all posts post new thread

Kettlebell TGU Form Question

Brian H

First Post
Hi all,

I'm doing S+S and and am in the middle of progressing from 24kg to 32kg in the TGUs. Following the program in the revised edition, I do the 32kg lift on the 3rd and 4th TGU out of 10. I started doing it on the 5th and 6th TGU as well, but began experiencing this issue so I've dialed it back some:

As I continue to train S+S 5 or 6 times a week, I'm noticing increasing pain in my right knee most seemingly brought on when it's in the back of the split squat position (bell in left hand, left knee up, right knee on floor). When I stand from that position, I notice some pain and weakness in the right knee that gets worse and I continue day after day. I can do the 24kg TGUs no problem and the 32kg TGUs are not an issue for a while, but as I continue to do more and more with the 32, the knee feels like it's wearing down when in that particular position. I have seen a PT and have no known injuries to the area.

This has me wondering if perhaps it's a form issue. My best guess is that maybe I'm recruiting my back leg to do too much work in the lift once I move up to 32kg. I'm wondering how you all think about what the appropriate division of labor is between the front (raised-knee) leg and the back (grounded-knee) leg when moving from the split squat position to bell to standing with bell overhead. Should I really be focusing on generating most of my power in the front leg, or is it proper to recruit the back leg for a fair amount of it? And I'm wondering what your setup is to achieve the most power from the appropriate source to achieve that motion. I've played around with both a close-together stance and a stance with more of my bodyweight over the front leg and the back leg trailing further back, but I haven't noticed much of a difference.

Thanks so much for reading and for any thoughts you all might have. I've found this forum to be a tremendous resource as I've gotten more into kettlebell training, but this is my first post here.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
what the appropriate division of labor is between the front (raised-knee) leg and the back (grounded-knee) leg when moving from the split squat position to bell to standing with bell overhead. Should I really be focusing on generating most of my power in the front leg, or is it proper to recruit the back leg for a fair amount of it?
Use both legs to stand. The toes on the back leg should be curled under so you can use the foot as part of that effort.
And I'm wondering what your setup is to achieve the most power from the appropriate source to achieve that motion. I've played around with both a close-together stance and a stance with more of my bodyweight over the front leg and the back leg trailing further back, but I haven't noticed much of a difference.
Legs about 90/90 is usually about right. Screen capture is from 8:46 in this video.

1638971284593.png

And, welcome to the forum!
 

Brian H

First Post
Thanks so much for you thoughts here, all. I have been to an SFG who gave me the thumbs up on form. But that was a while ago and with a 24kg bell, and we didn't discuss the details of going from kneeling to standing that I asked about here. So Anna, I really appreciate your confirmation that both legs should be used to power the standing motion and that 90/90 is a good starting position. Your accompanying video is quite helpful as well.

I've been tucking the foot as Anna recommends and have been starting from basically the same position, so it seem like I might have some minor injury in the right knee after all. Conveniently enough, I had another PT appointment recently and was given some exercises to do to do help stabilize and strengthen that knee. Hopefully after some of that concentrated work, I'll be able to fully recruit it to help from the knee-down position and eventually reach Simple without additional pain there. And I'll get back to the SFG for another check-in now that I've upped the weight a fair bit.

I'm very grateful for the help. On I go.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@Brian H, welcome to the StrongFirst forum.

If you don't mind, I'll share a bit of my own personal getup story as I think part of it is relevant to you.

In my day, I managed some decently heavy getups - 40 kg at bodyweight of 68 kg and in my 50's). But fast forward a few years, and add in the background of having done a lot of distance running with poor form, and I can no longer put weight on my kneecap - whatever padding is supposed to be there simply is gone. My knees function fine for everything except the portion of the getup we're talking about, and I mention all this to caution you that, if it hurts, don't do it. I can do about one traditional getup per week because it takes me a week to recover from a single rep, and the weight doesn't matter.

I have adapted the movement for myself, and we could talk about ways one can do that, but the main point I wanted to make was that you should be careful.

-S-
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
Conveniently enough, I had another PT appointment recently and was given some exercises to do to do help stabilize and strengthen that knee. Hopefully after some of that concentrated work, I'll be able to fully recruit it to help from the knee-down position and eventually reach Simple without additional pain there.

It happens... I had a hip problem last year, was mild but persistent for 6 months or so, went to PT for 2 months, that got it straightened out and hasn't bothered me since. This year it's been shoulders, again mild but persistent for 6 months or so, started PT 3 weeks ago and I think I'm on the right track to get that straightened out too. Sometimes it's worth it, and you always learn something!
 

Mark Limbaga

Level 8 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Good idea to have form re-evaluated.. you always have to make minor adjustments at the very least as you go up in weight..
 

Brian H

First Post
Thanks for your words of caution, Steve. I love the complex motion of the TGU and I get a lot of satisfaction when I can go up in weight, but yeah, definitely not worth grinding my knees into dust over this. If I can't resolve the issue soon, maybe I'll just keep my full TGUs light, only do them up to kneeling and back with heavier weight, and rely on goblet squats or front squats to get an approximation of that squat to standing motion I'd be missing in the modified version. But if you have other ideas about how best to approximate at TGU while avoiding the point that gives us trouble, I'm totally interested!

Anna, I definitely agree with you about learning something. I'm looking into the knee and a tweaked shoulder (a whole other story) at the moment, and am at least learning stretches to target supporting muscles I never really knew existed. Good luck with your recovery work! And thanks again for weighing in with the form tips.

Mark, I'm booking something today. I like the convenience of training from home, but I should make a habit of working with a knowledgeable person every couple months or so to make sure my form isn't drifting and that my program makes sense in light of my goals (and current injuries, unfortunately).
 
Top Bottom