Archive for the ‘Mobility/flexibilty’ Category

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I have a friend that trains with me at my house and he was pressed for time two sessions ago; however there are some drills that he needs to before each session to prepare for the upcoming onslaught of fitness progress.

So being the nice fellow that I am I decided to put together a workout that is all low body and will develop an anaerobic work capacity for him. As a result of those circumstances and my kind side, I decided to develop this workout worthy of the hulk that ends in about 20 minutes and is and was extremely effective to produce results.

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This Workout is done by doing:

8 full pistols a side or wherever you are at in it’s progression (a box etc.)

Then you grab a moderate size bell and do 20 swings.

Try to get in as many as possible in 20 minutes but rest anywhere from a minute to 3 depending on how hard both drills are for you.|

That is it, it is a very simple workout, I will concede. But don’t let its simplicity fool you. After all it is the leg smasher!

Check out the video below to see it done.

 

 

ONCE AGAIN WE HAVE YOUR GUIDELINES FOR SUCCESS.

  • Do all of your sets and reps with quality form. Crap only produces crap!
  • Breathe by matching your breathing with each pattern
  • Rest as much as you need to and no more.
  • Tough it out while working out ( keep in mind the results)
  • Enjoy the fat blasting effect  and raised metabolism.

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The full pistol or one leg squat is an advanced movement pattern that many would love to progress into and some even train to do. But somehow they never seem to be able to do it or if they do, it looks terrible and may lead to an injury at some point if they keep doing it that way. In light of that fact the goal of this post is to give you my reader some correctives to help you in your journey to a full pistol and to help those with ugly form improve their technique.

The few things that I will cover in this post are a few things that I have seen in my time coaching this move with clients and even in myself. So as always, try the move in this case the pistol, then do the specific corrective and then re-test the move again to see if it improved.

As with any move that involves this much complexity there are any number of things that could go wrong that can negatively affect this move. These qualities are: mobility, especially of the ankles and hips. There is also a need to master breathing specifically power breathing as well as ab strength. Finally, if none of those help it could be a motor-control thing and some re-patterning and regression of the drill could help take care of that as you work on improving this advanced squat.

Mobility:

Ankle:
Having a tight or restricted ankle can lead to poor pistol performance, in things such as: moving too much through your lumbar spine to make up for your ankle restrictions and or ending up on your toes and having a wobbly and later on a painful knee.

Below are some drills that you can use for your ankle to see if it helps you overcome this mobility deficit in your ankle if that is a problem for you.

In addition to these drills Goblet squats and practicing your pistol with a plate under your heel could help with this problem as well.

Hip flexors:
Tight and overactive hip-flexors can lead to crappy pistol technique. Use these two stretches and activation drills below to deal with this problem and then once again re-pattern the move with low reps and better form.

Tension:

Another important component of this move is the ability to create your own stability using an ab brace, power breathing and muscle tension. This increases your control and strength throughout the move and of course as you train this move, to decrease your usage of this ability to progress. The video below shows you how you can use the plank to develop this quality and increase your strength.

Ab strength:
Ab strength can be very helpful in owning this movement pattern as well as deep core stability. Use these two moves below to help build both in your program. I recommend doing the half-kneeling chop and lift as a warm up and the ab drills in your workout.

Counter balanced pistol:
Adding a counter balance on your pistol is a great way to help develop better form as you practice and it if you have a long femur, it could help you be able to do this move as well.

Heel lift:
If you have a bit of restricted ankle or lack core stability this regression can help you with being able to learn and earn this move. Watch the video below for demonstration of both.

Door pistol: 
this is one of my favorite drills to help my students achieve their full depth without overlying on an external help. This also requires that you create tension as a means to progress.

Box pistol:
this is another simple progression to build strength specific to the move and to pattern it as you train.

The next few moves are designed to help you build strength for the full pistol. Take a look at them and utilize them to help you build the force needed to help you get through the bottom to the lock out of the squat.

Step ups for pistol strength:

Split squats:

front squats:

You now have a good amount of information to work on and to develop the pistol. Get to work on it, try a corrective and then see if your form get better and stronger as you go along. I would almost recommend to get a friend or coach to watch you as you train and if you can’t do that, then you can video yourself to make sure that you are on pace to develop a pistol squat with good form for longevity and performance.

Perfection is an interesting concept, we all realize that we are not it if you are in touch with yourself and if you do think that you are you are deceived and possibly very insecure. Now the realization that you are imperfect should not leave you feeling powerless and hopeless, in fact it should make you excited for the endless possibilities to learn, grow and improve in all areas of your life from: relationships, career and so-on. I will be the first to acknowledge that learning new stuff isn’t difficult and often painful, but avoiding this truth will lead to you getting nowhere fast and becoming ineffective before you know it. So just to end this rant, seek and pursue perfection. But realize it is out of grasp and even if we did somehow manage to achieve it, how can we really know if it truly is perfection?!

Another idea where people feel that there is a perfect standard is in movement. A lot of times exercise and rehabilitation professional foolishly assume that there is no such thing as perfect movement and try to cram people into their box of ideological fallacy.

This group of people believes that their standard will somehow stop the injuries that happen in people due to poor exercise form and overuse. Yet, their clients are often the most “banged up” and it could be different if they did not assume that everyone should look the same, as well as respecting the law of individual differences.

Now this post is not saying that there are no rules for safety and performance when it comes to training and exercises. It is simply saying that there is safe form not perfect form. The goal of this post is to give you a standard for that form, which is simply, competency as well as some of the consequences of forcing our movement ideals on all. What should be corrected and finally to tie it all together with a bow and send you home being better for it!

As I stated earlier, there is no such thing as perfect movement; however, there is competent and safe movement. Safety comes as a result of not overtaxing a joint in the movement pattern and doing that overtime which could lead to injury in the exerciser. This means that you should have proper mobility and stability in the movement to keep you safe as you do it. The joint by joint concept shown below can help you visualize this as you look at it.


Also here is an example of this concept at work in squatting, the low back should be stable or long, the t-spine needs extension, the hips mobile to get in the best squat for you. You need ankle dorsi-flexion and plantar-flexion to do it well and of course your head shouldn’t bob around like Quagmire!

So in light of the last paragraph, you see the need for things to be move adequately in order to perform this task of loaded or unloaded squatting. If one aspect has an issue, it can lead to overuse in another and an overuse injury somewhere along the chain. If that is the case, our cues are not enough to fix the problem and the problem at hand should be corrected in a way that results in better movement by the individual. E.g. a restricted ankle needs to be mobilized in order to squat better.

In light of those issues that can put the exerciser into a bad position as they train there needs to be allowance for the individuality of the person and their anthropometry as they do any exercise. In fact, there may be things present in the person’s movement patterns that you feel are ugly. But that is how the person is built and just the way it goes and maybe there is a need to switch to different variation of the same move. E.G. dumbbell bench press over barbell.

Now also be aware that there is the possibility that a person may stand a tiny bit uneven in a lower body exercise and also be ok. I would in this case try to correct it, if their movement profile says that they are ok and then be open for feedback from the person as to how they feel while doing the move. If they feel weird or if they have pain there may be a chance that they have two different hip joints (the ball and socket and need to be allowed to be a bit uneven in their stance.

Depth in a move also may vary from person to person and trying to force a person deeper in a move such as a squat may lead to a whole lot of health problems down the road. So have your ideas just recognize that everyone is different and should be treated as such.

In conclusion, I hope that you realize that better is better and not to aim for some false ideal of perfection as you train others if you are a trainer and if you are a fellow no trainer fitness buff, don’t let anyone force you into an uncomfortable or painful position in the name of some outdated philosophy. Be free to do you even if it bothers the anal exercise form person. Take the time to get assessed to see if you have any issues that need correction and practice safe form as you train. Most of all keep on rocking and get fitter as you train to be the very best that you can be!

It is funny how these workouts are created and how inspiration hits me. This week’s workout idea popped in my head as I was training one of my clients; she is new to kettlebells and for now needs the skill level of movement to be less difficult than an advanced trainee. So I came up with a workout that would accommodate her and also challenge an advanced person just by adding in the right size bell or by manipulating the rest periods as well as doing one arm swings.

This swing workout is as simple as last week’s farmer’s walk workout, it just involves the swing (one or two hand) movement and three kettlebells each heavier than the last. Now don’t fear if you only have one or two bells, you can simply do regular swings, dead swings and then 1 arm swings and get the same training effect.

Weekly Workout: Swing these bells

This workout is done by doing:

10 swings with your light bell and then take off tow reps and do it again; then another two and so-on until you get to 2 reps.  After that is done, rest up a bit and grab your next size bell and do the same rep scheme. Rest again and then, do the same with your heaviest bell and you are done. Of course you will rest as much as needed in between reps and rounds and keep your reps quality ones.


Men use: 16, 20, 24kgs to 24 to 48 kgs

Women use 8kg,12, 14 to 16 to 24 kg

Enjoy this simple but not easy workout!

Once again we have your guidelines for success

  • Do all of your sets and reps with quality form. Crap only produces crap!
  • Breathe by matching your breathing with each pattern
  • Rest as much as you need to and no more.
  • Tough it out while working out ( keep in mind the results)
  • Enjoy the fat blasting effect  and raised metabolism.

Click here to get my Ultimate Kettlebell swing Tutorial and workout series. This series will not teach you the swing,  but show you  how to train with it to get to your goals!

My neck hurts as I…..; my low back hurts as I squat. My shoulders hurt as I press overhead. These are common complaints that I hear from my online clients, in person and of course my fellow fitness fans. Although there can be many reasons as to why a person has pain in any given movement pattern. There may be overuse in a muscle in the chain due to imbalances and compensations or even just the old-fashioned reason of poor form as a person trains that movement. There also may be a serious medical condition such as cancer or the like. So as always if you have pain present especially if it is chronic, see your doctor.

However, this post is not about that type of pain especially since I am not a trained medical professional. This post will show you how to reduce discomfort in a movement by learning how to get your thoracic spine moving in the ways that it should; both in extension and rotation. The result of this new mobility will help you move better, feel better and could quite possibly make you stronger and more conditioned in the long run!

The t-spine or the thoracic spine is composed of 12 vertebrae and has an absolute important function in just about every exercise. The T-spine must either extend or rotate in our human movements, such as: gait (running/ walking) squatting, lunging as well as other movement patterns and exercise.

You probably now can see that if this area has too much dysfunction that it can affect the surrounding areas and create potentially dangerous compensation in other movement patterns and exercises. In other words lack of mobility and stability in this area can lead to injury in places such as: the low back, neck or potentially other areas as well by creating undue strain in another area as a result of the aforementioned dysfunction. 

So then you see that if it is not functioning well we will want to make it better by specific drills to do so. Not just from a health perspective but problems in this area can also lead to poor performance in your training or in your chosen sport. So sometimes mobility in conjunction with stability work followed by re-patterning; can lead to better strength gains in people who are training and having some difficulty getting better at their pursuit.

The way that the thoracic spine moves:

Your mid-back is designed to move in two ways and if you are extremely deficient in them your chances of getting injured are much higher.

The first movement is rotation.

Your middle spine should be able to rotate almost equally from side to side. This movement is seen in walking, running and in many lifting moves. Failure to rotate well here can lead to all kinds of problems and pain in any area that the movement pattern involves. For example if you cannot rotate form you thorax, you will rotate too much form somewhere else as I wrote about earlier.

Good                                                                                               You’ll need some work

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The second move is extension.

This movement mostly happens at the lower part of this area. once again failure to have this movement in the t-spine will usually lead to ugly overhead form, possible injury and overuse of the low back in order to try to extend and to get in the right position for overhead work.

Good                                                                                       You’ll need some work

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Fixing these issues:

First thing first there should be some kind of assessment to find out if your t-spine is the problem. Then from there, a break down should take place to find the one of more things that can be corrected to improve these movement patterns.

Step One: Check breathing:

Lack of proper breathing patterns can create tightness in your neck, upper back, chest as well as other areas in our bodies. To see if you are breathing well stick one of your hands on your chest and one on your belly. Take a breath in through your nose and see what moves first and what area you are breathing into.

Then place your thumbs on your back and other fingers in the front of you. Once again take a breath in and see what is moving as a result of your breathing.

Did your chest rise up first? Did you feel it in your neck? If so you have dysfunctional breathing and will want to make it better.

Not having these qualities in our training can lead to injury and most likely will keep you from getting the results that you want from your fitness training. So don’t be one of those people who don’t spend time on training joint mobility.

Step Two:  Check your rotation:

This post is geared towards people who are doing a self assessment and don’t necessarily have someone to look at their t-spine function. In light of that, the following assessment you can do yourself, if you are simply aware of your position and breathing as you do it.

Step Three: Cervical rotation/ extension

At times due to the closeness of a person’s neck to their t-spine, one can compensate for another. This can lead to lots of tightness in a person’s neck and possible injury as the person works out.

Good                                                                                          You’ll need some work

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Step Four: Check your extension

As I stated earlier, your mid-back shouldn’t be able to just rotate but also extend as well. Failure to do so often leads to the dreaded rib-cage flair,  low back pain, shoulder instability and not being able to live up to your full potential as a lifter! (Oh-no!)

Finally: fix what is going on.

Drills to improve these movement issues:

Breathing:

Rotation:

Neck drills:

Extension:

Taking care of this area doesn’t guarantee that you will never be hurt, but not taking care of it is to leave things up to chance and most likely not end up living up to your potential in fitness. So make sure that you spend time on these drills especially the ones that you need the most improvement in. If you don’t you are simply a slacker! (J/K) But, really, you are!
🙂


I enjoy programming and designing these weekly workouts and trying to get more done with less and in less time. I also really like trying to add in all of the moves that we need to be healthy and have muscular balance, so that you can train every movement pattern throughout the week if you use these workouts for your own personal fitness. I don’t say that it is always easy, but one thing that I have learned is that, a bit of struggle will make you stronger and better. In light of that, remember that fact as you train and don’t forget to intelligently overload your system to make sure that you are getting results from this workout.

If you have noticed lately that a lot of my sessions have not been complexes, but more super-sets and circuit type workouts. This week will be a complex wherein, I would like you to do all the moves in a row then rest as much as needed afterwards. So be wise and go a bit lighter than your heaviest weight. Men use a 16 kg to 24 and ladies use a 10 kg to 16 kg.

Weekly Workout: Stay strong

This week’s workout will require that you stay strong mentally and will make you stronger/more conditioned and of course will lean you out, if coupled with good healthy eating habits!

It is done grabbing your kettlebell of your chosen weight and doing:

10 1 arm swings
3 cleans 
5 overhead press 
2 cleans 
5 front squats
1 clean
5 kb rows

Then of course rest a bit and or go right over the other side or go right over if you can and get to work. Just make sure to keep your form if and as you do and don’t set the bells down until you are finished with the round. Lastly, do as many quality rounds as you can for 10 to 20 minutes. As always have fun and don’t forget to breathe!

Once again we have your guidelines for success

  • Do all of your sets and reps with quality form. Crap only produces crap!
  • Breathe by matching your breathing with each pattern
  • Rest as much as you need to and no more.
  • Tough it out while working out ( keep in mind the results)
  • Enjoy the fat blasting effect  and raised metabolism.

Click here to get my Ultimate Kettlebell swing Tutorial and workout series. This series will not teach you the swing,  but show you  how to train with it to get to your goals!

The sun is beginning to set on this series and it has been a lot of fun to write it out, however, I suppose even something that has the potential to change your training such as these concepts can be redundant after a while. As you can see these ideas are interwoven together and when applied will help you to continue to have success in your fitness over the long haul.

In fact these “commandments” are so powerful that if you neglect one it will leave you in regret over lost time and a possible injury. So be wise instead and apply them to your life and fitness as you train. You may find that you apply some of them easily and others need work. That is cool just keep working on it and learning how to apply these points to your life and you will be successful.


I was once an imbalanced person with these concepts and I always sought to overload my system and it worked for a while. However, I ended up inured and deconditioned as result. If you are like me, then today’s command is just for you. That is the GAS principle, which means General Adaptation syndrome; this law teaches us that success is not linear and that we need times of lower intensity work along without high intensity training.

What is low intensity?
I am can remember once speaking with a co-worker who was shamelessly on steroids. As we were talking he was saying how tired he was and how he didn’t feel as if he could train that day. My response was a simple and scientific fact that he should do a light day. I promise you that his head spun around as if he was in the Exorcist and he said sarcastically “A light day.” You see in his mind that meant something that it is not and he also had no idea about this GAS concept and how the body works when it comes to training. (By the way this fellow fancied himself a trainer.)

Our bodies and brain cannot tolerate high intensity all of the time without some kind of negative consequence and without continuing to make gains! As a result we need some lower intensity activities so that we don’t lose our fitness gains but not too much as to keep in this cycle of overuse.

Decrease volume:

If you are constantly hitting a movement or muscle with a lot of repetitions and various exercise or if you are doing a lot of volume with the same move, you will want to cut that in half for a bit. This is not hard to do, but you will have to turn off your brain from making you think that this approach will not help you! A simple example of this is, if you are doing 6 exercises per a movement pattern do 3 for a while and add in a bit of loading to those sets or any of the other approaches form my overload post. (Except volume)

Intensity:

This most of the time means the external load but it can also mean the difficulty of the exercise. So if you like me love to lift heavy lighten up the load and do pause reps or work exclusively on your technique and make it better.

Frequency:
For those that know me well, you know that I am not a big fan of my upper trap development and have been working on getting them bigger. I have also had great success with this endeavor through intelligent science based exercise selection and the use of high frequency training. In fact I hit my traps in some way or another every workout. So if you are a person that uses high frequency, cut back. For example if you squat three times a week, do it once or twice and let your body recover and help you make gains as you do!

Use the same but different approach:

This idea is pretty simple if you are tired in a pattern and are not getting results from it any more, switch to something that will help your overall goal but will be different enough. This is simple to do, if you love conventional Deadlifts- do sumo d.l. s for a while and get stronger in that and most likely your conventional numbers will improve as well. This can apply to any movement as well, just find different variations and do them intentionally. So in other words, this is specialized variety and not variety for the sake of itself.

It seems funny to me that fitness and getting results is not what must people think and practice. It seems that people err in one or two directions: either they do not work hard enough and never get results or they work too hard to often and also never get anywhere in the long run. This GAS principle must not be ignored, if you are overloading and seeking to move ahead. They are many different ways to apply this concept and you can be creative with it as you learn more about fitness and how you personally react to the training stimulus. Just make sure that you do apply it and keep getting results and combating injury by doing so!

A huge part of my adult life has been spent either training myself and others in the gym. I have seen all kinds of interesting things and have learned a lot about not only training but life in general as well by spending a lot of time there. One of the biggest and very important lessons I learned was that many people unfortunately have no idea how to get results from their time in the gym.

There are the people whom don’t work hard enough and as a result never really get anywhere in their training. These are the type of people whom you wonder why they are even spending time and money at your local fitness center. They are the ones who talk on the phone as they exercise; take too long of a rest period for their loading on a move. Never embrace that difficulty in their workouts and try to ruin yours by blabbing to you.

Then of course there are the individuals who believe that more is better and usually end up injured or burnt out and “stuck” in their fitness or are experiencing the law of diminishing returns in any fitness levels that they may have once had. These type of fitness buffs realize that one must work hard in order to get anywhere in their fitness; yet, they neglect a basic tenet of fitness and today’s command or principle: Thou shalt recover and rest.

Before I get into the break down and application of today’s post, I want you to understand what I am referring to when I say recovery. Recovery is not only a rest day, but sleep as well (naps also work if you don’t have an infant :)) and of course getting the right nutrition to optimize your training efforts.

Now let’s get into today’s command:  Thou Shalt Recover

Training for results ends up breaking the body down and also beats up your central nervous system depending on the type of training that you do form Olympic weightlifting to running and everything in between. The severity of this comes in to when one does more complex lifts and with heavier loading and so on. This leads to fatigue and if that is not managed well it will lead to the person de-conditioning and even get weaker in their training, There can also be other health related issue that can stem from this state often referred to as over-training. This can be avoided by a few different approaches and getting the right amount of rest for you and the type of training that you are doing.

This will lead to you making more results in your fitness training then just blindly and obsessively trying to make something happen without having the energy to do so. Recovery is equal to training when trying to achieve a goal in your fitness. So spend time recovering from your training so that you can kill it again without hurting your health in the process. As I have been saying the last week, “Thou shalt rest!”

If you want to see the last few posts, Click here.

I am a skeptical person. It is very rare that I will simple believe something just because someone says it. Once upon a time that was not the case, I used to believe people whom I thought were authorities on a subject blindly and it caused me much embarrassment. Plus as time went along, I realized that is was also a form of laziness on my part as well. In other words it is much easier to simply give consent to someone’s idea than to look at the subject and found out what has been studied on the subject. Then afterwards coming to my own conclusions on the subject based on the information given.

This approach has led to me coming to wrong conclusions at times and I think that is the fear of people who don’t want to think for themselves. You see it is much easier on the ego for someone else to be wrong then for us to “bite the bullet” for ourselves eat crow and learn from our mistakes. However, wouldn’t you want to stand on your own two feet and take some risks sometimes? I know that is how I have chosen to live. Rant over!

 

What is the tie in with the previous rant to moving better and some to reasons to invest time in doing so?

First of all I just wanted to share with you that if you are a skeptic, I understand. I understand that you don’t just to believe something because there is a blog post written about it. I just want to point you in the direction of examining it for yourself and seeing the research as well as the anecdotal work of many practitioners of movement restoration. Second, I want to share with you two reasons that have helped me realize that I needed to jump abroad the movement train.

Reason One: Moving better makes us more resilient to injury.

This reason to me is the number one reason to work on moving better. But first let me preface it by saying that it isn’t perfect and that exercise has an inherit risk to it; especially if you are training to get results. Now please keep in mind there is a risk-reward that must be evaluated by the trainee. In other words if an exercise doesn’t deliver more benefit than risk, it should be done by the person. Back to the subject at hand, taking care of things such as a lack of toe touch helps you to be less injury prone and that brings me to my next point.

 

Reason Two: Moving better will give better training sessions.

One of the reasons that we often make very limited progress is due to the fact that we have major compensations that lead to premature fatigue and lack of breaking through your threshold; e.g. If I have a knee that bows in as I squat, not only am I most likely going to screw up my knees. But I am also having one side of my body working harder than another and so-on. Which will lead to me “tanking out” and once I adapt to the level of fitness I am on, I will have limited results from there on in. So correct your tightness, instabilities and asymmetries, before you train for your goals and to get to your goals!

Moving better takes work and requires that some sort of assessment must be utilized to get to the bottom of your issues. Afterwards you will want to begin your corrective approaches and re-check to see if your issues have gotten better. If so continue with your approaches and then re-pattern the move and finally in order to keep your improvement you will want to load it. As the saying goes, “you keep what you load.”

In the exercise world there are many different variations to the same type of movement and in those variations there can be different approaches to those variations and movements. Not all of these methods are bad and not all of them are good, as always it depends on the person their capabilities and whatever issues they may presently have. One of those moves in the fitness and kettlebell training world is the windmill exercise.

The windmill is an awesome move that can be used for stretching out the hip abductors and for working on a rotation exercise with kettlebell training. It also offers other benefits, but for the sake of making this post readable I won’t share all of them. Just as it is with using the swing as a beneficial exercise many people attempt to do these moves without proper instruction, which can end up making it a harmful, move for the user instead of one that will make the exerciser better.

(windmills like this will get you to your doctor)

Oftentimes exercises are labeled as bad due to the move being done poorly or some cases a muscular imbalance in the person’s movement patterns. I can see the windmill ending up in that “camp,” if once again it isn’t executed in a way that is safe and beneficial to the person. This move requires that one must sit into their hip, keep their shoulder “packed,” avoid lumbar rotation and flexion, keep an abs brace and lastly focus on doing the movement and not some external weight or objective so much. (Touching the floor etc.)

 

Sit into your hip:
It seems like one of the biggest mistakes that people make with this move is to treat as if it were a unloaded yoga move that would be safe to not to sit into your hip. However, since today’s post is about the kettlebell windmill which entails external loading you will need to sit into your hip or hinge back. Think back not down!

Keep your shoulder packed:
This drill is an incredible loaded stretch. But is also a shoulder stability and thoracic rotation drill at the same time. But in order to ensure that we are getting the full benefit of the drill you will need to create what I call conscious stability. This is done by pulling the shoulder down into its socket and rotating your hand as you sit into your hip. Finally as these two things are going on, you will want to rotate your t-spine and not your low back. If you put these things to work you will get greater gains in mobility and strength from this advanced kettlebell move!

Keep your eyes on the load the whole time:
As with shoulder packing this focus is important for the safety and effectiveness of this exercise. Your focus and deliberate gaze should be on the back of the kettlebell at all times as you practice it. Just as with the Get-up, it will increase your stability and strength.

 

Keep your abs tight:
This focus once again is needed for stability. The abs brace is the way to not lean back especially on the lock out of the move. Once again keeping tight in you middle will help you stabilize the bell better as well! In addition to all of these safety pointers, it will help you burn more calories as you follow them!

Stay within your range of motion:
Once again different people have different approaches to this move. But for the sake of this post, in my experience and for health reasons do not go further than your ability to keep you spine long and back flat goes. Our culture already has too much spinal flexion (rounding it) in it as it is; we don’t need to add it in as we are training as well.

Keep your weight on your back leg:
This movement is essentially a single leg stance drill. so be very light your front leg as if there were a sleeping bear there that you don’t want to wake up! If you do this your weight will shift back and you will get an amazing stretch in your back leg, create a better hinge and stability; Which means as I have written a hundred times today, “make it more effective!”

The preceding pointers are geared towards safe bio-mechanics and if you follow them will lead to a more effective movement that will lead to you progressing into more advanced variations. They will also enable you to utilize this challenging and beneficial move throughout your life with less time off due to injury and over use. Did I mention that they will help you burn more calories as well?!

So remember to practice: sitting into your hip, keep your shoulder packed while doing it, keep your eyes on the bell, tighten your abs, keep your back flat , while keeping 80% of your weight on your back Leg. “Also don’t forget to chew bubble gum as you walk backwards on a straight line while reciting the alphabet backwards!”