Kettlebell Crucifix

History of the Kettlebell Crucifix

The Kettlebell Crucifix lift is viewed by most as a quintessential kettlebell exercise requiring two kettlebells, very little skill, but a great deal of physical stamina. Old European lifters called this the “holding in the balance.” Often used as the measure of a man’s strength, old English boxers would compete to see who could hold two MILO kettlebells the longest. There have been several record holders for the most weight held during the Crcifix lift, most recently being Eric Todd and his hold of 140 pounds in 2005.

Proper Technique for the Kettlebell Crucitix

The rules of the Crucifix lift have changed over the years according to the style and taste of the time. The following is viewed as the correct technique for the Kettlebell Crucifix: With a kettlebell in the clean position in each hand, begin by lifting each slowly straight up while maintaining a controlled pace. Once you reach full extension, slowly lower each kettlebell straight out beside your chest with your arms fully extended at a 90 degree angle. Hold for five to ten second. With arms still extended, finish by lifting the kettlebells straight up. Finish by resting for a few seconds before repeating the Kettlebell Crucifix.

Kettlebell Crucifix Variations

  • Kettlebell Iron Cross: Keeping your shoulders back, hold two kettlebells in the clean position beside your chest. As your squat down, bring the kettlebells forward with your arms fully extended until they are directly in front of your chest. Find the article on the Iron Cross for more information.
  • Kettlebell Side Lateral: With two kettlebells in the clean position directly at your sides at a 90 degree angle to your body, Lower each kettlebell down to your waist with arms fully extended. Repeat by lifting the kettlebells to your side, and lowering once again.

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  1. JustinB


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