The relative of the kettlebell lock-out is the kettlebell drop, the drop goes from lock-out into racking position, note that the drop is different if you’re doing a full snatch and does not return into racking then. I’m covering the drop for racking, the half drop.
The drop can be a controlled movement to take advantage of the down phase, it can be a literal drop, i.e. just letting the weight fall down into racking position, controlled drop, or it can be a pull down in which the drop is accelerated by pulling it down into racking position. What you use depends on your goals, if you’re training for strength and your program requires you to take advantage of the eccentric phase then you would control the down phase and perform it as slow as possible, if you’re going for high reps, speed and power then you’d want the kettlebell to come down as quickly as possible and choose either the drop or pull.
In a drop where you do not want to take advantage of the eccentric phase, you’ll want to bring your body towards the weight by bringing the heels off the ground, essentially bringing in two factors that will be slowing down and taking the impact of the weight, that is the calfs/ankles and quads/knees, a third one could be brought into play if required, and only if the previous two did not do the job, that is the hips and coming into a squat, but only when working with extremely heavy weight should you even have to think about this last one.
When the weight is coming down, you come onto the balls of your feet, bringing your upper-body closer to the weight, as soon as the weight is coming into racking position the calfs will provide the first deceleration until the heels are on the ground, then the knees bend to provide the last deceleration with the quads. After a drop it’s common to come into full body lockout.
Only if you’re performing a controlled drop for the eccentric phase of the press should the body be locked out when receiving the kettlebell, doing so with any other variation of the drop could be cause for knee or other injuries.
- body lockout
- create tension
- overhead lockout
- lift heels
- make contact
- calfs provide deceleration
- heels touch
- knees bend
- quads provide deceleration
The above is part of our Master The Kettlebell Press book which will be available for sale soon, pre-order now to get yours at nearly 30% of the price.
Not convinced? Ask yourself this, how often have you seen the drop being covered in kettlebell training articles, tutorials or expert courses? The rest of the book is going to be full of more awesome details you won’t see elsewhere.
Note: December 2016, Google provides no results for the kettlebell drop other than to cover the drop for the snatch, which is a full drop. On that note, a more appropriate name for this part of anything overhead would be half drop or full drop.