Home Strength Training The SFG Clock—A Guide for the Swing, Clean and Snatch

The SFG Clock—A Guide for the Swing, Clean and Snatch

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“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”

George Harrison

Over my years as a coach, I’ve seen many individuals display a wide range of kettlebell actions with differing levels of success. Perhaps they’re unaware of the mechanically advantageous groove for a motion, or they’ve simply by no means actually appreciated that sure strategies and tips make lifting a weight safer and simpler. The SturdyFirst guide has at all times featured exercise requirements that maximize each security and efficiency.

In this text, we are going to discover a topic that always causes college students an issue, no matter their strength, measurement or body form: the kettlebell trajectory throughout the swing, clear, and snatch.

In training, we are able to work out many issues by visualization. In class, my college students discover it very useful to grasp the path of the kettlebell throughout totally different actions.

Time to Learn

Recently, I had a tremendous alternative to show the kettlebell snatch throughout the SFG Kettlebell Instructor Certification at the Dome of Strength in Chicago. To assist the SFG college students, I made a decision to introduce my ‘SFG Clock’. After the cert, I had plenty of constructive suggestions about my system, so I believed I might share it with the SturdyFirst neighborhood.

Woo-chae teaching at SFG Chicago
Woo-chae educating at SFG Chicago

When I attended my first SFL Barbell Instructor Certification in Hungary, Master SturdyFirst Certified teacher Dr. Michael Hartle taught us about the SFL Clock. This is an easy however efficient software that teaches the optimum path of motion for our hips in a wide range of barbell drills.

Inspired by the SFL Clock, I made the SFG Clock to point out us easy methods to drive the kettlebell from its place to begin, by means of its transitional stage to its finish level, throughout the swing, clear, or snatch.

Safety First

Ballistics kettlebell actions are like driving a automotive on the freeway—plenty of steel shifting at excessive velocity is probably unsafe with out correct instruction. Whenever we head to a vacation spot, we want some steerage alongside the means. Road indicators assist drivers attain their locations safely; with out them, drivers will run into hazard.

Likewise, taking the mistaken path throughout ballistic strikes will find yourself inflicting hassle, ultimately. Don’t fear, the SFG Clock is designed to information you and the kettlebell safely to your aim.

Economy Drive

By utilizing street indicators, we are able to additionally save time, mileage and gas on the option to our vacation spot. Similarly, environment friendly motion throughout a carry ensures all of your work goes in direction of reaching the meant consequence, with the least quantity of wasted effort.

Efficiency, efficiency and security are all a part of the similar course of. The SFG Clock will maintain you on the proper path.

Take Five

Starting the kettlebell swing

Master SturdyFirst Certified Instructor Jon Engum teaches that there are three issues in kettlebell training: beginning issues, ending issues, and timing issues.

To repair a beginning downside, bear in mind the 5 o’clock place. The beginning place for the kettlebell in the swing, clear, or snatch ought to at all times be the similar; if we think about our ft to be at 6 o’clock, the bell begins at 5.

SFG Clock - Kettlebell Ballistic Start 5 o'clock

If you start with the kettlebell too far-off at 4 o’clock as an alternative of 5 o’clock, your again will possible be rounded as an alternative of impartial, and your shoulders missing a robust connection together with your torso. If you start with the kettlebell too shut, beneath you at the 6 o’clock place, your hike might be weak.

The Kettlebell Hike Pass

Although we’re speaking about journeys, with kettlebell ballistics, once we discuss hiking we don’t imply strolling alongside a mountain path. In this case, we imply hiking the bell again between the thighs to develop most energy earlier than sending the bell on its option to its vacation spot.

Hiking the kettlebell in the swing

In transit, we have now to load up the muscle mass of the posterior chain, simply as once we journey we have now to load sufficient vitality similar to food and gas.

In the hike cross, the kettlebell strikes to the 8 o’clock place. The hike cross is the transitional stage of the motion—a waypoint on the kettlebell’s journey.

SFG Clock - Kettlebell hike pass 8 o'clock

The Kettlebell Swing: As Easy As 5-8-3

For the swing, clear, and snatch, the place to begin and the transitional level are the similar, however the last locations are totally different.

The vacation spot of the swing is the 3 o’clock place.

SFG Clock - Kettlebell Swing 3 o'clock

If we intention for the 1 or 2 o’clock place, appropriate again posture is more likely to be sacrificed. When you train with heavier bells, the swing vacation spot is likely to be barely decrease than 3 o’clock. None the much less, our intention and aim is at all times 3.

Kettlebell Cleans From 9 to 6

To end the kettlebell clear, we have now two extra steps in fast succession after the hike. For these, we’re going to visualize the path of motion for the elbow, not the kettlebell.

First, pull the elbow again sharply in direction of 9 o’clock as you start to face up.

SFG Clock - Kettlebell Clean 9 o'clock

Then, as you snap to vertical, shortly drop the elbow beneath the bell, so it factors at 6 o’clock.

SFG Clock - Kettlebell clean 6 o'clock

Once the bell is cleaned, it sits on the arm as if loaded on a spring. This step is essential for making a heavy press.

Snatch the Kettlebell to 1 Then 12

With the kettlebell snatch, we even have two
factors to hit after the hike cross.

The finish place is straightforward sufficient; the snatch ought to end in the similar place as different overhead strikes, e.g., get-up, press, jerk, push press, windmill: all of them end with the bell at 12 o’clock.

Standing with kettlebell directly overhead

However, if we attempt to go instantly from the hike cross at 8 o’clock to our end place at 12, the kettlebell will cross uncomfortably near the body, compromising shoulder mechanics.

Likewise, in the event you swing the bell out in entrance in direction of 2 o’clock, its momentum will pull you ahead, your arm straightens too quickly, and the kettlebell lands with a painful whack in your wrist.

Therefore, on the means up, intention midway between the two. Think of the bell travelling in direction of 1 o’clock as an alternative—not too near the body, not too far-off. Then, as the bell passes overhead and your arm straightens, information the bell in direction of its vacation spot at 12 o’clock.

SFG Clock - Kettlebell snatch 1-12 o'clock

The SFG Clock offers you clear street indicators to comply with for every of those three ballistic strikes. Remember, the start and transition are the similar, however the route to every vacation spot is barely totally different.

SFG Clock - Kettlebell Swing
SFG Clock - Kettlebell Clean
SFG Clock - Kettlebell Snatch

Now you may have a transparent image of the place you wish to go and easy methods to get there. Drive safely and take pleasure in your journey.


An enormous thank to my good friend, Jackal Kim SFG, who runs MADMAX fitness center in Busan, for his illustrations.

Woo-chae Yoon

Senior SturdyFirst Certified Instructor

Woochae Yoon, PT, GFM Global Instructor, Flexible Steel Instructor Specialist, CK-FMS

Since 2009, Woochae has been training and learning strength and motion. Now he teaches rehabilitation and motion workshops (Ground Force Method, Flexible Steel) plus SturdyFirst kettlebell, barbell, and body weight programs. He has labored with a basketball workforce and sports activities rehabilitation hospital as a rehabilitation specialist over 7 years, and additionally coaches 1-to-1 and group classes at his POWERZONE gyms in Seoul.



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