How Long Should It Take To Do One Kettlebell Get-Up?

by Ryan Jankowitz on August 29, 2018

Ryan Jankowitz, RKC-II Coaching Getup Practice

Occasionally, trainees ask me how long a get-up should take when they’re first learning how to do one. I think it’s a really great question and I’m glad when they ask it—because it means that they are probably starting to really dig kettlebell training. But, my answer always seems to surprise them just a bit. When I tell them that a solid get-up takes at least 30 seconds per side, they start to realize that this exercise requires patience.

My best get-ups tend to take around 36 seconds (clearly, I love to time things). It seems to take about 36 seconds for me to feel like I am owning each stage of the get-up while taking my time.

Each stage of the get-up is equally important and demands equal attention. If one stage is rushed or not performed well, that weak link may negatively impact the rest of the movement. There’s nothing worse than trying to adjust your position while holding a heavy hunk of iron over your head.

I’ve found that going back to naked (no weight) get-ups or using a very light kettlebell with a 3-5 second pause at each stage for several reps is a great drill for reinforcing patience. These drills also allow you or your client to get very familiar with how each stage of the get-up should feel.

Ryan Jankowitz, RKC-II and Master RKC Michael Krivka demonstrate the get-up at a recent HKC workshop in Gathersburg, MD.

Ryan Jankowitz, RKC-II and Master RKC Michael Krivka demonstrate the get-up at a recent HKC workshop in Gaithersburg, MD.

My intent in writing this blog post was to create a discussion and learn what other kettlebell instructors and enthusiasts think about the timing of a get-up. Have you found an optimal time for the get-up? How long do you think a kettlebell get-up should take? Please leave your answers in the comments section at the end of this post.

I feel that being patient with kettlebell training pays off big time in the long term. In a time when people want to do more exercises faster and faster, sometimes slowing down is actually the best approach.

Performing one repetition of the get-up masterfully is far superior to performing ten sloppy reps. Really, this can be said for any exercise—quality over quantity. If you take your time and master the basics, the rest will fall into place.

All of my best kettlebell lifts and personal goals have come years after I first picked up a kettlebell. I’m in this for the long haul and sometimes I have to remind myself to slow down.

Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!

Stay Strong.

***

Ryan Jankowitz, RKC-II Instructor, CK-FMS, is a life-long athlete who can’t imagine sitting behind a desk. He enjoys sharing his passion for fitness and spreading the RKC knowledge. Ryan provides online kettlebell training and in-person training in the DC Metro area. You can reach him at ryan@rjkettlebell.com or through his website rjkettlebell.com.

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The Importance of Single Leg Training

by William Sturgeon on August 15, 2018

William Sturgeon, RKC-II Split Squat

We spend a lot of time training our clients with bilateral movements, such as squatting and hinging. These dynamic and explosive movements are done in a stationary position. When we choose exercises for our clients—or for our own training—the exercises should always be purposeful movements applicable to their lifestyle and goals. Whether you coach athletes or the general population, everyone moves unilaterally.

Whenever moving in any plane of motion, we move by stepping with one foot first. We move unilaterally throughout our whole day. Unless we’re stationary for a while, we do not spend much time in a bilateral stance. Knowing that all movement is initiated with one foot, why do we place such an emphasis on bilateral movements when training our clients?

There are many reasons to include unilateral exercises in our training programs. But, one of the main reasons I include single leg training is to allow me to train my clients’ weaknesses. While it is easy to temporarily correct a client out of a knee valgus during a squat with the cue “spread the knees apart,” it doesn’t really fix the problem. By including single leg exercises you can help strengthen your client’s asymmetrical weaknesses—which will also strengthen their bilateral movements.

Another reason I favor unilateral movements, is because they can help rehab and prevent injuries. If you train athletes or the general population, your job is to help them reach their goals—and keep them safe during their training. Another great benefit unilateral exercises offer over bilateral exercises is that they promote even more ankle stability and strength. Strengthening the ankles can reduce the chance of ankle injuries—which often lead to knee and hip pain.

The following are a few of my favorite single leg exercises:

Split Squat (see photo at beginning of post)

  • Start at the bottom of a split squat position.
  • Hold a kettlebell as if you were about to do a goblet squat (place the kettlebell near the collar bone).
  • Push evenly with the foot—through the ball of the foot and the heel to stand.
  • Lock the knee at the top of the movement while squeezing the glutes.
  • Lower yourself down slowly, and do not let the knee bang against the ground.

Lateral Lunge

William Sturgeon RKC-II Lateral Lunge

  • Start by holding the kettlebell in the rack position, or at the chest (the goblet squat position).
  • Take a large step to the side.
  • Bend your knees and push your hips back.
  • Return to the starting position by pushing through the inside of the foot you used to step to the side.

Curtsy Lunge

William Sturgeon RKC-II, Curtsy Lunge

  • Start by holding the kettlebell at the chest (the goblet squat position).
  • Step back and behind your other leg.
  • Slowly lower your hips until the knee lightly touches the ground.
  • Push through the front leg, and return to the starting position.

Weighted Single Leg Glute Bridge

Weighted Single Leg Glute Bridge

  • Begin on your back, and hold a kettlebell at your belt line.
  • Raise one leg off the ground by lifting the knee.
  • Tuck your chin and rib cage down as you press the heel of the other foot into the ground
  • Raise the hips up and squeeze the glutes.
  • Lower yourself down slowly and return to the starting position.

Single Leg Rear Deadlift (RDL)

  • Place both hands on the kettlebell handle.
  • Keep a slight bend in the knee and push your hips back.
  • Keep a straight spine and lower the kettlebell below the knee by bending with the hips.
  • Return to the starting position by pulling your chest and hips up as you stand tall.

Single Leg Deadlift

William Sturgeon, Single Leg Deadlift

  • Begin with the kettlebell on the ground in line with your toes.
  • Bend at one knee and begin to hinge down while pushing your hips towards the wall.
  • Keep your chest up while lowering yourself through the hips.
  • Return to the starting position by standing tall.

Single leg exercises are essential moves to consider in your kettlebell training.

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William Sturgeon, RKC II trains clients at his gym, Restored Strength. Contact him through his website at RestoredStrength.com or follow him on Facebook: facebook.com/restoredstrength

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Beyond the See-Saw Press: Two New Variations

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emailFacebookGoogle+LinkedinPinterestTwitter Some lifts just never feel quite right, no matter how hard we try to force them to do so. Others are a willing dance partner from the first rep. And from the first time I tried it, the see-saw press just felt right. Unlike the single-arm press, which took months (er, years) to share […]

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June 13, 2018

emailFacebookGoogle+LinkedinPinterestTwitter At a Dragon Door workshop back in 2010, a Senior RKC taught us how to do slow motion get-ups and my life was forever changed! In theory, slowing down a get-up sounds simple enough—but you know what they say about “simple but not easy”! When I tried a slow motion get up for the […]

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Rubik’s Get-Up

May 2, 2018

emailFacebookGoogle+LinkedinPinterestTwitter When I first learned to perform a get-up, I was unsure of its purpose. It seemed almost like a series of random movements, ultimately resulting in getting off the floor. Of course, being able to get off the floor safely has its advantages, but even when progressing with resistance, it was still somewhat of […]

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Finish Your Training Session With The Kettlebell Squat Massacre

April 25, 2018

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April 11, 2018

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Kettlebells for Life

March 28, 2018

emailFacebookGoogle+LinkedinPinterestTwitter Every Spring, I enjoy looking back and reflecting on what I am grateful for over the last year. One of those things is the RKC School of Strength and my students who enjoy using kettlebells as much as I do. As I reflect on seven years of teaching strength and conditioning (and a dozen […]

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How to Effectively “Cue” a Client

March 7, 2018

emailFacebookGoogle+LinkedinPinterestTwitter We all know that communication skills can make or break any relationship. As a coach, you may possess all the knowledge in the world about progressions, regressions, proper loading parameters and rest intervals. But, if the delivery of the material is not understood, your good intentions may fall short. You may even lose an […]

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