We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
The kettlebell long cycle hits your upper-back, shoulders and arms.
Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
The kettlebell long cycle is one of the exercises contested in kettlebell competitions. Competitors can either choose to compete in this, or the biathlon, which consists of jerks and snatches. During competition, you have 10 minutes to perform as many long cycles as possible without putting the bells down. Due to the highly demanding nature of the event, you can't just roll up on the day and have a go -- you need a specialized, structured routine.
The long cycle is composed of two separate moves -- the clean and the push jerk. Men compete using two bells, while women typically sling just one. The move starts with a clean, where you swing one or both kettlebells back through your legs, then push your hips forward quickly to generate momentum to bring the bells up to your shoulders in the rack position. From here, the International Kettlebell and Fitness Federation rules state that there must be a distinguishable pause before you go into the jerk. Jerking involves pushing the bells straight above your head until your arms are locked. You can use leg drive to help you, but on the descent you must hit the rack position again, rather than dropping the kettlebells all the way down. You score one point for each successful lift.
Teaching the Technique
Breaking the move down into three parts may help, notes RKC instructor Chris Rubio. Perform two sets of eight to 10 cleans at the start of every workout and remember to look forward, flare your elbows out slightly, snap your hips and let out a little air to absorb the force from the bells in the rack position on every rep, advises Rubio. The rack position is where you can rest during competitions, so make sure you have a comfortable position that you can sustain for some time. You're not allowed to press the kettlebells up, so make sure your knees and arms move in tandem during the jerk. Once you have each individual section perfected, start putting the move together.
You're on the Clock
A beginner shouldn't attempt anywhere near 10 minutes straight on the long cycle and even an intermediate kettlebell trainee may want to start with a shorter timeframe. Stick to straight sets and reps first, by performing three sets of 10 reps three times per week and gradually add more sets and reps until you're up to five sets of 15. Once you're here, try as many reps as possible in three minutes and progress to five, eight and finally 10 minutes.
Cleaning Up Your Routine
Practicing the long cycle and building up your endurance in the lift is crucial, but other exercises and modes of training will help too. Kettlebell world record holder Ken Blackburn, owner of Extreme Athletic Training, recommends mixing up longer timed sets with shorter timed sets to improve your speed, as well as explosive moves to build power and other forms of conditioning for general fitness. A sample long cycle-focused workout could start with three sets of five on jump squats or heavy swings, then a couple of sets of cleans, before moving on to your timed long cycle. Rest for five minutes, then perform three sets of eight to 12 reps on accessory moves, such as snatches, high pulls, goblet squats, windmills and push presses.