2 Kettlebell Exercises to Create Incredible Trunk Power

Walter J. Dorey


Outdoor Fitness, Strength and Conditioning


How to Perform the Figure Eight to a Hold

There are two movements to master. I’ll lay them both out for you. We’ll look at the Figure Eight to a Hold (F8toH) first. I like to call them Figure Eights to a Stop, because, well, you are stopping the KB, not merely holding it.


2 Kettlebell Exercises to Create Incredible Trunk Power - Fitness, strength and conditioning, kettlebells, Kettlebell, kettlebell training, kettlebell technique



  1. First, grab a KB. Pick your poison, but don’t start off too heavy. You want to develop good technique before you start loading the movement with a heavier KB. Park the KB out in front of your body just as if you were going to start KB swings.
  2. Grab the KB with your right hand, sit back, and hike it back as if doing a one arm swing. As the KB goes back to the hike-pass position, your left hand should be moving back behind your left leg and ready to catch the KB. You will pass the KB from the right hand to the left hand at this point.
  3. Using the momentum of the right-to-left hand pass, you will move the KB back behind the left leg and then begin snapping the hips back forward just as if doing a swing. The hip-snap leg-drive, along with a strong pull from your left arm, will propel the KB out around your body, then in front of you and upwards in a circular motion as if you were going to throw the KB over your right shoulder. It’s sort of a similar movement to an upper-cut in boxing.
  4. As the KB flies upward toward your face, chin, and right shoulder, you will catch it in a “hold” or stop it before it pounds into you. Do not let the KB or its handle punch you in the chest, chin, face, or shoulder. You will break, or brake, the momentum of the KB with tension, bracing for it. At this point your left hand is still holding the KB handle. The bottom of the KB is facing more or less up and to the right, and your right hand is cradling the ball of the KB. This is the top “hold,” or “stop” position. Freeze this position for just an instant.
  5. Now simply drop the KB downward and direct the falling KB as if performing another swing. But this time, as the KB swings back to the hike-pass position at the bottom of a swing, pass it from your left hand to your right hand (which is reaching around behind your right leg, thus, you see the figure eight pattern here).
  6. Complete the hand pass, swing the KB back, around, and out front to hook it upwards and stop the KB with your left hand. Repeat for effect.



You will quickly find you must get tight and really crank that KB around your body and up to catch it. It has a rhythmic feel to it, a flowing movement, but at the same time there is some serious tension and explosive power being generated. As you get the technique dialed in, graduate to heavier KBs and really crank on these. This is when you will feel what is being worked.


I've seen videos of people doing these and they always mickey-mouse the movement. Get serious as your technique improves. It’s a power move.


Click to page 3 to learn a shorter and faster variation.

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