hand.

There is no need to hold the weight with a stranglehold. It’s enough to grab the shell with your fingertips. Of course, you can’t really relax the grip so that the kettlebell just sets off for free.

The fourth phase is "Squat". An optional stage, which is not in every variety, but in the classic version of the jerk is mandatory. Otherwise, it will cease to be so. When the kettlebell is located as close to the highest point as possible, it is necessary to bend under the projectile, that is, to catch it.

Performing a squat allows you to take the largest possible weight, as well as significantly save power. This is especially important for those who need to pass the standards.

Squats are needed to cushion a heavy projectile. They can reduce the negative load exerted on the joints. Everyone who wants to learn how to make a breakthrough should definitely master this phase.

Fifth phase “Fixation”. When landing, the projectile is twisted so that it becomes possible to hold the weight at the upper extreme point. There are different ways to do this. The choice depends entirely on the wishes of the athlete and how easy it is, given the anatomical features, to make one or another fixation.

An invariable moment of this phase is that the fixation of the projectile in the hand must be ensured even before the end of the movement. At the very end, you need to fully straighten the arm. This should not be done too early. Completion of movement with an already straight arm will cause serious damage to the shoulder and elbow joints.

They experience a lot of stress even with absolutely correct fixation. When jerking, special attention should be paid to stretching and strengthening the left and elbow joints. You need to take care of the carpal ligaments. They must be stretched. They, when the weight is held at the end point, break back.

When an athlete is standing with a weight held by an outstretched arm, you need to lean forward a little. This allows you to maintain balance.

Sixth phase "Lowering". It can be carried out in two ways - immediately on the surface of the floor or with a transitional movement, when the projectile is first "laid" on the chest, and then lowered, that is, similar to the push.

The competing athletes in the competition practice only the first option. For athletes who do not demonstrate this exercise in competitions, the second method is more suitable. It is much safer. Regardless of the option chosen, the projectile should not be thrown.

The weight should always be amortized by the body. If the movement is sharp and uncontrolled, the likelihood of injury increases. A weight falling down can easily do a lot of damage.

General recommendations for jerking weights

To quickly master the technique and prevent injuries, just follow a few simple tips:

  • Hone technique is best done on a lightweight projectile, but it must be tangible. The best option for women will be a kettlebell for ten, for men - for sixteen kilograms.
  • Beginners who want to master the breakthrough should carefully work out the muscular frame. Otherwise, the exercise simply will not work. An excellent cope with this task will allow the implementation of deadlift and bench press with a barbell, as well as pushing and lifting weights on the chest.
  • It is impossible to allow tearing and tearing efforts when performing any phase. It is necessary to make sharp, clear and coordinated, slightly smooth movements.
  • It is necessary to monitor the free hand so that it remains relaxed, but does not hang out or twitch. Do not force it in one position. The main thing is that it should not interfere with the work of muscles and strain.

The duration of each jerk is largely due to the athlete’s own stamina. Approach time can vary between 3-15 minutes.

Historical background and some facts

Similar to kettlebell shells were made and used for training by the Olympians in ancient Greece. In the Dark Ages, when the cult of a healthy body was forgotten, there was no mention of this sports equipment for a long time. In the New Age period, weights began to be used in trade for a measure of weight.

They returned to the category of sports equipment by the 19th century, but exclusively for the development of the body, and not for any achievements. The kettlebells were mainly used by circus artists, entertaining the audience. The exercises with weights were officially recognized much later - towards the end of the same century. They entered the training program and became one of the varieties of weightlifting.

Kettlebell lifting became an independent discipline in the middle of the 20th century. The first competition among the strongmen was held in 1948 in the USSR. The rules by which the competition was held were not clearly regulated. The competition itself turned out to be significant, since it gave kettlebell lifting the status of professional discipline, and the shell began to be popular among people involved in their physical development.

Current kettlebell lifting rules were formed in the early 90's. The world record for a jerk of a shell belongs to Sergey Trifonov, who in 1 hour performed 1501 repetitions with a pound weight.