Skogg System 101

Michael Skogg
Year Released: 2011

Categories: Kettlebell

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Equipment: kettlebell

Set: gym w/ various bells, balls, plyo boxes in the back & side of room w/ grey flooring, white walls & lighting focused on Michael & crew.

Cast: two background exercisers (one female, one male), but the action shots only focus on Michael (see them when he explains form).

Music: soft instrumental

Skogg 101 (32 min.): instructional DVD for six core exercise. There is very detailed form instruction & demos by Michael, core concept name is displayed on screen w/ key points, and there is time allotted for practice at the end of each exercise demo w/ split screens of front, side & ariel/top view, w/ key points displayed on screen (and verbally repeated). This is an excellent tutorial for anyone new to KBs or wanting to refine his/her form, I learned some tips that were useful to me (cleans & :thumb side of center" grip).

Stance: feet should be shoulder width apart, feet turned out to open up hips (same for all exercises).

Hip crease: Bi-fold (folding body in half) for hip drive (focus on where upper & lower half meet). Not tri-fold (larger bend in knees w/ folded upper & lower half).

Hip Drive: push butt backwards & hips drive forwards (dead lift motion), knees are soft (never locked out)> Center line is seat of pants & stays constant w/ lowered part of exercise, head is up (eyes on horizon) & chest forward. W/ the lift of exercise, the center line shifts forward (hip crease furthers point forward: hip lock-out). Discusses how in ballistic movements, the arm is just a hook for the bell (unlike in a press or hold in rack position), and there are two limits that the bell will swing to meet: upper (front) & lower(back) limit (like of a pendulum).

Kettlebell: discusses horns & body of bell, bottoms up, grab bell “thumb side of center” to preserve grip strength w/ rack position or above (bell will fall at angle on palm, mechanically supported).

Swings (1-arm): square shoulders, lean back & hike pass through legs for momentum for initial swing. Bell swings chest level, follow bell through legs (to lower limit).

Hand Pass: switch at chest level when bell becomes weightless (chest level), palm to palm & lean back to bell does not move body forward.

Cleans: “finesse exercise” hip driven but w/ quad engagement, little leg drive to lift bell. Rack position: thumb to throat, arm is tight to body, hips are forward (hips under load), body is on (or working towards it) center line, hand opens at rack position. Bell rotates around forearm, immediately start to rotate after hike pass (to avoid the banging of bell on forearm).

Clean/Press: clean to rack position, then press straight up (drive bell to ceiling), bicep next to ear, hand open at top/ full lock-out (arm to hip). Notice palm rotation, it faces side, then front at top of exercise.

Squats: hold one bell in rack position, wider stance than previous exercises, “power lifter” type works all lower half muscles (explode up w/ lift, hip lockout at top of exercise).

High Pull: picture elbow strike for motion/swing of arm (elbow above shoulder, drives exercise, don’t over rotate the shoulder w/ exercise), uses hip drive.

Snatch: big hip drive (moreso than other exercises), breaks down into two steps for beginners: swing w/ elbow bend above head (weightless), then follow through w/ arm extension (open hand, bell rotates, punch arm up), close hand, let bell fall to reverse motion.

Instructor Comments:
Michael provides thorough & clear instruction w/ a calm, no-nonsense & motivating personality.