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With the RKC kettlebell technique, you grip the handle tightly with one hand, keep your head tilted up at the bottom of the swing, lock out your elbow throughout the swing, snap your hips forward into hyperextension, inhale during the downward swing, and stop the swing at shoulder height.

The Source: http://livehealthy.chron.com/russian-vs-crossfit-kettlebells-5561.html

Could you help me please with the meaning of the phrase "lock out your elbow throughout the swing". I am familiar with the standard meaning of "lock out" but none makes any sense in that context. It occured to me that it could be equivalent of "don't bend" but I am not sure…

  • As the article points out, "Regardless of what style you use, trying a new exercise poses a risk of injury. Train with a professional kettlebell instructor to be sure you are using the correct form and weight." CrossFit training is dangerous. The article mentions specific dangers to "the lumbar spine and shoulders" "with the overhead swing." Also, a disturbing number of CrossFit members have suffered rhabdomyolosis. – Jasper Mar 6 '15 at 17:20
  • @jasper I think bart-leby was asking about the language, not about whether he should do kettlebell swings – msulis Mar 9 '15 at 17:45
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"Lock out" is a slightly odd use. A slightly more natural phrase would be "lock your elbows throughout the swing".

You're correct - it means "don't bend", but even more specifically to "lock" a joint is to extend it all the way out to the end of its range.

  • "Lock out" is a common phrase in weightlifting, usually referring to the completion of a rep (e.g., you must "lock out" when doing a bench press in order for it to count.) – WinnieNicklaus Mar 6 '15 at 19:03
  • I think the use of out after lock isn't odd. The out has been used to emphasize the verb lock, meaning very or completely. – Khan Mar 7 '15 at 15:50
  • To me it sounded odd, and I even do kettlebell swings! You can't really partially lock a joint - it's all or nothing, right? But I do see where you're coming from, and you're correct, it does work. – msulis Mar 9 '15 at 17:42

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