How to OWN your Kettlebell for better TGU

Q: I have an imbalance in TGU. My right side is far behind technique wise. Strange, because my stronger arm is the right arm. The initial roll to elbow is tough. I CAN do the Get Up with 32kg on both sides but it looks and feels bad. Probably have to stick with 24kg for awhile. Please comment. Kirill

A: Hi Kirill

1. Left/right imbalance is pretty common as most humans have a preferred side, especially for the upper body. The key is to minimize it, rather than to eliminate it completely.

There are many potential reasons why your TGU feels less stable with the KB in your stronger, right, arm. One of them is that TGU is a full-body exercise, and while your stronger arm might be holding a KB, the other side is doing a whole lot of work too. So, you might be strong on the right arm for kettlebell holding, but you might be weak or tight, or both, on the left side, for supporting the body, along with the Kettlebell, as it moves through the steps on the TGU. The supporting side has to be very strong in the TGU, arguably doing more work than the kettlebell side.

2. You are correct, you are better off training with 24kg.

Build until you can easily and with excellent technique TGU 24kg 10 times in 10 min, Simple & Sinister style. Start every set with your weaker side (kettlebell in the right arm, in your case) and never do more on your stronger side. You can also narrow down the particular steps of the TGU that are the most challenging (for example, transition, or the overhead lunge), and drill them separately. You can temporarily do an extra set on your weaker side, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that for too long.

Once you can easily TGU 24kg 10 times in 10 minutes, double the reps, i.e. perform 2 reps in a row with 24kg on the same arm. Build until you can do that for 3 sets on each side, alternating sides, with excellent form and no more than 60s rest been sets.

Then move on to reverse TGU with 24kg. Keep practicing until you can Reverse TGU 10 times (5 each side, changing arms with each rep) without putting the KB down.

Only after that try a 28kg or 32kg. I promise, it’ll feel so much easier once you have properly owned the 24kg.

PS to achieve the best results, we don’t need to train with our max weights, in fact it’s counter productive because it impedes recovery. For example, I can TGU a 32kg pretty easily on any given day, however I actually NEVER train the TGU with 32kg. The most I’ll ever use in training is 28kg and even that, rarely. Mostly it’s 24kg. Don’t underestimate the power of truly owning a kettlebell.

Here is a YouTube video that outlines the TGU weight progression.

All the best in your TGU training! 🙌


Published by Kat's Kettlebell Dojo

Kettlebell Dojo is a philosophy that is about making your training time-efficient and maximally effective by consistently performing high-quality functional movements. Kat is a certified Movement & Performance Therapy Specialist, StrongFirst SFG Level 2 Kettlebell Instructor, Level 4 Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, IKSFA Kettlebell Sport coach, Precision Nutrition Level 1 coach, Jump Rope instructor, and Certified Crossfit Gymnastics trainer.

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