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One-Arm Kettlebell Presses –Strict vs. ‘Tempo’

October 21, 2004 08:10 AM

The one-arm press used to be an event in Girevoy Sport competitions. In the beginning the competitors pressed strictly. But coaches were looking how to improve the technique and make it more rational. And they found it. In 1973 at one of the competitions Alexey Vorotyntsev used new technique of one-arm press: 'the tempo press'. And he did 123 presses with 32kg! Compare that with the old record of 42 reps!!! All referees, competitors, and coaches were shocked. A few years later, almost all gireviks used this technique.

Look at the GS records in 1979:

One-arm press 32kg ? 370 reps
Two-arm jerk 2x32kg - 150 reps
One-arm snatch 32kg ? 201 reps

As you can see, the results in the one-arm press were much higher than in the snatch or jerk! Obviously, the press technique was getting looser and looser. The one-arm press technique became the theme of a number of discussions and disputes. Because of the astronomic numbers put up in the one-arm press, girevoy sport competitions lasted for many hours hours.
Finally in 1982 the one-arm press was eliminated from the girevoy sport competition.

Today both types of one-arm press technique ? strict and tempo -are used in training to develop the shoulders and arms. Let us review both.

Strict one-arm press
Clean the kettlebell and hold it in the rack position on the chest. Then using the deltoid and the triceps press the kettlebell overhead. Try not to use any other muscles. Once your elbow locks out, wait a second and lower the kettlebell onto the chest. The technique of the strict press is very, very simple: just press the kettlebell overhead keeping your body motionless. In the strict press you can't lean back, push your elbow with your stomach, etc.

Tempo one-arm press
Clean the kettlebell and hold it in the rack position on the chest. Push your elbow with your stomach, lean back, use the deltoid and triceps strength, and straighten out your back. Once your elbow locks out, wait a second and lower the kettlebell onto the chest. The technique of the tempo press is very sophisticated. Here are some tips that will help you master this difficult exercise:
1)   Rapid pushing of the elbow away from stomach gives additional acceleration.
2)   Leaning back allows to shorten the distance the kettlebell travels, akin to the knee dip in jerk. But because the knee dip is not allowed in the press, you lean back instead.
3)   Lowering kettlebell to the chest with high speed allows to save some energy. You just relax arm and the kettlebell drops on the chest. Do exhale to soften the impact.
4)   Leaning back in the rack position allows to relax between reps.

Watch the technique of tempo press here

Note: The tempo press is dangerous exercise, it may injure your back. Be careful!



Andrey Kuzmin is an experienced Russian Kettlebell lifter and competitor. He has written two manuals and an encyclopedia of kettlebell exercises. Andrey's e-mail is Andrey@GirevoySport.ru
 

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