All posts by brittanyvs

NSCA-CSCS, Master of Sport in Kettlebell, Personal Trainer & Coach based in San Diego.

Preventing Injury in Overhead Athletes: Part 2

Pre-habilitation Exercises for Overhead Athletes

As a kettlebell coach whose number one goal is to keep her athletes healthy, I’m always looking to learn from other health and fitness experts that have ideas on the subject of injury prevention. Unfortunately, overuse injuries run rampant when people don’t properly prepare their bodies for the volume-heavy work in Kettlebell Sport, from a mobility and/or stability standpoint.

This is the second in a series of posts where Doctor of Physical Therapy (and Team KOR kettlebell lifter!) Jordan Levine will share his favorite pre-habilitation exercises to build shoulder stability and avoid injury with overhead lifting. Whether you’re a coach or an athlete that uses kettlebells, these are great exercises you can implement to prevent overuse injuries before they happen.


Isometric Shoulder External Rotation with Mini Band

  • Place mini band loop around both wrists.
  • Flex elbows to 90 degrees and place against rib cage. Gently set scapulas down and back, then rotate hands away from one another to externally rotate both shoulders.
  • Keep equal tension on band while slowly elevating arms. Flex at shoulder until elbows are at shoulder height.
  • Keep tension on band while lowering elbows back to starting position.
  • Repeat for high reps (20 or more) at slow pace with light resistance.
  • This is a great rotator cuff exercise for building endurance and strength at end range external rotation, both of which are beneficial for repeated overhead lifting.
  • The mini band used in the above video can be found here, or you can hold resistance tubing in hands to replace the mini band.

Dr. Jordan Levine PT, DPT is a physical therapist at North County Water and Sports Therapy Center located in the Carmel Mountain Ranch area of San Diego. He specializes in orthopedics with a strong emphasis on manual therapy.

Click here to check out part 1 of the Preventing Injury in Overhead Athletes series.

Sharing is caring! Email this to someonePin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook

200-Rep Snatch Challenge

The reason I love Kettlebell Sport so much is because it’s continuously providing me with new goals that motivate me to train consistently and efficiently. I’m always racing to beat the clock, to hit that higher number of reps.

While I realize not everyone is interested in competing with kettlebells, that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from the same training modality and repetition-based motivation (provided you have a solid foundation of technique, of course).

Therefore, this week’s training is a Kettlebell Sport-inspired repetition challenge: hit 200 reps of the kettlebell Snatch! To make this friendly to all levels of kettlebell enthusiasts, you can switch anytime you want and even set the kettlebell down. The goal is simply to complete the 200 reps as quickly as possible – with good technique and visible fixation.

When you’ve done the challenge, let me know your completion time by tagging me in your post!

Sharing is caring! Email this to someonePin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook

Preventing Injury in Overhead Athletes: Part 1

Pre-habilitation Exercises for Overhead Athletes

As a kettlebell coach whose number one goal is to keep her athletes healthy, I’m always looking to learn from other health and fitness experts that have ideas on the subject of injury prevention. Unfortunately, overuse injuries run rampant when people don’t properly prepare their bodies for the volume-heavy work in Kettlebell Sport, from a mobility and/or stability standpoint.

This is the first in a series of posts where Doctor of Physical Therapy (and Team KOR kettlebell lifter!) Jordan Levine will share his favorite pre-habilitation exercises to build shoulder stability and avoid injury with overhead lifting. Whether you’re a coach or an athlete that uses kettlebells, these are great exercises you can implement to prevent overuse injuries before they happen.


Y – T – W – L Scapular Retractions

  • Begin in one of two positions: 1) Lying prone on Swiss ball, or 2) Stand bent forward hinged at hips with neutral spine.
  • Keep abdominal muscles engaged and squeeze scapula down and together while simultaneously bringing arms up to spell Y, T, W, and L.
  • Perform with light or no weight and high reps, with a slow tempo to build stability. 2 sets of 10 reps of Y, T, W, and L is a good place is start.
  • Point thumbs toward the ceiling and do not allow scapula to elevate toward ears throughout the movement.
  • This exercise is intended to increase scapular stability and scapulohumeral rhythm by strengthening the middle and lower trapezius muscles. These muscles often get overpowered by dominant upper trapezius or rhomboids. To help bias the lower/middle trap muscles make sure to externally rotate the humerus by pointing the thumbs towards the ceiling and do not allow scapulas to elevate towards ears.

Dr. Jordan Levine PT, DPT is a physical therapist at North County Water and Sports Therapy Center located in the Carmel Mountain Ranch area of San Diego. He specializes in orthopedics with a strong emphasis on manual therapy.

Sharing is caring! Email this to someonePin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook

Kettlebell Flow Workout

One of the selling points for training with kettlebells is being able to segue from one movement to another with ease and comfort. I call this series of fluid movements a “kettlebell flow”. I like to think of a kettlebell flow as a more creative version of a kettlebell complex.

You might have seen this series of flows on my social media accounts a couple weeks ago; I decided to put the videos together into one for this week’s workout! If you already tried the flows, this is a great opportunity to practice them again or increase the kettlebell weight (or go for 4-5 rounds instead of 3!).

To make flowing feel EVEN better, perform this workout outside in your yard, at the park, at the beach, or anywhere else you can enjoy some fresh air while getting your lungs pumping. I’ve noticed that my mood improves significantly anytime I spend some time outdoors, and I suspect this to be true for most people.

I hope this workout will inspire you to come up with your own kettlebell flows in the future. Let me know if you think of any good ones and want to share – I love to hear from you! :)

Sharing is caring! Email this to someonePin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook

Long Cycle Sample Training

Based on the popularity of the Kettlebell Competition Sample Workout I posted last month, I decided to make a follow up competition-style workout!

Last month’s training was “interval” style, meaning short work intervals with rest intervals being less than or equal to the work intervals. Today’s training is “repetition” style, which means longer work sets with rest intervals 1-1.5 x work intervals.

If you haven’t done much endurance training with kettlebells, I would highly recommend using lighter weights when attempting this workout (guys 12-16kg, ladies 8-10kg).

Have fun, and remember the first minute is a lie!!!

Sharing is caring! Email this to someonePin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook

Tempo Turn Up Workout

Turn up the tempo on your Jerk and Snatch lifts with this workout! Test your ability to accelerate with an increasing tempo Jerk set and then race the clock to complete your snatches before time runs out.


Need help with your Jerk or Snatch technique? Watch my Intro to the Kettlebell Jerk and Intro to the Kettlebell Snatch tutorials.

Have you listened to my podcast on Mind Pump yet? Check it out here.

Sharing is caring! Email this to someonePin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook
fafbb519-6f8a-4390-94a6-19cd05bbbced

Hand Care for Kettlebell Lifters

As we all know, kettlebell lifting can wreak havoc on your hands. I, for one, often feel self-conscious giving people a high five because of the blood blisters, callouses, or giant patches of dry skin on my hands. In some gym cultures, ripping your hand is a glorified battle wound that shows you gave your all in a workout. In the kettlebell world, ripping your hand totally sucks because it means your technique was off and/or you might not be able to train tomorrow.

Even if you don’t particularly care what your hands look like, there are several factors to keep in mind if you want to lift consistently without tearing up your hands.

How Do You Prevent a Hand Tear?

Continue reading

Sharing is caring! Email this to someonePin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook

Balance Challenge Workout

A successful overhead press requires core strength and stabilization, as well as utilizing the connection between your feet and the floor. So you can probably imagine how lifting one leg off the floor and THEN pressing overhead would be a little harder, right?!

This week’s workout features several exercises that will require you to stand on one foot, which are great for testing coordination and balance, as well as just mixing up your workout from the normal exercises. Good luck!


To get workouts sent directly to your inbox, as well as other special offers, subscribe to my mailing list. 

 

Sharing is caring! Email this to someonePin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook