RTS Coaching: The Arm Bar Series

Arm Bar Series

If we jump into the way back machine, it was around 2009 or 2010 that Pavel Tsatsouline personally invited me to attend an RKC seminar.

Needless to say, it was an amazing experience, and one that I feel made me an infinitely better coach.

And while I was familiar with the bulk of the exercises there, one exercise that I was not familiar with was the kettlebell arm bar.

However, after practicing this move for just a few short minutes, I immediately felt more stable in my shoulders, while simultaneously opening up and restoring mobility as well.

Since then, I’ve dabbled with a handful of different arm bar variations. Whether we’re talking about the standard kettlebell arm bar, or supine variations that integrate core stability with hip mobility, the arm bar is a staple in almost all of my training routines.

Here’s a quick arm bar complex that you can use either pre-workout, or at the end of a session, to really dial your movement in.

Now that you’ve watched the video, here are a few key things to focus on:

  • In the arm bar with hip flexion:
    • Exhale and get the ribs down,
    • Think about flexion through the hip, knee and ankle, and
    • Keep a subtle reach throughout the exercise.
  • In the arm bar with straight leg raise:
    • Exhale and get the ribs down,
    • Keep the leg straight throughout. Think about locking the knee and pulling the toes back, and
    • Keep a subtle reach throughout the exercise.
  • In the standard arm bar:
    • Exhale and get the ribs down,
    • Keep the arm straight up and down throughout. Move the torso and hips around the arm,
    • Inhale, exhale, and allow the knee to glide out on each rep, and
    • At the end, perform a few screwdrivers to really engage the muscles of the mid-back.

The arm bar series is an awesome add-on to your training program. Give it a shot next time you’re in the gym – I think you’ll love it!

All the best


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