Functional Patterns on Kettlebell Swings

Discussion in 'Kettlebell' started by Ryan Jandrey, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. Ryan Jandrey

    Ryan Jandrey Double-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    I'm not sure of people's opinion on Naudi Aguilar of Functional Patterns here but he's definitely a very polarizing person. Many people have had great success with his system and at the same time he comes across as extremely abrasive which is a turn off for some.

    Anyway, I bought his 10-week program because I knew there would be some valuable information in it. I've heard him say a few different times that hardstyle swings the way we do them aren't good for creating muscular balance and structural integration. His main problem is the active glute contraction that we finish the swing with. They do a version of swings in FP but it's often with much lighter weights, no active hip thrust and some kind of thoracic rotation. Hes all about the gait cycle and relating every type of human movement back to that. He claims hardstyle swings do not respect the gait cycle and therefore should be modified. Any thoughts on this line of reasoning?
  2. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    Am not familiar with Naudi Aguilar, but I'd venture to say most folks don't activate their glutes enough when they walk.

    Anything that makes one more aware of this muscle and how underutilized it is much of the time should be viewed as a plus.
  3. rickyw

    rickyw More than 500 posts

    I would personally argue that the one arm armed hardstyle swing, and the snatch in particular, reinforces a solid gait cycle. Not many other exercises challenge multiplanar stability, conditioning, strength, power, eccentric control, and good movement like these two exercises. A proper hardstyle swing or snatch does the following: trains a solid foot position; challenges the abs and glutes in a way that trains proper pelvic posture (kime); challenges the contralateral glute and ipsilateral lat in a way that positively influences proper force closure of the contralateral sacroiliac joint; trains proper lower extremity alignment; generally trains good control of movement through the transverse plane; ties the body together; and, these two exercises are often programmed in a way that builds endurance of these abilities. When walking we want good foot position, a generally neutral pelvis, good SI joint force closure, good lower extremity alignment, appropriate core stiffness, and the ability to maintain these things for prolonged periods while ambulating.

    Of course, I wouldn't start a patient on hardstyle swings who is not ready for them. Someone with a very poor gait cycle may need some other work before they can come to the swing and benefit from it. But I disagree that hardstyle swings do not "respect the gait cycle". I would say the one armed swing or snatch complements the gait cycle.

    I am willing to bet that many of us have felt sturdier and more sure in our postural gait since we started hardstyle ballistics. I am one of these people.
  4. Dasho

    Dasho Triple-Digit Post Count

    Does squatting, or picking a heavy object off of the floor respect the gait pattern? Are these not functional patterns?
  5. Glen

    Glen Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Tjerr, rickyw and fractal like this.
  6. Steve W.

    Steve W. Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I mostly stop paying attention to anything fitness related as soon as I see the word "functional."

    Line of what?
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
    Snowman, fractal, rickyw and 2 others like this.
  7. Ryan Jandrey

    Ryan Jandrey Double-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    I would agree that the word "functional" is most often times thrown around too loosely and doesn't mean a whole lot in the context it's being used in. I think Naudi would probably agree as well and "Functional" Patterns main goal is to help people move better and understand their bodies in respect to how we evolved to function. I do think he goes too far in denouncing every other form of exercise/movement as insufficient when it comes to getting the desired results. I've learned some quality things from him and its opened up my eyes some to current trends in the fitness industry. Like I say, he comes across as very abrasive and it can be tough to get past that to really understand the points hes trying to make but it's worth diving into.
    I was mainly just curious if anyone else on the boards had heard of FP and what they thought about the hardstyle swing criticism. I continue to swing twice a week as I feel it's done more good than harm in my case.
  8. Ryan Jandrey

    Ryan Jandrey Double-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    Yeahh he's pretty much against any type of traditional exercise. He "squats" in a very loose sense of the term. He almost exclusively uses multiplanar movements with light kettlebells, clubs, med balls, and pneumatic cable machines.
  9. piratebum

    piratebum Triple-Digit Post Count

    I just do what pavel says. So far so good. And I save a lot of time not having to research anything.
    Steve Freides, MarkSch, Karl and 4 others like this.
  10. Snowman

    Snowman Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Every once in a while this dude gets brought up. And every once in a while we have to figure out nice ways to explain our opinions of him...

    He has a system. Most people who adhere to a system for long enough will see some good results. I'm sure there are plenty of people who have seen good results from consistently using his system. I will even go so far as to say that some of that stuff looks fun. It could be fun stuff to do on an active recovery day or something.

    He says a lot of stuff that diverges from (and criticizes) traditional powerlifting, weightlifting, strongman and calisthenic methods. You know, the methods that have been building amazing athletes for 100+ years. I am not against new stuff. Especially if the new stuff works. And how do we determine if it works? You see how effective it is for large numbers of people, and (more importantly) you see how it works for you.

    Pavel started teaching publicly 20 years ago, and has built an empire on the strong backs of happy customers. If someone want's to tell me that hardstyle kettlebell training is a waste of time, I'm going smile, nod, and go back to doing the things that have improved every aspect of my physical capacity, i.e. hardstyle swings and snatches.
  11. Glen

    Glen Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    With Naudi I find his demeanour off putting.

    With what I've seen his basically promoting the same stuff that Paul Chek was doing a decade before him. The difference with Chek was that he also promoted the basics of squats, Deadlifts etc as well.

    I still think Paul Chek and his primal movement patterns (gait, squat, bend to extend/ hip hinge, push, pull, lunge, rotation) does a fantastic job of breaking down the movements needing to be trained (and many like Dan John etc continue this) - Naudi feels like he just wants to focus on just gait and rotation, which a lot of people need more of but ignoring the others feels like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    I always find those who attack others to validate their methods aren't really promoting their method effectively. I suppose in a modern world with so much noise already you need to shout to be heard (especially if your just rehashing part of someone else's system from a decade earlier)
    Martine Kerr, WxHerk, Snowman and 3 others like this.
  12. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    Looking into this and to be fair, he doesn't criticize the hardstyle swing per se, but the practice of hip snapping to the point where there is lumbar extension - something that is also discouraged in HS. Given that there are no compressive forces on the spine at the top of a swing, I feel this is a somewhat overblown concern anyway.

    Personally I don't see anything wrong with how he is presenting the swing, but he's using it for a different purpose than HS. There is no way he could do any of these progressions with a heavier KB, but for more of an endurance aspect I don't see anything wrong with how he is executing.

  13. Ryan Jandrey

    Ryan Jandrey Double-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    Again I'm not saying FP is right or wrong in their approach to fitness. I think like with any other system there are good and bad aspects of the approach. I know that FPs method of myofascial release has helped me quite a bit in the few weeks I've been doing it. I also know that hardstyle kettlebell movements have helped me tremendously in the last few years in all aspects of my fitness so I would never give them up. I think its alright to combine aspects of different systems in whatever way works best for you as an individual. The fitness industry can be an incredibly confusing place and no one person has all the answers.
    Snowman likes this.
  14. Ryan Jandrey

    Ryan Jandrey Double-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    This video is about 6 years old and he's actually somewhat changed his views since then. It's the focus on the voluntary contraction of the glutes that he doesn't care for. I don't really agree with him on that but it's what I've heard him say in more recent videos.
  15. Ryan Jandrey

    Ryan Jandrey Double-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    I'm a huge Paul Chek fan myself. He's one of first guys to get me thinking about physical fitness in terms of "how well can I move?" as opposed to "how much weight can I move?" And yes, Naudi's demeanor is very off putting at times. At first I thought it was a marketing tactic to bring attention to his brand (would have been a pretty bad marketing ploy) but I think that's kinda how he is lately. He has said before that he suffered from great anxiety and depression in the past and maybe this is some kind of manifestation of that but either way it's not fun to listen to.

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