The Kettlebell Figure 8


Continuing on the theme of Kettlebell Training as a skill practice to be mastered on the way to improved fitness, the Kettlebell Figure 8, otherwise named the Between the Legs Pass, involves passing a kettlebell between the legs pass from one hand to the other, in a continuous figure 8-shaped pattern. It is another good introductory movement to help you Get to Know Your Kettlebell, along the lines of the Around the Body Pass.

The Kettlebell Figure 8 combines the hand-to-hand passing aspect you learned in Around the Body Pass, and adds increased coordination demands to make it more challenging.It makes sense to become comfortable and confident with Around the Body Pass before tackling this one. 

Follow this step-by-step guide to safely learn and perform the Kettlebell Figure 8/Between the Legs Pass.

Stand with feet shoulder-distance apart, eyes are forward and with good, upright posture.

Pick up a light kettlebell and hold in front of you in one hand. Keeping a gentle bend in your knees, begin by passing the kettlebell by one hand from in front of your body, through your legs to the other hand behind you. At the risk of being Captain Obvious, it bears stating here to avoid smashing yourself in the leg or knee while passing the kettlebell from one hand to the other. 

After grabbing the kettlebell with the other hand from behind you, it loops around the outside of your body to in front of you again.

This portion of the movement follows a similar pattern as the Around the Body Pass, with the differences being that your knees are bent and the kettlebell is moving at the height of your mid-thigh. 

Now that it has circled back in front of you, once again pass it under your legs from one hand to the other.

Continue this Figure 8 pattern and smooth it out as you go, always making the hand change at the moment the kettlebell comes under the legs from front to back. 

As you play with this movement pattern, you will find a natural timing pattern and weight-shifting as the kettlebell transitions from front to back and from one side of your body to the other. Remember it is a circular pattern and not a linear path, so consider all phases of the movement. 

You will naturally bend your knees a bit as the kettlebell passes from front hand to back hand, with a slight raise up as it circles back in front of you. Also, you will shift your body weight slightly from one foot to the other at the moment of the hand change. 

Breathing is smooth and easy and you will naturally exhale with the hand change and inhale as it circles around. 

When you feel comfortable with the pattern, increase the challenge further by reversing direction of the Figure 8, this time passing from the rear hand to the front hand. 

The same safety guidelines are in order as for Around the Body Pass.

Avoid smacking yourself with the kettlebells, have a clear space to move around, leaving no chance for smashing the kettlebell into anything or anybody, and be ready to move out of the way in the case of a falling kettlebell. Have a thick rubber mat to absorb shock and prevent any damage to the floor. 

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