Kettlebell Instructional Videos

     Today I'm going over the basics of the Hip Hinge in Kettlebell Work. The Hip Hinge revolves around the Swing and Deadlift, along with their many variations. The take away points are: straight back, slight bend in the knees, and drive from the hips, not the lower back. If you are feeling most of the work in your back, then check your form. Odds are that you are driving forward from the back and letting your shoulder blades get loose at the bottom of the position.

     Here I show some ways of making the KB Swing more dynamic and intense. The banded swing can be performed with any size bell of resistance band. Just make sure that you are keeping proper form throughout the set for safety. The pulling swing will add a lot of resistance at the bottom of the exercise, but not at the top. This can also be used with any weight kettlebell and is a great way to increase the resistance without stopping the set.

     In this video I demonstrate the double KB swing and the Skier swing. Both of these variations are great for the hip drive, but the resistance is coming from two different lines of pull. I suggest going lighter when the weight is to the outside of the body because the upper back and shoulders are spread out instead of squeezed together. Give them a try and let me know what you think.

     Here we go over the Romanian Deadlift (RDL) and the Suitcase deadlift. Both can be performed with two bells or a single bell for off-set exercise to work core stability. I will cover more off-set exercise in future videos.

     The Goblet Hold is one of the most functional positions for lifting. Far too often, people forget the functional part of training. From sports performance to general health, training to become more functional and efficient should be a main goal. Here we cover the Goblet Hold in a few different exercises such as the squat, lunge and step up, but there are many more to come in future videos.

     The swing to anterior raise works the deltoid and upper back in a dynamic and static exercise. The bottom of the swing makes the muscles stabilize throughout the range of motion while the top requires the muscles to control the out stretched arm. A normal rep is have a hold at the top for only a few seconds, but it can be held as long as needed

     Here I go over the the Racked position and briefly about the squat and lunge from this hold. Then we move into the more advanced variations of the Split Squat and the Short Lunge. Always protect your knees by not trying the advanced techniques until you have perfected the basics.

     The Turkish Get-Up is the most popular kettlebell exercise. This is mainly due to the difficult nature of the movement and the fact that, let's be honest, it looks pretty cool. Either way, if done correctly it becomes a beautiful masterpiece of torture and despair.

 

     The Turkish Get-Up (TGU) is a great functional exercise because it isn't really functional at all. It is the most efficient way to move a kettlebell from the flat press position to the standing overhead position, but you will rarely find a need for this movement in the real world. The benefits of the TGU is the synergy it demands from the body. The limbs must work together to get from point A to B and back. It improves balance, power, strength, proprioception, hand/limb coordination, internal pressure, mental fortitude, and the list goes on and on. So while it may not directly translate, it has a lot to offer everyone.

 

     Remember kids, the TGU looks cool when you go with the biggest bell, but no one looks good with a crushed skull.

     In this video I cover some more advanced techniques of the hip hinge. These variations require a great deal of flexibility and control. Do not rush the techniques; they are not intended for speed or high reps. Once you develop your technique and feel comfortable with the movement, feel free to increase the weight to a heavy set of six to eight at most and focus on maintaining internal pressure from the top of the position to the bottom.

     The racked position is one of my favorite training tools. It is the most functional hold and one of the most exhausting feats I have found. The hold itself will make you fight to breathe and restrict all movement both upper and lower body. I plan to cover this position extensively in the follow series. Here I cover the strict overhead press, see saw press, rack press, and rack push press.

     The row is a very powerful movement. The ability to pull yourself to an object, or vise versa, is essential for anyone with an active lifestyle. Here I cover some of the basic rows with kettlebell training. The Renegade Row is a more advanced version of the row because it requires full body muscle activation for tension and balance. The kettlebell itself will try to topple you off balance, so for beginners it may be best to start on hex dumbbells until you feel secure with your balance.

     The Clean is one of the best kettlebell exercises for handling heavy weight. I use the rack position in most heavy workouts to build a tolerance to getting crushed and build upper back and shoulder strength for control. When performed correctly, the clean is working both side of the coin. You are using your hips to both throw and catch the weight. The shoulders are forced to absorb the impact and control the weight until it is dumped back to the bottom position.

     The KB snatch is a very explosive movement utilizing the hip hinge. I suggest going very light to get the proper technique and not banging up your wrist too bad. The double snatch makes the movement much more intense due to the nature of the kettlebells moving to the outside on the way to the top position.

     Loaded Carries are extremely beneficial no matter your goal. The full body tension forces your limbs and midsection to fight to keep going. The kettlebell is a great tool to use with loaded carries because of the diversity of holds.

     Mobility is one of the most overlooked aspect in the fitness community. It is a lifesaver whenever you get tied up in a Jiu-Jitsu match or if things go wrong with a lift. Having mobile joints will help protect you from many injuries.

 

     The kettlebell, being the versatile tool that it is, is great for increasing mobility work as well. It helps to add some weight to the movements and allows you to sink deeper into the stretch. The prying squat and halos are great moves for beginners to start loosening up the body. Once you have found your balance and control, you can begin to move into the lateral lunge and shin box variation with light weight.

 

     Always try new exercises with light weight before moving to working weight to ensure proper form.

     The press is a stable movement in every training routine. Swapping the balanced barbell or dumbbell out for a kettlebell will add tension to the already challenging movement.

 

     These are a few of the flat or floor variations. To ensure constant tension on the pecs and triceps, I like to hover or barely touch my triceps to the floor between reps. The bridge press helps to get more of a decline bench feel and activates the hips and core for an extra tight squeeze.

 

     The wrester's bridge press is an advanced exercise. Use extreme caution when attempting the press. Make sure that your fundamentals of the wrestler's bridge are perfect before adding weight.

     These unconventional presses are for the true Gireviks out there. I would not suggest these exercises for those looking for easy kettlebell movements. While there are some risks involved, true form will always keep you safe.

     The Hip Popper is the bottom part of a Burpee. Here we add this movement to the Goblet Squat and Deadlift for a great metabolic exercise akin to the Burpee. I usually add these in with other body weight or light weight, high paced exercises as a circuit or a small superset.

     The lunge position is a way of eliminating the knee drive during exercises such as the clean and snatch. This adds more focus on the hips and core to move the weight from A to B.

 

     This is also a great exercise to add into full body flows.

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