23 October 2010

A special visit from Master RKC Andrea DuCane

Recently, The Russian Kettlebell Challenge certification course was held in Orlando, Florida.  Being close to Orlando, some friends and I made it a day and went to receive some free training from the newly minted RKCs, and pick up some kettlebells. 

While there, I was fortunate enough to meet a great number of knowledgeable and personable people, including Franz Snideman RKC, and Pavel Tsatsouline, both of whom helped me out with my deadlifting form and technique.  I was also fortunate enough to meet Brett Jones, another very knowledgeable RKC, who also gave me advice on short steel bending.  I also got to meet Dragon Door CEO John DuCane, and his wife Andrea and daughter, Nicole.  All wonderful and knowledgeable. 

Prior to this, Andrea DuCane agreed to come out the USF Kettlebell Club in Tampa, and give our club an informal seminar, wherein she gave us information on flexibility, mobility, and lastly, the kettlebell swing--the most important of kettlebell drills.  Why is the swing in important? For those who do not know, it leads to other drills, like the snatch, and the clean and jerk, and if you practice swinging, and make it a point to do many swings, you will give your heart a good workout, and your deadlift numbers will rise. 

She spoke of much, but some key points emphasized are as follows:
1. When deadlifting, think of lifting with your glutes. Squeeze them, hard.  You will feel stronger merely thinking about this one thing.
2.  Think about having a long spine, so that it will stay straight, and not snap in half.
3.  Stay rooted in the earth--a good way to do this is to grip the ground with your toes.
4.  Squeeze the glutes at the top of the swing forcefully, and be aware of flexing your quadriceps at the same time.
5.  If you are in doubt about any of these, revisit your deadlift with a kettlebell and emphasize gluteal contraction. 
6.  Stretch your hip flexors so that they will open up, and you will automatically feel stronger. 

In conclusion, Andrea's aptitude for teaching conveyed all of these items far better than I am to you, and if you ever get the chance to have her for a seminar, it will definitely be a wise move, and you will be stronger for it. 

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