The Kettlebell Rack is a very important part of kettlebell training, but this fitness model manages to butcher it in 5 different ways! Learn what she did wrong and how should could have done a proper kettlebell rack.
A variety of different drills start or end in this position, including the Strict Press, Jerk, Front Squat, Lunge, Clean, and many more. While I know that every photographer may not be the most proficient kettlebell trainee, this picture is just horrendous. What’s worse is that it is extremely popular! You’ve probably seen this girl hundreds of times on a variety of social media platforms and websites! Here I’ll break down exactly what’s wrong with what she’s doing.
While I’m sure tucking her chin helps to improve the perceived symmetry of her face while capturing the light just right, this is not how you should hold your head in the Rack Position. As with most kettlebell exercises, she should be seeking to hold a neutral spine, and that includes her neck. She should have her jaw level with the ground, helping her to keep her spine in line.
Ideally, the kettlebell handle should be resting at a 45 degree angle across the palm with the grip terminating on top of the carpal bones of her hand. This grip position allows the kettlebell to rest for long periods in the hand if necessary, while reducing the amount of effort it takes to hold the kettlebell. It also promotes proper Rack Position form in the arm.
Just as you should be seeking to create a neutral spine, so to should you be looking to align the joints in your arm, in this case, the knuckles, wrist, and elbow. In the picture her wrist is bent out, creating unnecessary stress on the joint and promoting an extremely weak position that can’t (and shouldn’t) be held for long. Her wrist should be in line with her elbow and knuckles, creating a strong, stable position.
In the picture, her pretty blue kettlebell is practically resting on her ulna bone, an uncomfortable position that could be even more painful if she cleaned the kettlebell directly into this position. The kettlebell should be resting on the meaty part of the forearm just below the wrist. If the joints of your arm are in line (as I discussed in Mistake #3), this should be the natural place to put the kettlebell.
In the picture her forearm is parallel to her spine, when it should be leaning towards her centerline across her chest. A proper Rack Position will allow the kettlebell to rest in the nook of your arm, allowing you to hold it for long periods if necessary. Again, if all other cues are followed, this position will feel natural. In her current position, the weight of the kettlebell will be pulling her arm away from her centerline and towards the ground, a dangerous situation that creates unnecessary stress on the wrist, elbow, and shoulder.
This picture illustrates proper form for the Kettlebell Rack Position. Note that holding this position doesn’t require copious amounts of sweat, make up, or a pretty kettlebell.