I have to apologize: sometimes I can’t think of a good name for my weekly workout, so I give it a really silly one! Who would have thought the hardest part of creating a new workout every week was coming up with a creative and catchy name for it?
(If you have any fun suggestions for kettlebell workout names, feel free to send them my way…)
I took a StrongFirst hardstyle kettlebell certification back in July, which I mentioned in last week’s workout. (Quick recap: I truly believe that the different styles of kettlebell lifting complement each other: hardstyle practitioners can benefit from relaxation and efficiency principles, and Sport practitioners can benefit from tension and strength work.)
This week’s workout was my favorite workout from the certification, so I thought I’d share it with you! Choose a pair of bells that you can press for at least 5 repetitions. Each round, you will do 3 (hinge-based) cleans, 1 double press, and 3 front squats. Set the bells down for 20 seconds, then repeat! You can do anywhere from 10-20 rounds, depending on your fitness level and the weight kettlebells you choose.
Are you a fan of “hardstyle” or hinge-based kettlebell lifting?
The beauty of kettlebell training is that it can be used effectively for strength and power work, but also for endurance and cardiovascular training. Watch someone grind through a heavy kettlebell press and there’s no denying you can build strength. Give someone a kettlebell to swing for more than a minute, and there’s no way their cardiovascular endurance won’t be tested!
Here is today’s workout, which incorporates both slow strength work and a fast finisher. Enjoy!
Portability of the kettlebell is a useful tool – and allows you to incorporate all kinds of fun carries into your training! Carries are great for building isometric strength and stability, as well as grip and cardiovascular endurance.
The kettlebells don’t even need to be crazy heavy for the carries to take effect, especially in the workout I’ve created for you today. You’ll be incorporating swings, presses, snatches, and squats in between each carry, so even hanging onto light kettlebells will be a “wonderful” challenge! 😉
Sometimes you just want to get your butt kicked in a workout and sweat a lot without overcomplicating things. Get that endorphin rush and then move on with your day. That’s what this week’s workout is all about: fast-paced intervals with simple movements that will leave you breathless and sweaty when you’re finished. And there’s less than 30 minutes of work required to complete the workout!
One of the best reasons to train with kettlebells is how portable a kettlebell is. You can lift it at the gym, in your house, at the park, at the beach, at your office… anywhere you can think of! I love taking a kettlebell or two to the beach or a local park and tossing it around (in addition to handstands, of course).
For this week’s workout, I’m challenging YOU to get out of your normal training routine and take your kettlebell outside! Think of somewhere that would be fun to lift, or even just take your bell out into your porch or your yard.
Don’t forget to tag me in your social media posts @kbfitbritt
The assignment is to complete 8 sets of 15 repetitions. Start at your competition weight and decrease weight by 1-2kg each set. Your goal is to complete this workout as quickly as possible. As always, safety is my priority, so please be sure that you are maintaining your form and using kettlebell weights appropriate to your level of experience.
An alternate workout that Kim mentions in the video is for those who don’t have enough kettlebells (consider purchasing True Grit kettleweights or PlateMate weights). Instead of decreasing in weight, you will decrease in repetitions each round with 20 seconds of rest in between (i.e. 15 reps, 14 reps, 13 reps… down to 1).
For those of you who don’t know who Kim is, she is a pioneer in the world of women’s double kettlebell lifts, and the first woman to ever officially compete in 2x24kg Long Cycle (and smash most of the men’s numbers too!). She is the owner of Fox Fitness in Wichita, Kansas, and coaches her own Kettlebell Sport team. You can check out more videos from Kim on her YouTube channel.
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 fourth (and last!) 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.
Bottoms Up Screwdriver
Start lying on your back. With kettlebell in bottoms up position and thumb side of hand pointing up. Keep bottom of kettlebell pointing straight upward.
Begin by setting scapula gently down and back and keep in this position for entirety of exercise.
Use screw motion to internally rotate shoulder by rotating thumb inward, then externally rotate shoulder by rotating thumb outward.
Repeat for high reps (20 or more) until burn is felt or form begins to compromise. Start with light weight and make sure to rotate from whole arm (not solely forearm/wrist).
For an increased challenge, perform exercise lying on your side.
This exercise is a great for building stability of the ball and socket joint of the shoulder as well as strengthening rotator cuff muscles and scapula stabilizer muscles. Research has shown creating distal instability down the chain of the extremity (i.e. using a bottoms up kettlebell) leads to increased muscle activation.
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.
This week’s workout is a EXTRA FUN, which in my book means there will be lots of sweat involved! We’ll work on 5 reps of 5 different kettlebell movements, which will be completed straight through for 25 reps total. You will then set the bells down, rest as long as needed, and repeat 10X.
*Pro tip: If you’ve never done these movements or you’re just not sure what weight is appropriate, go conservative on the kettlebell weight and use 8-12kg (250 reps is a lot!).