Posts Tagged ‘movement’


I teach four classes a week at the gym that I work at and no one ever ends up disappointed when I use the kettlebell swing to give them a challenging workout. Sometimes the move is at the end of the class as a finisher. Other times it is placed during the class as a strength move or as a part of a complex and so-on.



This week’s workout is based solely on the kettlebell swing and will challenge during, then make you feel successful as on who has overcome the adversity of training.

Watch the video below to learn how to do it, (it is under two minutes) then get to it!






The guidelines are:


  1. Safety first- Always value proper form and movement above all. Do as many Quality reps as possible.
  2. Breathe– As always match up your breathing to your movements (In on the bottom of the swing and out on top).
Also as a gift to you; I want to share with you my free videos series on how to do the kettlebell swing properly for strength and conditioning,  Click here for it.
It seems like our culture is getting worse and worse when it comes to mobility and movement quality. We usually have locked up t-spines, ankles and hips and as a result cannot move the way that we need to stay safe and get the results that we want from our training. One of those issues that we find a lot in our clients and athletes is an obvious lack of the ability to touch ones toes.

This movement pattern is vital for your safety and performance in lifts and movements that require that your hips move in a hinge pattern and at times in hip extension. (Hint, just about everything that utilizes lower body requires these movements.)

But before we go any further, let’s look at these moves so that you can have better understanding of them.

Hip hinging is when you are required to moves your hips back. This is seen in the exercise world in the form of deadlifts, kettlebell swings, broad jumps and other like movements.

Hip extension is the finish of these moves and is also seen in proper running and walking mechanics.
(Dave knows how to extend his hips!)
Now that you understand in a very simple way what these moves are, let’s discuss how a lack of toe touch can mess up these patterns and lead to less than stellar performance.  You see a lack of toe touch is often a problem of not being able to shift your weight back and as a result your brain fires you hamstrings to keep you from breaking your nose. There are also times that your brain senses that a muscle is inhibited in the movement chain and as a result tightens up muscles to keep us from hurting our precious joints.

So then if stretching isn’t the answer, then what is?

The answer isn’t as simple as a 1, 2, 3 solution and can vary from person to person, but we can give you a few drills to help you:

1. Breathing;
Proper breathing patterns that utilize the diaphragm as the main respiratory muscle has a huge in stabilizing ones midsection and can enable you to move better by causing your brain to release any unnecessary tension in the body and to better stabilize your mid-section.

2. Toe touch pattern drill:

As a stated before an inability to toe your toes is usually a lack of being able to shift your weight back. This drill can helps you re-learn how to do this important movement and give you the ability back to deadlift with proper positioning.

To do this drill find a two inch elevation, such as a book, board or even dumbbells. Put your toes on the lift. Then stick something between your legs right above your knees, reach up to the ceiling, crush the object between your legs; and touch your toes 10 times. It is ok to bend your knees if you have to, in order to get to your toes.

After you have done that direction, stick your heels on the lift and follow the same sequence. You will either be able to touch your toes or you will be closer. Keep on practicing this drill until you can touch your toes, when you aren’t warmed up.


3. Glute strengthening:

Lastly is if your glutes are weak or inhibited, you will probably not be able to get in the proper position to lift and train safely with good form. Now when people sit often as well as those who are just begin to workout usually have overactive or tight low back muscles and hamstrings and under active glutes as well as being stuck in a flexed or forward shoulder position.

To combat this and to help better position yourself you will want to, release (stretch, foam roll.) The tight areas and strengthen the weak ones. For the sake of this post we will only discuss the glutes. (We will be doing a posture post soon.) Glute development isn’t too difficult, you will just want to do it in a way that doesn’t keep the imbalance though.

1. Lower rolling for glute strengthing:

2. Supermans, birddogs and reverse hip lifts:

3. Bridges, Single leg and 2 legged

4. Glute ham raises:

5: Hip thrusters :

These aren’t the only exercises that train the glutes they are just simple and effective ways to do so.

Having a comfortable toe touch that is controlled is very important for your health and fitness. So it is worth finding out what is limiting you from being able to do so and to take the time to correct this issue if it is present in your life.

Strength_Training[1]  Training people can be difficult at times, first of all most people have no idea how to train properly and to get continual results. Secondly, they lack the essential movement needed to build that training on. I don’t know how many times that I have heard the phrase “I need to sweat.” As is sweating were somehow an indication of  progress in training and of an effective workout. Don’t get me wrong in a good program there will be times of excessive sweating. But if that is all that you are doing then you are missing out on a true fitness program geared towards your needs. As I wrote last week– we first and foremost need to be movement assessed then we need to build on that foundation by becoming strong.

Strength is vital for many reasons in our training and it is often completely bi-passed as the perceived lack of talent kid on the basketball court.( btw that was mostly me lol.) Then it is often replaced by something that is thought of as sexier and more effective, because how you “feel” as you do it. Don’t let strength training become rejected by you in your training and here a few reasons why.

1.Being strong will help you continue to move well.

As you may know what we load we keep. So after you have gone through our correctives and you have acceptable movement, you will need to get strong to keep it. In fact your correction is not completed until you can  lift half of your body weight in a single leg deadlift for 8-12 reps or such like feats of strength in any movement.


2. Strength is the master quality after good movement
Most people begin exercising because they want to lose fat/”get ripped” and that is an ok goal. As long as the needs of that person are being systematically meet in their fitness program. If you want to get lean then we need to condition and eat well. However you will never last long enough in your conditioning,if you are not strong first and foremost. So no matter what your goals maybe, you will need to get strong enough to get to them.

3.Strength is not”easy come easy go”
Strength takes time to build and it must be earned by its seeker. But just as people who earn their wealth hold onto it better than the lottery winner (who usually ends up broke). Strength will stay around for a while and once you are stronger you are always stronger than before. Once again get stronger and then condition, not the other way around.
how to choose a training program strength

4. Strength will help keep you safe as you live and play sports
This one is a well-known fact backed up by plenty of research, that the stronger your muscles, tendons and ligaments are the harder it is to damage them.

5. Strength will make you more explosive
Training with plylos and Olympic lifts are a great way to increase your explosive power. However, if you are not strong first where is the power going to come from? Just doing explosive work  by itself will not cut it. It must be created from the strength that you built-in strength training.

In effort not to make this post too long and unreadable I am going to cut it off here. However these 5 reasons are only a few of the many reason why you will need to spend time on building strength no matter what your goals maybe. In order to become stronger  you will need to lift heavy enough for you to get stronger. Be consistent  in your training, don’t jump from move to move or program to program. Invest time a in training for strength and be patient as you  progress wisely. Then when you are ready to begin to train specifically for your goals, you will sky-rocket your progress in fat loss, conditioning,sports performance and so on. Don’t miss out on being all that you can be out of impatience and a lack of proper programming to meet your long-term goals and “remember bro. easy come easy go.”

As a bonus click here for a sample strength program. You can use it as a template or follow it to the tee!

Keep following this blog as this series continues the next week with part 4: conditioning.

After reading this some of you maybe confused or may not know where to begin. I want you to know that I am here to help and that my online coaching will clear up any confusion and give you intelligent programming that will get you to your goals.

Just fill out the form below and we can set up a no-obligation time to chat about your goals and how I will help you get to them!

“I can’t figure out this workout” exclaimed person A, when I showed him the complex we were going to train with. “Why can’t you make easier to remember workouts?!” This brought me to the conclusion that although more complicated kettlebell complexes are very useful. We sometimes need to “make it as simple as possible- but no simpler!” That is what today’s complex is a very simple workout that “even a cave man can do !”

 However, don’t take its simplicity as it being less effective. Because it is a smoker if you follow my set guidelines for  it.   This workout will banish fat forever  while building muscle if it is in conjunction with a good nutrition plan.

KIWK SJ Kettlebell Workout of the week:

The Cleaner

 How to do it-

It is done by cleaning two bells 5 to 10 times each round and taking a loaded “rack” walk for time or the distance that your best judgement calls for. (50 steps is a good place to start with) You will repeat this for 10 to 20 minutes as long as you can keep your form!

The guidelines for success:

As with anything worthwhile there are a few simple guidelines to follow to make this workout both safe and effective.

  • Do all of your sets and reps with quality form. Crap only produces crap!
  • Breathe by matching your breathing with each pattern ( in on the bottom of the swing movements and out on the top.)
  • 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

Get you free Kettlebell report and learn how to use this fat blasting tool!

With so many training programs in the world, how does one choose a program? With so many exercises in the world, how does one pick what to do? We are all busy people and if you aren’t  right now you will be, that is just the way that life goes. Seeing this reality should make you think  how can I get the most out of the least number of exercises? how can I pick the ones that offer the most bang for the buck? We at Physical Upgrade  are minimalists and all of our collective wisdom has led us to these type of programs and exercises.

     (efficiency in training is delicious)

One of our goals is to bring you exercises that will shred fat, get you stronger/more conditioned and transfer to your  daily activities. One of those exercises is the one that I am bringing to you today: The Suitcase carry! The suitcase carry is a core building, fat blasting, endurance creating, posture bettering exercise. (sounds efficient right?!)  Better yet I am going to teach you how to do it today!

The Suitcase Carry

The suitcase carry is a very simple exercise to practice. Just don’t let the simplicity of it cause you to miss out on its benefits by writing it off. Legendary strength coach Dan John talks about how effective these loaded carries are for  strength and performance. He talks about a time when he wasn’t making progress in his throwing and around the same time he learned about loaded walks and as he practiced them, his  throwing distance improved . So often times if not always it is the things that we are not doing that are hindering our progress. I think about this in the world of marriage, if a couple does not communicate they most likely will not last.  Think about that because it is the same in our training, we are only as good as our weakest link.

Enough with the argument for carries. Let’s learn how to do the suit case version

The technique is very simple: you pick up one kettlebell and you walk. There are  however a few things to pay attention to.

1. Don’t lean forward or back: keep your abs tight brace as if you were going to get punched.

2. Don’t lean sideways: this temptation will be present when you have the optimal  weight in your hand. Just make sure you use your obliques to hold you in place. Stay tight!

The rest of the rules are on last week’s post  and can be seen here:

There are many benefits to the suitcase walk. A lot of them are the same as the farmers carry, with less weight thus giving your body a rest when needed. Also the suitcase version will work on  and correct imbalances in your body.  Keep following this blog as I am going to keep bringing you carry variations over the next few weeks. Also if you want my post delivered to your email for your convenience subscribe in the box up and to the left.



I guess a lot of my posts lately have gone back to the basics. (way back) ! I think that I will keep doing that, because I dare say (with all respect) that most people don’t even have a competent grasp on the basics. So here we go back into the fundamentals of human movement and my topic today is crawling.

Do you realize that a good crawl is a precursor to many exercises in the prone position? Exercises such as push ups, planks, etc. Also crawling can be a corrective exercise for rotary stability and the trunk stability push up . If you have been screened and have come up short in these tests, maybe you would want to consider trying the bear crawl to help you.  After you have gone through your rolling patterns and mobility correctives.

In terms of just plan old exercises, the bear crawl (and other variations) are a challenging way to work the core, try these instead of boring old crunches. (which are bad for the low back anyway) Talk about burning the abs! Crawling is also good as an upper body strengthening tool and will connect the upper and lower body via the core. In addition to this it is great for shoulder stability work, talk about a loaded exercise!

Now  for the how to do it part of the post: The bear crawl is a simple exercise however many do struggle with it at first. In order to help learn it properly, I usually start someone in the position, with their hands directly under their shoulders and with their knees bent as if they were squatting  .  Now, your back will need to be flat not up or down, if you have it you should feel your abs working if not make the adjustment. Now press your hands and feet into the floor and hold it for thirty-seconds keeping focused throughout. If you have that down, then lift your legs a little while holding your position. Then your arms and if you keep the tension in your core you are ready to walk with it!


Bear crawling is an awesome exercise and can be used on your dead-lifting days in between sets. It can also be performed on your light days and in conjunction with your body weight exercises after you have finished your more difficult exercises. Now that you are aware of this move, start to practice it you will love its challenge! Have fun and train smart!

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