Getting to Know Your Kettlebell

Around the Body Pass

Around the Body Pass

A lot of your kettlebell journey will involve the idea of practice and not just “working out”. The idea is that kettlebell training, as a movement pattern-based fitness system, should be viewed as skill development and more than a matter of random effort. 

To develop and refine skills, there has to be practice of the movements and it is through practice that these movement skills are improved upon and will create a foundation for long-term success.


So is it kettlebell practice or kettlebell training? It’s both! You will train the practiced skills. It’s really about a presence of mind and giving attention to the quality of each rep before emphasizing more quantity (training volume). 

To develop a good kettlebell practice habit, it is helpful to first feel comfortable just moving the kettlebell around from one hand to another, without really having to worry too much about the more technically precise hand and body positions that are involved in the Ballistic kettlebell exercises, and that take more time and practice to learn well. 

I like to call these kinds of simple, free-flowing kettlebell movements “Getting to know your Kettlebell” exercises because they are great ways for you and your kettlebell to introduce yourselves to each other! If you can think back to your first day of school as a 4 or 5-year-old, isn’t it helpful making new friends when you know each other’s names and have a bit of informal play before getting to the homework?

Think of your relationship with your kettlebells along the same line. You are going to be spending a lot of time together and the “school” work is not often going to be easy. So take a few minutes first get to know each other.  

The first Getting to Know Your Kettlebell movement is called the Around the body pass.

Here’s how to do it:

Pick up a light kettlebell and hold it in front of you with 1 hand, feet shoulder-distance apart and with a good upright posture. 

Maintain good posture and alignment as you pass the kettlebell around the body from one hand to the other, in a continuous circular pattern. Hips stay facing forward throughout. Keeping a firmness in your abs and butt muscles will assure you do. The kettlebell is close enough to the body that you don’t have to reach for it, but not so close as to hit yourself with it. The pattern forms what may be likened to a hula-hoop.

Breath slowly and smoothly throughout. Instead of making it a vigorous cardio exercise, aim for a fluid passing from one hand to the next. Vary the tempo of the movement and reverse directions multiple times.

Since we all makes mistakes, be aware going into it that you can and likely will drop the kettlebell on occasion. Plan accordingly so that if it drops, you can do it without damaging yourself, your property or someone else. Remember your beloved furry friends sometimes like they to run around your feet so also take that into account.  

If you don’t have a padded floor to train on, consider placing a thick rubber matt on the floor to train On.

Lastly, remember the adage that “quick feet are happy feet”, and move them out of the way of a falling kettlebell.