Where do you find a cannonball that has a handle? And what can you do with it? DIAKADI trainer and local kettlebell expert Joanna Hoch knows. Developed in Russia during the 1700s, this lifting style has been evolving and making its way around the world's athletic training circles for a long time, and now kettlebells are showing up in fitness facilities all over. In recent years it has expanded in popularity, and with good cause, leading in 2001 to the development of the first instructor certification program in the U.S. The basic moves of KB training - swing, snatch, and clean and jerk - uniquely engage the entire body at once, and done in high reps create a workout more like high intensity interval training than traditional weight lifting.

The benefits are many: an athlete builds not just strength but also speed, flexibility, and power endurance, and with their round shape and easily gripped handle, the possibilities beyond the basic moves build into complex and challenging movement patterns that require great agility and skill. Check out this informative interview with Joanna along with her descriptions of the basic lift components.

When and why did you decide to investigate kettlebell training? How and where did you go about it?

- I initially got introduced to kettlebell lifting about 5 years ago through a friend and colleague John Wild Buckley, head of Orange Kettlebell Club, and I was immediately hooked to this uniquely challenging and fluid exercise modality.  Over the years I have also attended several World Kettlebell Club workshops at the Ice Chamber in Emeryville with kettlebell coach "celebrities" Valery Fedorenko and Catherine Imes.

Besides training athletes for kettlebell competitions, what type of individuals benefit most from this kind of training?

- Sport style kettlebell lifting is great cross training for sports that require power and endurance like rugby or martial arts.  Because it is skill based athletes of any discipline can benefit simply by adding novel neuro-muscular connections to their repertoire.

If you were to list the top three benefits of KB training, what would they be?

  1. Power (strength and speed)
  2. Fat loss
  3. Fun; a challenging way to vary your strength training routine

Components of basic kettlebell lifts:


The Kettlebell Jerk is defined as Lifting two Kettlebells overhead from

the "Rack" position with use of the legs via a "double-dip" action. The

Lifter must first "Clean" the Kettlebells from the floor to the "Rack"

one time. A repetition is counted when the arms are first locked out

overhead, parallel to the head, followed by the legs being locked out,

with a final fixation of the Kettlebells. The Kettlebells must be returned

to the rack position before commencing the next repetition.


The Kettlebell Snatch is defined as lifting one Kettlebell overhead

from the "Swing" action in one continuous movement. A repetition is

counted when the legs are locked out, the working arm is locked out

and parallel to the head, with a final fixation of the Kettlebell. The

Kettlebell must be returned to the Swing position in one continuous

movement, and although the Lifter may Swing the Kettlebell one or

multiple times before Snatching, they may not rest with the Kettlebell

in a hanging position. The Lifter may not touch the Kettlebell to their

body or touch the body with the non-working arm.


The Kettlebell Long Cycle is defined as lifting two Kettlebells in two

different phases, the "Clean", followed by a "Jerk", to comprise one

exercise cycle. In the first phase, the Lifter must Clean the Kettlebells

between the legs directly to the Rack position, not to the shoulders. In

the second phase, the lifter must Jerk the Kettlebells overhead from

that same rack position. A repetition is counted when the arms are

first locked out overhead, parallel to the head, followed by the legs

being locked out, with a final fixation of the Kettlebells. The Kettlebells

are then returned to the rack position, then swung between the legs

for another Clean to the rack position and another Jerk.


"Rack" Position- The rack position is universal for all exercises. It

is defined as the position when the arm(s) are bent and the upper

part of the arm is making contact with the torso while holding the


"Swing" Action- The Swing action is defined as a back and forth

motion of the arm with the shoulder acting as the hinge.

"Clean"- The Clean is defined as a Swing action of the Kettlebell,

catching it in the "Rack" position.

"Double-Dip" Action- The double-dip is defined as a quick two part

movement that begins with a short range squat (first dip), followed by

a push of the Kettlebell(s) out of the rack, a quick reversal away from

the Kettlebell (second dip) as it launches upwards from the push, the

arm locks out, and then legs are straightened.


For more information, contact Joanna at: