The first kettlebell maneuver I teach my clients is the swing. It is the most common kettlebell exercise. The swing should be viewed as the foundation exercise and I like to see clients master the swing before other kettlebell exercises are introduced.
Once clients can perform the 2-handed swing, this is a typical progression I teach my clients in the office:
One-Arm Swing. Grasp the handle with one hand in overhand grip with slight elbow bend. Position feet slightly wider than hip width, and assume athletic stance. Upper body should be upright, with chest lifted and shoulder blades retracted. Free arm should be out to side of body. Rotate body slightly, allowing kettlebell to hang between legs. Initiate swing by rocking hips (versus using shoulders to lift bell). Raise bell upward with momentum, and give forceful hip thrust at top of movement. Bell should go no higher than eye level, with bell pointed away from body at end of arm. Allow gravity to bring bell downward in controlled manner. Keep spine at neutral, rather than rounded, at bottom of movement. Perform 10 repetitions in each hand.
One-Arm Alternating Swing. Repeat steps above (one-arm swing), but switch to other hand at top of movement. Perform 10 repetitions in each hand.
Around-the-Body Pass (at waist level). Grasp handle with both hands in overhand grip with slight elbow bend. Position feet slightly wider than hip width apart, and assume athletic stance. Upper body should be upright, with chest lifted and shoulder blades retracted. Release one hand from bell, allowing opposite hand to bring bell behind body. Free hand should grasp bell at back of body and complete the rotation. Grasp kettlebell firmly to avoid dropping it. After 10 repetitions in one direction, repeat 10 reps in the opposite direction.
Figure Eight (between the legs). Grasp handle with right hand in overhand grip with slight elbow bend. Position feet slightly wider than hip width apart, and assume athletic stance. Upper body should be upright, with chest lifted and shoulder blades retracted. Left arm should be out to side and ready to accept kettlebell. Begin movement by handing bell from right hand to left hand through legs from front of body to back. Left hand then brings bell around from back of body to front of body. Continue this figure-eight pattern by passing bell through legs again from left hand to right hand. After desired number of repetitions, repeat in opposite direction.
These exercises provide a good cardio and fat-loss workout, creating a great foundation for other exercises. After a full-body warm-up, perform each exercise for approximately 30 seconds or 10 reps. Do one exercise after another and rest at the end. Repeat the circuit 2 or 3 times depending on your condition and the amount of time you have to train.
For a one-on-one in-depth kettlebell session, please call my office at 310-473-2911.
Kettlebells are for everyone. They will improve your strength, power, speed, suppleness and agility. Research has also shown that kettlebells are beneficial in achieving weight loss and I use them daily as part of my injury rehabilitation programs.
For the past 3 years I have seen the huge benefits to my clients in the office and in my workout classes with kettlebell training.
So regardless of your sport or if you’re trying to lose weight or even recover from injury, I will be glad to train you and give you advice that will help you achieve whatever your goal.
The benefits of kettlebell training:
Kettlebells are unique in that they come in style – a cannonball with a handle, but the weight varies depending on you.
Who would you rather have teach you how to train? I will teach you the exercises specific for your condition, and how to perform them at home, on your own.
Some of the benefits that you will receive:
– Kettlebell training will improve strength, speed, agility and suppleness- these are hugely important attributes to healthy aging.
– It gets the posterior chain functioning correctly: this means you are not only strengthening the likes of your hamstrings, gluteals and spinal erectors but you are doing so at the same time!
– When the kettlebell swings back and forth between your legs the force created is 3.75 times that of the weight of the kettlebell: this is ideal for strengthening the lower back.
– The pumping action of many kettlebell exercises re-hydrates the discs in the vertebral columns- this will keep the discs spongy and reduce friction in the spine
– Kettlebells improve your coordination, which teaches you how to stabilise the body during exercise. This is vital in avoiding injury.
– You work the inner core muscles that are so often forgotten about- this prevents, amongst other things, the formation of that unwanted beer gut look!
Kettlebells are more beneficial than conventional weight lifting
Why? Because dumbbells don’t move around the hand in the same manner and don’t offset their weight in the same way.
The range of movement available using kettlebells is unmatchable allowing you to increase your flexibility and agility the same time your are increasing your strength.
Call me to schedule your one on one kettlebell training session.
1. Find an “accountability” partner. It helps if that person is supportive, positive, and will encourage you in your weight loss efforts. Often times you will want to look outside of your family members and best friends for support. Tell your accountability partner what you’re doing, what your goals are and how they can best support you. Talk to them on a regular basis and anytime you are struggling and need support.
2. Be as intentional as you can by telling people what you are doing. Don’t be afraid to tell people about your intention.
3. Begin working out even if it is only 10-15 minutes per day. If you are already working out regularly, it’s time to step up the intensity again! In the morning, do a 4 minute circuit of squats and lunges. Add a 4 minute circuit of some push ups, bridges and abs. Then add another 2 minutes of running in place or jumping jacks. In the evening do the same thing. So that’s 10 minutes of work in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening for a total of 20 minutes of workout time. Keep the exercises simple – don’t feel like you have to be at the gym to workout. Do it at home or at work.
4. Go shopping. This is an important part of the process. Find an outfit that you really, really want, and find it in the size that you want to be. Buy it in the size that you will be wearing when you lose all the weight you want to lose (not just the 10 pounds). So if you want to lose 25 pounds total, buy it in the size you’ll be wearing after your 25 pound weight loss. Make sense?
When you get the outfit, I want you to hang it up somewhere you can see it every day, like on your bathroom door or closet door. If you can’t buy the outfit today, find a picture of it in a magazine or on the internet, cut it out and post it somewhere where you will see it everyday, like your bathroom mirror or refrigerator.
5. Make one simple nutrition change this week. Make sure it is simple and easy to do. Cut out bread, a muffin or a bagel! Drinking 2 sodas a day? Cut down to 1. Skipping breakfast every day? Pledge to make a protein shake for breakfast 3 times per week. Add a glass of water or an extra vegetable serving to your diet.
Now what I want you to do is to leave a comment and tell me what outfit you’re going to buy and what nutrition change you’re making. I can’t wait to hear what you come up with!
If you have read this far I know you are serious. I love that you have a goal, but I need you to dig way deeper. If fitting into your outfit was so important, you would have done it by now, right? Guys, you need this too. Most of you have a belly to lose. Are you feeling good enough to go shirtless? I need you to ask yourself “Why? is it important for you to lose weight (or go shirtless) and look amazing in that outfit. Take out a piece of paper or your journal and a pen and keep asking yourself the question Why? Your first response may be simple, “I want to look good for my significant other”. “Why” is this important? Keep asking yourself “why” over and over again until you come up with a reason that is really emotional for you, one that will keep you going when you want to give up.
Sit down with a blank piece of paper or a journal and a pen. Go to a room where you won’t be disturbed. Now imagine yourself wearing your favorite outfit that you picked out. Imagine how you feel wearing that outfit or going shirtless. Who do you see? What compliments do you get? If you’re wearing a little black dress, maybe you’re at a party. If you’re in your swimsuit, you might be on a beautiful beach. What are you wearing? A fitted shirt to show off your new lean physique? Who is looking at you and noticing you. Write down exactly what it is like to wear your outfit, who you’re with, how you feel and what you are doing. Be as specific as possible and write it down in the present tense, as if it is happening now – not the future tense. Take about 10 minutes for this.
Muscle wasting loss begins as early as age 25. From age 25-50 the rate of muscle loss is up to 0.5 pound/year. From age 50-late 60s the loss accelerates at up to one pound/year. After that it goes as high as 2 pounds per year to your early to mid
eighties. If you are lucky enough to make it to your mid 80s, muscle loss goes up to four pounds per year. Increase is not
linear but exponential loss.
Dr. Tucker’s comment on these stats: The purpose of exercise is to improve your functional capability and allow you to maintain your activities of daily living. I don’t think exercise is just to burn calories. When I teach clients how to exercise it is to maintain flexibility, strength and endurance. Calories will take care of themselves if you eat right, the best example being a Paleo diet or Mediteranian diet.
See my exercise article at http://www.toyourhealth.com/mpacms/tyh/article.php?id=1277
American College of Sports Medicine suggests one of the best post-exercise recovery drinks is chocolate milk. It offers a recovery advantage to help repair and rebuild muscles, compared to specially designed carbohydrate sports drinks.
Experts agree that the two-hour window after exercise is an important, yet often neglected, part of a fitness routine. After strenuous exercise, this post-workout recovery period is critical for active people at all fitness levels – to help make the most of a workout and stay in top shape for the next workout.
The new research suggests that drinking fat free chocolate milk after exercise can help the body retain, replenish and rebuild muscle to help your body recover. Drinking lowfat chocolate milk after a strenuous workout could even help prep muscles to perform better in a subsequent bout of exercise.
For centuries, ginger root has been used as a folk remedy for a variety of ailments such as colds and upset stomachs. But now, researchers at the University of Georgia have found that daily ginger consumption also reduces muscle pain caused by exercise.
Ginger has been shown to exert anti-inflammatory effects and decrease pain. Cooking with ginger is one way to increase your intake. Another way to benefit from the pain-relieving effects is to make a shake with UltraInflamX 360.
UltraInflamX® Plus 360° is a medical food made by Metagenics formulated to provide specialized nutritional support—including reduced iso-alpha acids (RIAA, from hops), L-glutamine, and easily digestible rice protein. UltraInflamX includes ginger and rosemary. It also provides turmeric extract, which has been shown in research to inhibit the activities of a wide variety of enzymes, cytokines, eicosanoids, and reactive species implicated in pain and inflammation.
Another recommendation to help decrease pain is to increase EPA-DHA consumption (Omega 3 fish oils). I recommend EPA-DHA 720 by Metagneics.
Combinations of muscle weakness and tightness cause musculoskeletal pain. The most difficult part of treatments are to the muscles that become inhibited, (restrained, blocked, or suppressed) because this requires patients to perform exercise at home on there own. Muscle inhibition is common in the neck, low back, and extremities.
Inhibition refers to the inability of a muscle to contract fully on demand. This inhibition is a neurological response and manifests particularly at the extreme ranges of motion – when the muscle is contracted fully. A muscle may have strength at the mid-range, but be very weak when moved into a shortened position; this creates instability at the joint. When the body senses instability, other muscles tighten up as a form of protection. To improve these muscle and joint imbalances I expect my clients to perform the exercises that I prescribe as part of my treatments.
Inhibitied muscles usually generate hypertonicity/tight muscles in adjacent regions of the body (low back & hip, neck & shoulders)). In other words, the relationship between weak and tight muscles is reciprocal. Inhibition is frequently found in muscles resulting from injury, inflammation or pain and that inhibition or weakness leads to reciprocal facilitation of its antagonist(s) muscles.
When a muscle has been over-stressed or over-worked, the result is altered feedback from the nervous system. This causes a reduced capability for the muscle to contract, from the instability through full physiological range. The end result is an inability for the muscles to properly stabilize joints. This is a major point that I want you to understand. I teach you stability (strength) exercises to train the weakened muscles to hold the joints in place again.
Again, please understand, hypertonicity in a muscle leads to blockage(s) or weaknesses in other muscles close by. Inhibited (weak) muscles are capable of spontaneous strengthening when the inhibitory reflex is identified and remedied (most commonly through joint or soft-tissue manipulation).
Muscle hypertonicity/tightness/spasm generates inhibition in surrounding regions of the body, and so spasm is treated first using the Deep Muscle Stimulator, warm laser, manipulation and deep soft tissue massage therapy.
The inhibited (weak) muscles are treated with exercise, rocker boards, wobble boards, and other tools. I prefer to teach clients bodyweight exercises, resistance band exercises, stability ball maneuvers and kettlebell training.
I pay a lot of attention to posture because the postural muscles tend to be short, tight and usually hypertonic. This is why some times I will teach you to stretch, and other times I will teach you to strengthen your muscles.