Monday, December 27, 2010

Shoulders, they aren't just held together with tape and spit . . .

Although one might think so.  Shoulders are one of the most common complaints I get when training individuals, especially my older male clients.  The shoulder ball and socket joint is not like the hip joint where the bones fit together nice and snug.  It is a rather open structure held together mostly by muscle and connective tissue.  And yet, most sports that include throwing, lifting things overhead, as well as most daily activities that use the arm rely on the integrity of this joint.

Dan John, in his most recent blog post, talks about the kettlebell clean and how it can help to strengthen this somewhat "delicate" joint.  If you don't currently subscribe to Dan's blog or haven't read any of his articles, or more importantly, his book, Never Let Go, by all means, start today.

As an added bonus, here is Steve Cotter's instruction of the kettlebell clean.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Some kettlebell workouts to do at home

So, I know a lot of you are traveling for the holidays.  But, if you have a kettlebell or dumbbell, you can get a good workout in wherever you are.  Here are some workouts we've done at kettlebell class the past couple of months.

This is a strength workout, you'll need a slightly heavier bell than you use for our conditioning circuits.  For example, if you usually use a 4-6 kg bell, try using a 8-10 kg bell.   These movements are meant to be done for precision and not speed.  Work to get a full range of motion on each repetition.  Rest 30-60 seconds between sets as needed.

Turkish Get Up:  10 each side
Windmilll: 3x10 each side
Split Squat: 3x10 each side
Bent over row: 3x10 each side
Goblet squat with 3 second hold at bottom: 3x10
Curl and Press: 3 x10 each side

Finish with 100 swings.

Turkish Get Up


From Chapter 11

This is a muscle endurance workout.  Use the same sized bell you use for all classes and try to get approximately 10-15 reps for each exercise.  Perform both circuits twice in an alternating fashion.

Circuit 1 (15 reps each)
1 legged deadlifts, each side
Side lunge, each side
Double handed swing
Bent over row, each side
Squat to 1 armed press, each side
Kettlebell situp with tricep press
V-sit Russian twist
Reverse situp

Circuit 2 (10 reps each)
Front squat with rotation, each side
Windmill, each side
Woodchop, each side
Alternating 1 arm high pull
Swing-catch-goblet squat
Side plank row, each side
Rotating situp, alternating sides

Repeat Circuit 1 and 2.

Squat to One Arm Press

One Arm High Pull

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Warrior Dash is coming to North Carolina!

In August 2011!  Wait a minute, August?  In North Carolina?

Warrior Dash, Huntersville, NC

Well, it will be hot, but at least there won't be frost on the ground when we jump into the pond.   And besides, we are of warrior stock, sweating like pigs and getting muddy is what we do best.

That, and pillaging. 

We will be registering on Saturday, December 18th. If you would like to join us and/or at least run in the same wave, it would be a good idea to register close to that time.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Holiday Workouts

Do those two words even go together?

Well, yes. They do and more importantly, they should. During the holidays we tend to overeat, get overstressed, and tend to get our exercise herding children through shopping malls and putting up holiday decorations.

However, during this time, there is nothing better for your body AND mind than a little exercise. During this time of year, when the days are colder and definitely shorter, its also difficult to get out and just play with the kids or find the motivation to go for a walk or a jog in the dark. By far, one of the best ways to get motivated is to have some accountability and by that, I mean make yourself an exercise date. Find a few friends with whom you can commit to training with consistently. Or, join a group exercise class or boot camp. My favorite way, by far, is to turn on the floodlights and go outside to play with the kids. Swinging, running races, playing tag, and even playing on the swing set are great ways to get your heart rate up and put some positive stress on your joints. If its too cold and/or wet, put on some music and have a dance party. The good thing about dancing with kids is that they are just there to have fun so you don't have to be awesome at it, just inventive.

However, if you want something a little more structured, here are some circuits that you can complete in 20-30 minutes with minimal equipment.

For this circuit, use a lighter weight such as 10-20 lbs:
Overhead walking lunge 20 yards (hold a dumbbell or kettlebell overhead, lined up with your shoulder and with your upper arm in line with your ear. Hold on one side 20 yards, then switch to the other side on the way back)
25 dumbbell or kettlebell swings
Run 200-400 meters
4-5 rounds

5 pullups or 10 body rows
10 kettlebell/dumbbell snatches or single arm swings, each arm (use a heavier weight such as 15-30 lbs)
10-15 deadlifts (use a heavier weight, approximately 40% of your 1RM)
3-4 rounds

500 Jump rope
Turkish Get-ups, 15 on each side, alternating sides.
Use weight that is heavy enough to be challenging.

15 Goblet squats (or an unweighted squat)
15 Dumbbell See-saw press
15 Lateral lunges, each side
15 Bent over rows or body rows
15 Alternating rotating situps (as you come to the top of each sit-up, rotate your torso to the side. This can also be done holding a medicine ball)
4 rounds

Now, regarding food. The best thing you can do for yourself is simply write it down. Simply being aware of what you are eating at different times of the day will help you to control your intake or be sure to balance your nutrients. Make sure you are getting plenty of fiber, water, protein, fruits, and vegetables. And, most importantly, plenty of sleep.