When performed correctly the kettlebellpress lights up almost all the muscles in your body. Good overhead pressing also demands perfect alignment throughout the body from head to toe in order to produce a strong and stable base of support.
There are a great many kettle bell shoulder press variations for you to practice adding to your workouts in order for you to keep things interesting. Activates most of the muscles in the body when performed correctly Improves overhead strength for daily tasks Develops better alignment throughout the body Increases cardio due to the heart having to work harder to pump blood to the top hand Conditions the shoulders and upper body Adds variety and spice to existing workouts and combinations
However, the main muscles that do most of the heavy lifting are the shoulders (deltoid) and the back (latissimus Doris & trapezium) and the arms (triceps). The legs and even the toes can be activated when pressing challenging and heavy loads.
If you lack the movement necessary in the upper back or shoulders to extend the arm directly overhead then compensations must be made further down the body in order to maintain correct alignment. The human body is strongest when all the joints are stacked in good alignment one on top of the next.
When you press a kettle bell overhead you can increase your overall strength by activating as many muscles as possible. Squeezing the handle of the kettle bell, clenching your other hand into a fist, clamping your buttocks together and locking your legs straight.
The act of ‘ getting tight ‘ will cause as many muscles as possible to activate and through the process of irradiation transfer the strength throughout your body. Basically the body conserves valuable energy by only using the muscles it needs to in order to perform a movement.
When you hold a kettle bell overhead it challenges your smaller endurance based stabilizing muscles. Use the following 4 overhead kettle bell stabilizing exercises in order to strengthen your muscles in preparation for your heavy lifting later.
Practice : Holding, Walking or Performing the Overhead Warm Up for 60 seconds non-stop is the ultimate goal. Practice : 5 repetitions on each side is enough as the exercise is performed slowly and deliberately.
The shoulder will be challenged from all angles as you stand up and then lay back down again all while keeping the arm locked. The kettle bell bottoms up clean is a fun exercises that will help correct shoulder and arm alignment issues.
I talked earlier about the importance of stacking joints when load is added in order to gain strength, the bottoms up clean helps you naturally develop this skill. As the kettle bell is cleaned to the racked position the handle is pointing downwards and the weight balanced above it.
You will need to keep your shoulder and arm in the correct position in order to maintain balance of the kettle bell. Practice : use as a nice warm up performing 6-8 repetitions holding in the balanced position for as long as possible.
The half kneeling kettlebellpress will not only challenge your pressing strength but also your core stability. Do not allow your hips to rotate backwards and for your midsection to fall forwards, stay upright.
The kettle bell tall kneeling press isolates the upper body by taking away your base of support. Keep the buttocks and abs pinched nice and tight throughout the full movement.
Do not let the hips slowly track backwards as you progress through your repetitions. The classic standing kettlebellpress or military press takes the kettle bell from the racked position and overhead.
Engage the Lats by tensing the armpit as you press Make sure the forearm is vertical as you press Keep the shoulder down away from your ear and back in its socket Squeeze the whole body to create tension Push away from the floor Use your breath by inhaling first, then forcing air out through tight lips as if letting air out of a balloon Lock the arm at the top with the shoulder away from the ear Ensure that the kettle bell is vertically overhead and not in front or behind the head Actively pull the weight down slowly and with control The hardest part of the KB strict press is taking the kettle bell from the racked position and moving it the first 12 inches.
The kettle bell push press does not involve much work from the legs just a slight knee bend and then a sharp snap of the hips. Once the kettle bell is moving upwards you can then use the momentum to help with the rest of the overhead press.
First you use a slight push press to begin the momentum of the kettle bell moving upwards before dropping for a second time underneath the kettle bell and driving upwards with a straight arm. You will need excellent body and arm alignment in order to press the kettle bell overhead from the bottoms up position.
Maintain a strong grip throughout the exercise and always be prepared to get out of the way if the kettle bell flips over. You will need good upper back and shoulder mobility in order to complete this exercise.
At the bottom of the squat press the kettle bell overhead and then return it to the racked position before standing up. If you struggle with good squatting technique or have mobility issues then this exercises is going to be a real challenge for you.
One of the simplest and most common ways to incorporate the overhead press is to add it to the kettle bell clean. Make sure to complete the clean correctly and rack the kettle bell securely before moving into the shoulder press.
From a deep squat you use your momentum on the upward part of the movement to help push the kettle bell overhead. You can think of the exercise as an even more exaggerated type of push press with a full squat at the bottom.
Practice : 10 continuous repetitions on each side will really get your heart rate racing. If you can perform nice deep smooth reverse kettle bell lunges then adding a press to the exercise will ramp up the muscle activation.
Make sure you keep the arm tucked nice and tight to the body during the lunge to save exhausting the shoulder prematurely. The back knee should kiss or get very close to the floor in order to activate the buttock muscles fully, do not cheat the movement just to get in the overhead press.
Practice : work up to 12 repetitions on each side for a full body and cardio based workout Drive up from the bottom position using the momentum to press the kettle bell overhead.
You will need good core stability and cardio in order to perform a number of quality repetitions. Keeping the legs straight sit up and press the kettle bell overhead.
The format of this strength workout is simple just alternate sides adding 1 extra repetition to the total each round. You don’t need to rush between sides, take your time so you are fully switched on for every repetition.
If you find the last few repetitions too difficult then use the push press to finish off the reps. As you get stronger and can manage all 5 repetitions without using the push press then add a second set starting at 1 and increasing to 5 again.
Finally, when you have mastered the overhead kettlebellpress there are 5 kettle bell combination pressing exercises that you can use to really ramp up the cardio and full body muscle engagement. Whether you use sex for procreation or recreation, this herb makes everything better, from libido to erections to fertility.
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The ultimate combination of the most powerful kettle bell exercise and hardcore strength work. A strong libido is a sign of a healthy, fit body.
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All it takes to make serious gains is to come up with 10-15 exercise variations that you enjoy and can hit hard. The effects are similar to that of a reverse hyper which places a lot of tension on the glute complex, spinal erectors, and hamstrings.
Additionally, the anterior core experiences a fair amount of contraction at end range. Stronger folks usually won't have access to a heavy enough kettle bell to get the job done, which is why you may want to add a band for resistance.
Keep in mind though, adding band resistance changes the intent of the movement, increasing the demand on fast-twitch fibers. While this isn't a bad thing, it may be harder to sustain this level of power output for bigger sets so changing the rep counts may suit you better.
Band-Resisted Russian Swing Do 100-200 total reps and increase volume over time. Another great option if you don't have access to a particularly heavy kettle bell is to add another 'bell to the mix.
The contraction of the glutes at the top of each rep may be stronger with this variation compared to the last. By using the box and breaking up the phases of the lift, you'll add an even greater level of difficulty.
But that'll defeat the purpose of what you're trying to achieve, which is single-limb strength while keeping the midline engaged. It's a nice change from its dumbbell counterpart because of the placement of the load and the higher demand on the forearm flexors.
Because it's a globally demanding movement that's more challenging for the respiratory system than it is for local musculature. While it's “higher skill” than any of the other listed movements, the learning curve is still not nearly as long as its barbell counterpart.
And most people don't need to go into an excessive amount of spinal extension to gain range of motion, particularly at lockout. Additionally, the unilateral component is exactly what more people need anyway, so this version will actually strengthen your overhead press.
The biggest limiting factor with this exercise (which is almost why I decided NOT to share this one) is finding the right load. But if you do have access to a pair of lighter 'bells, this is an excellent version to train the top range of your bench press lockout while enhancing stabilization of the lats.
Plus it's a novel version of the one-arm row because of the placement of the load versus a standard dumbbell. This teaches you how to brace and create 360 degrees of tension, which is paramount to staying safe with big lifts like the squat and dead lift.
In this case, I've opted for the single-arm front rack carry simply because I see too many people do this incorrectly. When performing this unilaterally you can use the opposite hand to provide a tactile cue to keep the abs tight and turned on.
Whether your goal is strength and performance, or getting better at the “sport of fitness,” kettle bells have a variety of benefits. The fact that you can experience a novel stimulus during otherwise basic movements is important in avoiding stagnation.
It's also important in keeping you interested and excited to train each day. Make sure your elbow is tucked in to your chest, then press the weight directly up overhead.
Lower the weight by reversing the bell path and repeat the move. Expert tip “Many people get it wrong and let the bell travel too far out to the sides, which will limit the weight you can handle and the reps you can do,” says leading kettle bell coach Mike Mahler.
Make sure the bell handle is at a 45° angle pressing into your palm to help further the mind-body connection for the most efficient form possible.” But the smart way, says Mahler, is to use the same weight but perform a version of the exercise that’s more challenging, such as the bottom-up kettlebellpress.
When you have a strong foundation in technique, you can go into new weight territories and not worry about getting injured.” If you can’t control the kettle bell, you either have weak wrists or are trying to press in an inefficient path.
Photography: Glen Burrows; Models: Sean Merrill, Daniel Ventura So how did the early fathers of strength — men like Sand ow, Hackenschmidt, and Saxon — build such impressive upper bodies?
Pavel Tsatsouline wrote in Enter the Kettle bell that, “…if you work your overhead presses hard, you will hardly need to do anything else for your upper body.” Looking at the Herculean torsos and shoulders of the strongmen of yesteryear it would seem to be correct. The kettlebellpress is unlike a normal barbell or dumbbell press.
With the weight of the bell resting against the back of your arm, a kettle bell is always trying to pull you out of your groove and into a potentially dangerous position. I’ve always thought of this as a two-for-one bonus deal kind of thing because it means when I press a kettle bell I am getting a great shoulder stability workout as my rotator cuff has to work overtime to counteract these forces.
So step one in a successful heavy press is a solid and consistent clean. One of the biggest mistakes I see people make as they bell arrives in the rack is to let it knock some air out of them.
Imagine someone trying to knock you over as they walk past — tense your body the exact same way. In this position — a standing plank — you will be tight with legs locked, abs and glutes switched on, and body rigid.
Letting your forearm go out of vertical increases the torque at the shoulder if it goes backwards or causes your arm to be caved in by the bell lying on top of it. Because of the need to keep the forearm vertical the upper arm needs to open out a bit to allow this to happen.
But all of a sudden we get to the press, and they revert to their inner bodybuilder and think it’s a shoulder exercise. Imagine trying to suck your shoulder blade on the working side down into the opposite hip pocket and keeping it there during the duration of the press.
When trying to get my groove, particularly with a new bell, bigger than one I’ve been used to training with, I like to perform a bottoms up press with an appropriate sized bell that makes a single rep difficult. I find this reminds me of good mechanics and how to develop tension.
After a short break I go straight to my new bell and try to get that same feeling of tension and alignment. The single rep gives you a high level of neural activation and actually makes completing a set of five immediately after easier, allowing you to use a heavier weight which in turn leads to more strength and muscle gain.
If you follow the drills above and take your time you’ll build a strong press and an upper body to make Sand ow jealous. Up until 45 years ago, the overhead military press was actually the third event in Olympic weightlifting, along with the snatch and the clean and jerk.
The military press was considered the main yardstick for measuring strength. They didn’t even know what the rotator cuff was, and, in fact, there is no mention of it in the kinesiology textbooks of that time.
In the bench press, the shoulder blades are locked in an abducted and depressed position, which inhibits the action of the serrated anterior muscle. This is because the serrated anterior muscle is responsible for the protraction, as well as the rotation and elevation, of the scapula, which is exactly the opposite of what happens during the execution of the bench press.
Not surprisingly, the serrated anterior muscle is activated when the shoulder blades can move freely during the overhead press movements. Our goal is to become strong in an absolute sense, and remain so for a long time.
Rather, you are really strong when your strength can be useful in a variety of endeavors, it protects you from injuries, and it allows you to do what you like, for a long time. The kettle bell pressed overhead from the rack position helps the shoulders to stay packed and move according to optimal biomechanics.
This enables an optimal lockout overhead, and thereby helps to develop strong and healthy shoulders. In deeply studying the kettle bell military press, I have concluded that it represents an excellent choice when it comes to transfer to the bench press, as it allows the practitioner to cover the entire range of motion of an overhead press, and it involves in totality, thanks to the lockout, the muscles of the upper back, including the para-scapular muscles and those of the rotator cuff.
I believe the kettle bell military press is essential for the harmonious development and coordination of the shoulder joint district. There are three factors that make the kettle bell military press the best way to develop overhead strength:
This is totally different from what happens with dumbbells and offers unique advantages in regard to the joint’s health. A sample of ten athletes participated in the study, some of them students of the University of Rome “For Italics,” Sums.
The subjects, all coming from the world of strength, were instructed by me until they could perform a strict military press for 5-8 reps with a given kettle bell size. By strict, I mean a modality that meets all the SFG standards of the military press.
The press program that the subjects followed involved rep ladders, with a volume that increased every week. By the fifth week, during the heavy session, they had to perform a total of 150 military presses.
In fact, as we all know, the meaning of life is press heavy weights overhead,” right? We must feel good, be happy, and continue to cultivate our passions in a healthy environment.
Enjoying our time practicing our kettle bell military press is one way to achieve these objectives. If you are around online forums, social media, and fitness blogs, you may have heard this: “Yeah, who doesn’t need a he...
Gilda Flaming is an SFG Level I Instructor and a powerlifting athlete with the Form Club Team of Mona. She is a former professional swimmer and distance runner, and is a member of the Italian law enforcement.
She has trained with the greatest athletes in swimming and distance running, and she now studies strength in all its forms. The kettlebellpress is a popular workout technique used to strengthen and build muscle in your deltoid, upper pectorals, and triceps.
Every well-balanced training program should incorporate an overhead press in some manner, and kettle bells are a great piece of equipment to utilize in your workout. Watch as Kettle bell Kings trainer Mike Salem and our good friend Justin Andrews from Mind Pump Media break down the essentials for a high-quality kettlebellpress.
In their training experience, Mike and Justin have seen a number of people fail to maximize the use of their muscles and put themselves at risk by using the incorrect form. Justin notes that some bodybuilders perform a “half- press,” in which the arm is only half-extended above the head, in an attempt to better isolate certain muscles, but this variation is not necessary and may even be less effective overall.
By utilizing the correct form for your press, you not only work these muscle groups but you also generate a safer movement that reduces the risk of injury. Although this is the standard position, you also have a range of angles you can place your arm in that isolate different parts of the upper body and allow you to perform more repetitions.
A 16-kilogram (35 lb) “competition kettle bell Arthur Saxon with a kettle bell, cover of The Text Book of Weight-Lifting (1910)The Russian girl (, plural girl) was a type of metal weight, primarily used to weigh crops in the 18th century. They began to be used for recreational and competition strength athletics in Russia and Europe in the late 19th century.
The birth of competitive kettle bell lifting or Gregory sport ( ) is dated to 1885, with the founding of the “Circle for Amateur Athletics” ( ). Russian girl are traditionally measured in weight by Food, corresponding to 16.38 kilograms (36.1 lb).
The English term kettle bell has been in use since the early 20th century. Similar weights used in Classical Greece were the halter, comparable to the modern kettle bell in terms of movements.
Variants of the kettle bell include bags filled with sand, water, or steel shot. By their nature, typical kettle bell exercises build strength and endurance, particularly in the lower back, legs, and shoulders, and increase grip strength.
The basic movements, such as the swing, snatch, and the clean and jerk, engage the entire body at once, and in a way that mimics real world activities such as shoveling or farm work. Unlike the exercises with dumbbells or barbells, kettle bell exercises involve large numbers of repetitions in the sport, and can also involve large reps in normal training.
Kettle bell exercises are in their nature holistic; therefore they work several muscles simultaneously and may be repeated continuously for several minutes or with short breaks. This combination makes the exercise partially aerobic and more similar to high-intensity interval training rather than to traditional weight lifting.
In a 2010 study, kettle bell enthusiasts performing a 20-minute snatch workout were measured to burn, on average, 13.6 calories/minute aerobically and 6.6 calories/minute anaerobically during the entire workout — “equivalent to running a 6-minute mile pace”. When training with high repetitions, kettle bell progression should start out slowly to build muscle endurance, support the joints and prevent injury.
Like movements performed with any exercise tool, they can be dangerous to those who have back or shoulder problems, or a weak core, when performed without proper education and progression. They can offer improved mobility, range of motion, agility, cardio vascular endurance, mental toughness and increased strength.
The following is a list of common exercises that are uniquely suited to the kettle bell for one reason or another. A kettle bell exercise that combines the lunge, bridge and side plank in a slow, controlled movement.
Keeping the arm holding the bell extended vertically, the athlete transitions from lying supine on the floor to standing, and back again. As with the other slow exercises (the windmill, get-up, and halo), this drill improves shoulder mobility and stabilization.
It starts lying on the ground with the kettle bell over the shoulder in a straight arm position, as in the top of a floor press, but with the other arm along the floor straight overhead. The trainee then gradually turns their body away from the kettle bell until they are lying partially on their front.
The kettle bell is held hanging in one arm and moved smoothly around the body, switching hands in front and behind. Also called a front leg pass, this is a backward lunge, circling the bell around the front leg, returning to the standing position, and repeating.
Like the slingshot, but the bell is swung forward until the arms are parallel to the ground. Starting with the bell in the rack, the bell is pushed away to the side slightly, the swung down to the other side in front of the body, and reversed back up into the rack.
A variation of the press where the other arm assists by pushing open palm against the ball. Stand on one leg and hold the kettle bell with the opposite arm.
By then lowering and raising the kettle bell you can work stabilization and power. A press utilizing a bent-leg windmill position to lift heavier weight than is otherwise possible.
One bell is rowed to the chest while maintaining the plank position, then returned to the ground and repeated with the other arm. Alternatively performed with a single kettle bell, one arm at a time.
This requires more control than an ordinary push up and results in a greater range of motion. Feet may be elevated to increase the difficulty, until the trainee is performing a handstand push-up on the kettle bells.
In any movement involving the rack or overhead position, the kettle bell can be held with the ball in an open palm (sometimes called the waiter hold) for a greater stabilization challenge, or for even more precise control and added grip challenge, the bottom-up hold, squeezing the kettle bell by the handle upside-down. Holding a single kettle bell in the rack position bottom-up with two hands (“by the horns”) makes for goblet exercise variants.
Conventional swing: The kettle bell is swung from just below the groin to somewhere between the upper abdomen and shoulders, with arms straight or slightly bent, the degree of flexion depends on the trajectory of the kettle bell. Hang clean: The kettle bell is held in the rack position (resting on the forearm in the crook of the elbow, with the elbow against the chest), lowered to below the knees, and then thrust back up in to the rack.
The kettle bell is held in one hand, lowered to behind the knees via hip hinge, swung to an overhead position and held stable, before repeating the movement. Jerk: As a push press, but with two dips, for more leg assistance (as in the barbell clean and jerk) Thruster: A rack squat with a press at the top using momentum from the squat.
Pistol squat: A single-leg squat with one leg held straight in front parallel to the ground, holding the bell in the goblet or rack position. An easier variant for those with less hip mobility is to perform the squat parallel to a step or ledge, so that the foot of the free leg can dip beneath the pushing leg at the bottom.
Carry: Walking with the kettle bell held in various positions, such as suitcase, rack, goblet, or overhead. Row: While bent over anywhere from 45 degrees to parallel with the ground, the kettle bell is held hanging from a straight arm, pulled up to the hips or laterally, and lowered again.
Keeping the bell arm vertical, the upper body is bent to one side and rotated until the other hand is touching the floor. The single kettle bell version is called the suitcase walk.
These build grip strength while challenging your core, hips, back and traps. The kettle bell is swung from just below the groin to somewhere between the upper abdomen and shoulders, with arms straight or slightly bent, the degree of flexion depends on the trajectory of the kettle bell.
The key to a good kettle bell swing is effectively thrusting the hips, not bending too much at the knees, and sending the weight forwards, as opposed to squatting the weight up, or lifting with the arms. The one-arm swing presents a significant anti-twisting challenge, and can be used with an alternating catch switching between arms.
Within those variations there are plenty more variations, some are, but not limited to: pace, movement, speed, power, grip, the direction of thumb, elbow flexion, knee flexion. The kettle bell has more than 25 grips that can be employed, to provide variety, challenge different muscles, increase or decrease complexity, and work on proprioception.
Competitive lifter (Greek) performing jerk with 32 kg kettle bells (rack position). Contemporary kettle bell training is represented basically by five styles. Hard style has its roots in powerlifting and Gj-rykarate training, particularly hobo undo concepts.
With emphasis on the “hard” component and borrowing the concept of time, the Hard style focuses on strength and power and duality of relaxation and tension. Gregory, sometimes referred to as the fluid style in comparison to the Hard style, represents the training regimen for the competitive sport of kettle bell lifting, focusing on strength endurance.
Juggling is a training style where the practitioner releases and catches the kettle bell with all manner of spins and flips around the body. Kettle bell training is extremely broad and caters to many goals, some being, but not limited to: mobility, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, strength, speed and power.
The sport can be compared to what the CrossFit Games is to CrossFit, however, the sport has been much longer in existence, and is only recently gaining more popularity worldwide, with women participating as well. One such example being Valerie Wazowski, who at age 52, was the first US female lifter in the veteran age category to achieve Master of Sport in 24 kg Kettle bell Long Cycle.
^ , «» . « » “ ”, 22 August 2016 (with period photographs).
21 (1908), p. 505: “PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE USING SCHMIDT'S Celebrated 'MONARCH' DUMB-BELL, BAR BELL AND KETTLE BELL SYSTEM”; also spelled KETTLE-BELLS (with hyphen) in a 1910 advertisement for the “Automatic Exerciser”) ^ a b c Rathbone, Andy (2009-01-04). “The kettle bell way: Focused workouts mimic the movements of everyday activities”.
Blast Fat & Build Strength With Innovative Equipment!” Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies 15 (2011): 542-544 ^ a b Iv ill, Laura (2008-11-22).
“Exclusive ACE research examines the fitness benefits of kettle bells” (PDF). Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies 15 (2011): 125-127 ^ Kettle bell Swing Vs. High Pull”.
^ “The Kettle bell Clean, Stop Banging Your Wrists | The Complete Guide”. You should care about this topic because the kettlebellpress is simply a safer and more efficient way to press heavyweight overhead.
When I learned the nuances of this movement, I can’t tell you how much of a difference it made, not only in my pressing strength, but in my overall shoulder health. I’ll explain this movement’s unique distinctions so you can discover the key benefits, as I have.
First, we need to address the prevalence of shoulder injuries with resistance exercise in general. Soft tissue injuries (injuries to the rotator cuff, biceps tendon, and PEC major), acromioclavicular disorders, instability, dislocations, mobility restrictions, and nerve injuries can occur with strength training and have been reported in research on resistance exercise.
However, the vast majority of strength-training related injuries can be avoided by focusing on proper techniques, improving muscle imbalances, maintaining or improving shoulder joint mobility, and avoiding stressful joint positions such as the high-five position (we’ll discuss this momentarily). The kettle bell rack is a more optimal resting or starting position to press from.
Finally, when pressing with the kettle bell, you are free to move and adjust the plane of motion, which is not as restrictive as with the barbell. Believe me, I love overhead pressing with a barbell, but it is different from the more natural movement you can perform with the kettle bell.
The plane of the scapula (POS) is the normal resting position of the scapula on the posterior aspect of the rib cage (the shoulder blade resting on the back of the ribs). The scapula (shoulder blade) sits in a position that is approximately 30 to 45 degrees anterior to the frontal plane.
In other words, your shoulder is in an optimal position when you raise your arm (or in this case, perform a press). The natural resting position of the scapula, which is 30 to 45 degrees anterior to the frontal plane.
Soft tissue injuries, such as PEC major ruptures, have been reported to occur most often in the high-five position. This position also stresses other anterior structures and the capsule in the shoulder joint.
You use full-body tension to increase stability between the ground and the kettle bell (or any other tool) to generate more force production. Once again, you can certainly “wedge” with a barbell or a dumbbell, but the shape and design of the kettle bell make it different from the other tools.
If you try this and compare the feeling between a dumbbell and a kettle bell, you’ll see exactly what I mean. This small difference enables a stronger and more efficient overhead press.
The tool design, the natural movement in the plane of the scapula, and the wedging effect make the kettlebellpress a unique variation. You can do anything you want, but it’s a lot more comfortable and efficient to press with a kettle bell compared to other tools.
M. Older, et al. Shoulder Injuries Attributed To Resistance Training: A Brief Review,” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, June 2010, Volume 24, No 6, pp. Martin Kelly and William Clark, Orthopedic Therapy of the Shoulder.
Scott Marcella, MPT, CSS, SFG II, NFL, ISSN, Saw, CA CWC. With over thirty years of unique experiences, he currently coaches kettle bell and Weightlifting techniques to small groups in South Florida.