Last week I took a private lesson with Sergei Merkulin, a multiple Kettlebell sport World Champion who was in town to conduct the IKFSA Kettlebell certification.
Prior to this, I have attended the IKFF level 1 & 2 certification conducted by Steve Cotter and this was back in 2009. So, I have been lifting kettlebells for awhile but I haven’t been very diligent with them. To me they were a set of conditioning tools which I use from time to time and Kettlebell sport wasn’t something I ever thought of pursuing
So after that one hour session with Sergei, was there a change of heart? Haha, perhaps but I learnt something really valuable besides all the refinement that in the snatch. It was tension and relaxation; the perfect blend of it. If you watch great athletes such as Michael Jordan and Roger Federer, their movements are graceful, effortless yet powerful. Watching Sergei hoist the 32 kg bells is no different; it was grace and power personified.
Most of the time, we carry excess tension when we perform our daily tasks. From breathing to carrying groceries and training in the gym. However if one has to lift the Kettlebells continuously for 10 minutes, efficiency is king and the Kettlebell athlete would have to perfect his timing in terms of breathing, tension and relaxation. These concepts are applicable to any sport and if one practices this way, they are on their way to becoming a much more powerful and efficient athlete, not to mention being injury free as well.
Kettlebell sport might not be your chosen specialization, but try it out and be surprised. You’ll not just develop mental toughness but also an uncanny ability to relax when under ‘tension’ – something all athletes will benefit from.
Alphafit is blessed with having 2 amazing kettlebell athletes/coaches– Hayati and Jenn. Just by watching them lift, I have secretly learnt some Kettlebell sport techniques and that made my session with Sergei much more productive. For those who are keen, athlete or not, Kettlebell sport can be tough yet lots of fun so if you haven’t tried it, give it a chance. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
– KC TAN