Crucifix – Part 2

by Roger LaPointe

Crucifix Part 2 – Kettlebell Weirdness

Joe Southard performing a "perfect" Crucifix. This picture is from the USAWA Rulebook.

While a number a strongman contests have had some form of the crucifix hold, each one seems to be somewhat different, with the “made for TV” aspect seeming to be paramount.  The USAWA Official Rulebook has the only “officially” written rules for a Crucifix Hold that I can find.  If anyone can find anything else that would qualify, I would love to see it.  That being said, I will assume that we are using the USAWA rules for the competition form of the exercise.

Three  Training Tips

1. Start of extremely light: Vic Boff recommends that you start off with no more than 12 ½ pounds.  I deferred to Vic’s experience, because he has never steered me wrong.  Well, he was right again.  Certainly, experiment light and then continue light for your first week or two of training, after getting some of the technique down.

2. Kettlebells Hang:  Of course they do, you might say.  Now is the time to read the USAWA Official Rule Book, Lift # E8.  It can be downloaded from their web site.  (Just a tip.  I had several copies spiral bound: 1 for the gym, 1 for the office and 1 for the announcing table during contests.  It has become a valuable reference tool.)  The Crucifix can be done with either dumbbells or kettlebells.  I don’t know which one is easier, but they are two different lifts, with the kettlebell version being the more interesting and dramatic, as they hang down when the arms are outstretched.  As you start from the press lockout, with the palms facing each other, the kettlebells will hang down, increasing the leveraged force as they are lowered.

3. Dynamic Stretching:   As I started doing training for the Crucifix I did my typical warm-ups with Indian Clubs.  I am really glad I did.  I have since also added curls.  Those are done with light weight in a full range of motion, as a warm-up.  I feel like this combination is really helping my lockout in my snatch as well. 

For those of you unfamiliar with some of the terminology I have used here, you may want to check out Traditional Training Legendary Strength.

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