All Posts tagged Kettlebells

10 Fitness Tips

1) Don’t work your abdominal muscles every day.  Train them only 2 or 3 days a week.

2)  Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth when you do crunches. It will help align your head properly, which helps reduce neck strain.

3)  If you’re under 40, hold your stretches for 30 seconds. If you’re over 40, hold them for 60 seconds. As you reach your 40s, your muscles become less pliable, so they need to be stretched longer. 

4)  Keep your weight workouts under 50-60 minutes. After 60 minutes, your body starts producing more of the stress hormone cortisol, which can have a testosterone-blocking, muscle-wasting effect. 

5)  Use dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, and machines—in that order. The smaller, stabilizer muscles you use with dumbbells fatigue before your larger muscle groups. Progress to machines, which require less help from your smaller muscles, as you grow tired.

6)  Avoid tight calfs. Flexible ankles are important for everything above them. To increase your ankle flexibility, do this: Sit on the floor with your shoes off. Extend your legs in front of you, heels on the floor. Point your toes straight out as far as possible, then flex them toward your shins as far as you can. Repeat for 1 minute. 

7)  When doing lat pulldowns, don’t wrap your thumb around the bar. Instead, place it on top, alongside your index finger. This decreases the involvement of your arm muscles, so you’ll work your back harder. Works for pullups, too. 

8)   If you don’t like an exercise, maybe you should start doing it. Get someone to help you find an alternative exercise but work that body part.

9) If you hurt your right arm, don’t stop exercising your left arm. There is a cross-over effect where people who trained only one arm for 2 weeks managed to increase arm strength in their nonexercising arm up to 10 percent. The reason: Exercising one arm stimulates the muscle nerve fibers in the opposite arm. That’s the cross over effect and it works on every area of the body.

10)   Re-test yourself often. Every 4 weeks, measure a variable—waist size, arm size, body fat, bench press strength—something that equates to your end goal. It’ll show you the tangible results of your trainingand that translates into motivation. 


Exercise Programs

I like using the following ‘exercise template’ when educating patients on what a long-term exercise program includes:

1) Perform self-myofascial release using foam rolls, sticks, and “knot-outs” as the beginning of an exercise session. These are tools to break up hypertonicity and tension in muscles.

2) Perform stretching (static and dynamic) on the overactive muscles. I teach my clients techniques using the ‘Stretch straps’, yoga straps, and bands.

3) Perform movements or isometric exercises that re-awaken and/or strengthen the core and underactive muscles. These are usually bodyweight or thera-band exercises targeted at isolated weak stabilizers muscles.

4) Perform whole body integrated exercises that will add lean muscle and decrease fat.

5) Next, if the client has more time and wants to perform cardio work, this is where I place it.

After talking with patients and hearing what they do or don’t do physically, my suggestions begin first with ‘remove the negatives’. I discuss proper posture, breathing, hydration, diet, supplements, attitude, and sleep. I want to make sure patients are doing the right thing and not the wrong (negative) thing in each of these categories. In addition some patients need to “add in” cardio, strength, or flexibility training depending on there goals. The ‘fatty-bomba-lattes’ who do absolutely no physical activity need to start a walking program; the long distance runner, swimmer or cyclist might need a flexibility program; the Country Western dancer’s and the ‘dance-with-the stars’ people might need some strength training; the yoga dominant person might need some free weight training; the weight lifter might need some cardio and flexibility added on. Depending on the patient’s goals (fat loss, finish a marathon, flexibility, etc), I often find the program they designed isn’t “enough” on its own.

To read the whole article click on link….!/20


Exercise & Pain

If we all agree that exercise is vital to health, then let’s figure out the best routine. The right mix of exercise can: Reduce the risk of premature death, reduce the risk of heart disease,  reduce high blood pressure, reduce high cholesterol, reduce the risks of many cancers, including colon and breast cancer, reduce the risk of developing diabetes, reduce fat and optimize body weight,  build and maintain healthy muscles, bones, and joints,  reduce depression and anxiety,  enhance performance in work and sport. 

Believe it or not, running every day, won’t cut it. Going to the gym every day and working out with weights every day won’t cut it. The ideal exercise program includes cardio/aerobic exercise, strength training, weight-bearing exercise, stretching, breathing, and balance.

Cardio/aerobic exercise. This has to be some movement that is brisk enough that requires the heart and lungs to work harder to meet the body’s increased oxygen demand. Basically you are forcing the heart and lungs to work harder, and yet of low enough intensity to facilitate adequate oxygen transfer to the muscle cells so that no buildup of lactic acid is observed. Think repetitive movement of the arms, legs, and hips.     Take your pick from running, jogging, and fast walking. Biking (either road or mountain), and swimming are also good. If you belong to a gym or have home equipment, there are treadmills, elliptical trainers, spin cycles, and rebounders. 

Strength Training involves the use of free weights, kettlebells, weight machines, resistance bands or some other form of resistance to build muscle and increase strength. Its benefits include: Increased muscle strength, increased tendon and ligament strength, reduced body fat and increased muscle mass,  better balance,  lower blood cholesterol, improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity.  The key to strength training is to choose one you can do easily and are willing to do regularly.

Every patient of mine that wants to lose weight, I make sure that they are  doing  circuit weight training.  Strength training builds muscle which increases your resting metabolic rate. 

Weight bearing  exercise is actually a subset of certain aerobic and strength training exercises. It helps slow down the rate of bone loss and osteoporosis. It is exercise in which you force your body to support weight (your own included) while exercising.  The best weight bearing exercises are: weight-lifting, jogging, hiking with a back pack, stair-climbing, step aerobics, racquet sports, and other activities that require your muscles to work against gravity. Swimming and simple walking don’t do the trick. One exceptionally useful form of weight bearing exercise is rebounding. The act of rebounding makes use of g-forces, just like astronauts training in a centrifuge. 

Stretching is the most over-looked area of fitness I have seen lately. Stretching reduces muscle tension and increases range of movement in the joints. I see tremendous tightness and restrictions in most clients bodies from a lack of variety of movement.  Tightness and constriction cause a reduced blood flow to the muscles and soft tissues, this leads to a lack of oxygen to the tissues and this is a very painful situation. Yoga  has become one of my pewrsonal favorites for stretching. Pilates works well too. If nothing else, just do 5-10 minutes of simple stretching after your daily exercise routine as part of your cool down time. 

Proper breathing is often over-looked as much as stretching. The concept is simple: putting a device in your mouth that restricts (in a controlled manner) your inhalations and exhalations, which forces your lungs to work harder. This, in turn, strengthens the muscles that makes your lungs work and increases their capacity.  

The last area  is Balance. Balance diminishes with age unless we consciously exercise it. If you fall down and break your hip or wrist, the odds are you will have  a long-slow recovery, if you fully recover. 

The most simple balance exercise is to practice standing on one leg. If you need to hold on to a chair for support, with one hand, that’s fine. Slightly bend one leg so that  the foot of the bent leg is projected out behind you. Get used to balancing on the one leg holding a chair or wall. Then take the hands off the chair and balance with one eye closed. Build up to balancing with your eyes closed for 30 seconds. 

Please remember that you can not exercise your your way out of a bad diet. Increase your quality protein to build the muscles you are exercising.  Avoid sugar but enjoy high quality fats such as Omega-3s.


Circuit training and body fat loss

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During the past 20 years, I’ve conducted thousands of body composition tests. Those clients that have the best weight loss results and the most consistent results are doing three things: 1) Eating lower carbs and increasing proteins 2) Added resistance exercises to their training programs to boost their muscle power 3) Use UltraMeal medical food shakes. 

As a rehab specialist I advocate kettlebell resistance training  to reduce the rate of injury recurrence; to fortify leg muscles and strengthen ‘weak links’ in the body, including the abdominals, low-back muscles, the gluteals, hamstrings and shin muscles. Resistance work also improves tendon and ligament strength and increases bone density, which decreases the risk of injury. In addition, resistance workouts:

  • Heighten body awareness
  • Upgrade coordination
  • Reduce body-fat levels
  • Improve self esteem

All of these contribute to improved weight loss outcomes.

For patients interested in losing weight, the ideal time to initiate a resistance training program is sooner than later.  I usually need 5-7 sessions over a three to six-week period to get clients to where they can perform kettlebell resistance training at home on there own. But first, I teach clients how to develop a good foundation of suppleness (mobility), then strength, and stamina (endurance).

I’m educating clients about food choices, checking there body fat, and training them to simultaneously lose fat, build strength and stamina.


Sample Kettlebell Program

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.


“What else can I do for my abs”

I get this question several times a week. I recently wrote an article about ab exercises for To Your Health magazine that will be published soon. Once it’s published I’ll put it up on the site. But until it is published I’ll share this exercise maneuver with you. Use your kettlebell or dumbbell and hold it over-your-head with your arm locked out.  Simply stand tall (think tall spine) and walk around for 60 seconds. To make this movement even more challenging for your core, try holding different weights in each hand–for example, a 5-pound dumbbell in your left hand and a 15-pound kettlebell in your right hand. This exercise loads the abs, core and arms.


Kettlebells: Why I use Them In My Practice

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.