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Kettlebell KB skill path

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Level 5 Valued Member
What is the best (in your opinion of course) best path for S1 kettlebell skill development?

To me it seems like (with associated books/texts) to be (I have excluded skills found in "previous" books):
1) Simple & Sinister: goblet squat, halo, two hand swing, one hand swing and turkish get up.
2) Enter the kettlebell: clean, press and snatch.
3) Return of the kettlebell: Double kettlebell skills, but also, jerk (I have only browsed this book).
Then there is the Russian Kettlebell Challenge, which I haven't read.

Sean M

Level 7 Valued Member
I would think access to an instructor will be the optimal path.

I agree that whether in-person (group/facility or private instructor) or solo, the foundation is S&S with goblet squat, deadlift-->swing (two- and one-hand), and getups. You learn/practice clean, press, and snatch when 32kg is your regular bell in S&S training. Then after achieving Simple, do Rite of Passage through 24kg press ladders for a male (including 5:00 snatch test with 24kg), practicing double-bell movements on RoP variety days.

At the end of that I would think a practitioner would be able to sufficiently demonstrate ownership of the goblet squat, swing, getup, and clean & press with 32kg, and snatch for reps with 24kg and 1-5 solid strict presses with 32kg. And enough technique in the double lifts to begin a program with them, of which there are many good ones including ROTK (if you have the time, recovery ability, and food budget).

Maine-ah KB

Level 7 Valued Member
Instructor would be the best route, legitimately i had done simple standard already when I went and my movement pattern improved and I could express more strength with swings, TGU in 2-3 sessions.
as far as if that isn't an option financially or because of were you live. then yeah Simple sinister, Enter the Kettlebell Or go after Sinister with an occasional doubles practice. some doubles program. I would also suggest that everyone read Naked Warrior as that will really drive home the point of breathing, bracing and gathering tension for power.

Mark Limbaga

Level 8 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
now that kettlebell strong is off the market, I would suggest the double kettlebell manifesto by hector gutierrez jr in place...

IMHO, its alao superior to ROTK as its pre-requisites are not too daunting


Level 5 Valued Member
IMO its as you put it. But for me Rotk is no. 5

No. 3 and 4 would be KBStrong and KB RMF but not sure which order.


Level 7 Valued Member
Then there is the Russian Kettlebell Challenge, which I haven't read.

It's a very different book from S&S or ETK: It was published at a time when Pavel was introducing the idea of kettlebells to the USA and it reads more as a collection of articles about the origin of kettlebells, their various uses and benefits in training for different sports/martial arts and an introduction to various drills, divided into two categories: Explode! (swing, snatch, jerk etc.) and Grind! (military press, bent press, windmill etc.).

There are programs too, including the original 'Program Minimum', which uses a dumbbell (KBs were not easy to get hold of at the time of publication), the 'Program Maximum' (which is essentially a structure for creating your own KB training program), Steve Maxwell's personal program, some Girevoy Sport programs, Soviet armed forces training programs.

While ETK and S&S are more accessible to the novice, RKC seems more geared at people with at least some training experience who are looking to exploit the benefits offered by kettlebell training. The instruction offered on the various drills, while still superior to most texts, lacks the meticulous depth of the later books.


Level 6 Valued Member
Although it is taught as a progression to swings, dialing in the KB deadlift (high reps, strict form) is easily dismissed but getting this right makes everything better. Like goblet squat it is the foundation of other lifts. Barbell deadlift is worth learning.

The SF user's course and occasional personal training, and you should be able to get a 30 min form check session if you can't go to or afford regular classes. I got valuable feedback.

I would also recommend getting an FMS screen. It will identify weak areas (for me left shoulder) and give you helpful corrective areas. For example, if you score a 1 on shoulder mobility (1/3) then you probably shouldn't even be doing high or heavy press volume.

Definitely start with S&S. Everything else is a bonus if you are just nail that one. My press went up without pressing recently just from regular, not even heavy, TGUs.
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