Moreover, cushy shoes make it easy to rock forward, which puts your back at risk. Training barefoot on a firm surface is best for both safety and performance.
Do it : Keep your back flat, your shins vertical, and your weight loaded mostly in your heels. Do not attempt swings unless you can perform a quality dead lift.
The benefit : Imagine that your hamstrings are a bow and the kettle bell is an arrow. The farther you stretch your hamstrings, the more tension you create, and the more powerful your swing.
Starting your swing with a “hike pass”—like a center snapping the ball between his legs to a quarterback—will optimally load your hamstrings. Hammering big, powerful muscles in your lower body can help you drop pounds—just like these other 61 Ways to Lose Weight. Do it : Place a kettle bell on the floor in front of you and stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
The benefit : The kettle bell should feel weightless as it floats up in front of you. It means that you used your hips to power your swing, rather than your arms and traps.
The more powerful your swing, the longer the kettle bell will feel like it's floating. The benefit : A bow string snaps into a straight line when you release it—and so should your body.
It will help protect your back, give you a great abdominal workout, and teach you how to generate power for contact sports. Do it : At the top of the swing, perform a “vertical plank.” Pull up your kneecaps, clench your glutes, and brace your abs as if you’re about to take a punch.
Check out the 25 Best Abs Exercises for more awesome movements to strengthen your six-pack. The benefit : Focusing on your breaths will help to strengthen your abs, enhance your explosive power, and protect your spine throughout the movement.
As you snap your hips forward into the vertical plank position, make a loud sound by pushing air through your teeth. The benefit : Not allowing space between your arms and torso as you pass the bell between your legs will maximize the explosiveness of your next rep. Do it : You have just done a powerful rep. You are planking at the top of your swing and the bell is momentarily hanging weightless.
As soon as the kettle bell starts falling, guide it back between your legs—a less aggressive version of a hike pass. The benefit : The handle of the bell should remain higher than your knees.
One guy lost 18 pounds of fat in just 6 weeks. Not only does this keep your elbows safe, but it also helps you transmit maximal power from your hips to the kettle bell.
Your elbows may flex a little at the top of the swing, but they must stay straight throughout the rest of the movement. At no point should they disconnect from your body, moving up or rounding forward.
Keeping your shoulders in this position is safer and allows greater power transmission from your hips to the kettle bell. Don’t rush and be careless for the sake of breaking a sweat.
Do sets of 10 reps on the minute for as long as you can maintain maximum power. On the surface it seems like the rest is very generous, but remember that we are after power, not “burn.”
Do your swings three times a week, varying the volume. What else do you call an exercise that can increase both a professional powerlifter’s strength and an elite marathoner’s endurance?
The swing zaps fat without the dishonor of aerobics, and it develops explosive power and never-quit conditioning. Since I introduced the kettle bell to the West a decade and a half ago, the swing has become a staple in the training of elite fighters and athletes, and has spurred a number of scientific studies that have documented its benefits.
When you start working out with kettle bells, begin by learning the “Hard Style” swing. A ballistic builder of both strength and conditioning, the swing is the center of the KB universe and being able to do one safely and effectively is a prerequisite for other kettle bell skills.
Even at this weight, the force or load of the bell is upwards of 500lbs for a brief moment at the bottom of the swing ! It’s basically an aggressive dead lift that projects the power forward rather than up.
Once you have the dead lift down pat — heels planted, shins vertical, spine neutral, abs braced, etc. Like a punch, the swing takes hours to learn and a lifetime to master.
The basics of the movement are simple: Place a kettle bell on the floor in front of you. From a sumo dead lift stance, “hike pass” the bell back between your legs until your forearms make contact with your inner thighs.
Explosively thrust your hips forward, launching the bell to your chest level. The kettle bell is slightly forward of an imaginary line between both feet.
The body forms a straight line at the top of the swing : the hips and knees extend fully, the spine is neutral. Throw a pair of dice two times and add up the numbers.
Your task is to perform as many perfect, crisp swings as possible using a particular set and rep scheme in that timeframe without coughing up a lung. When you have reached the top “rung,” you start over at the bottom rather than pyramid down: 5, 10, 15, 20… 5, 10, 15, 20…5, 10, 15, 20.
A ladder allows one to handle a high training volume without burning out and enables a focus on technique. Do not stand or sit while resting; walk around and shake off your muscles.
If you begin the next set and you notice that the form/quality or speed of the movement deteriorates, then you know you didn’t wait long enough. Adding some sort of squat is a good idea but it is also okay to do no other lower body exercises for a little while.
Stick to this plan for a couple of months and you will find out just how powerful this exercise is. Be sure to listen to our podcast on all things kettle bells and the psychology of training:
A former Soviet Special Forces instructor and an SME (subject-matter expert) to elite US military and law enforcement special operations units, Pavel introduced the Russian kettle bell to the West in 1998 and started the kettle bell revolution. Imagine you’re a soldier posted at a foreign military base.
Western : occasional soul-crushing, long, brutal workouts followed by days of weakness as you recover. Eastern : easier, shorter training performed every day with little weakness or recovery.
Pavel Tsatsouline, the “father of the kettle bell ”, focused his entire career on the Eastern strength approach. Here’s what I learned from trying one famous method of daily kettle bells training called “Greasing the Groove”.
Ask 100 coaches, and you’ll hear a divide on everyday training: Everyday training can help or hinder you depending on the type of exercise, duration, and your recovery.
Age Environment Sleep Fitness level Diet Stress Genes & epigenetics Supplementation Activity outside the gym Work Deliberate recovery practices Each factor impacts your recovery and ability to train intensely.
Most famous for his always leave one in the chamber philosophy of strength training, Pavel introduced the world to a concept he called “Greasing the Groove.” Greasing the Groove (GTG) is a micro-workout approach to every day kettle bell training.
Instead of long dedicated blocks of all-out workouts, Pavel prescribes light sessions every day. Sessions with long rests between sets, and stopping well before failure.
Best of all, light, every day kettle bell training doesn’t require recovery. Greasing the groove can stand alone as a complete workout, or layered on top of an existing routine for faster results.
Intense kettle bell training should be relegated to three to five days per week. Like conventional barbell and dumbbell programs, intense kettle bell training tests your ability to recover.
If this all seems too confusing, Pavel designed a great program for everyday Kettle bell Training called Simple & Sinister (Amazon). He gives you daily kettle bell routines and lays out the common rookie (and veteran) mistakes.
While exercising, the moment your form slips up just a tiny bit, STOP. I can trace back most of my injuries to ignoring poor form cues.
For the best results, perform 70-250 kettle bell swings daily before breakfast when hormones and enzymes are primed to burn stored body fat. For an average strength lady, Pavel recommends 16 kg for KBS and 8 kg for TGU.
I’ve found that I can complete a workout of KettlebellSwing and Turkish Get-Ups in just about 10 minutes. Most people begin noticing big results and improvements in 2-4 weeks.
Cardio and strength benefits begin earlier, while goals like weight loss can take a little longer to show. You’ll notice that your usual everyday activities become easier.
Every time you enter the room, hit a few kettle bell swings. The Eastern workout approach is the antithesis of the way I trained.
I started GTG and reclaimed 15 hours previously consumed by the gym. Paradoxically, swinging kettle bells kept me consistently near full strength while I continued to build muscle.
I no longer spent 90 percent of my weeks recovering from monstrous personal-record setting workouts. I hack my workouts with an incredible technology I wrote about called blood flow restriction training.
Every day I make a point to get a few minutes of a little exercise “snack”.