Kettlebell Kings Blog

Kettlebell Kings Texas Open 2018

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Apr 24, 2018 12:09:51 PM

The Kettlebell Kings Texas Open is back!

Learn about the 2018 Texas Open and come visit us in Austin, Texas for the chance to compete, win prizes and work with kettlebell lifters from all over the world!

We are excited to host our Kettlebell Kings Texas Open event September 1-2, 2018 at Ignite Fitness in Austin, Texas (more details below). This will be our fourth year working with Texas Kettlebell Academy to put on a great event. The Kettlebell Sport competition will have something for everyone! We have heats designed for beginning lifters all the way to those who compete on the world stage. You can find more and register for the event here as well as learn more below.

Lifters will be able to compete in all Kettlebell Sport style lifts, you can plan your schedule around our event schedule here.  If you have any questions about attending the event, contact us at info@kettlebellkingstexasopen.com.

Watch footage of the first ever Kettlebell Kings Challenge below. Also, if you would like to start training for the event to compete. We do have a FREE 4 week training program you can learn about here

Learn More About The Texas Open!

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Topics: Kettlebell Kings Texas Open

Kettlebell Foundations: Hardstyle Kettlebell Snatch

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Apr 16, 2018 2:11:24 PM

Kettlebell Kings Hard Style Series: Kettlebell Snatch 

By Doug Fioranelli

On to another dynamic and fun kettlebell exercise: the Kettlebell Snatch.  Our Kettlebell Kings Hardstyle Series has built up nicely to this point starting with:  the deadlift, squat,  overhead press and all of the kettlebell swing variations.  In the last installment we learned a great dynamic movement called the clean where you bring the swing into the rack position and from there decide what movement you go to next.  Another great dynamic kettlebell exercise is the Snatch and we are going to cover that here in this article and video. 

Proper Set Up and Patterning:

The kettlebell snatch has the lifter transitioning from the swing directly into the overhead lockout position.  This is a great exercise for power development, grip strength and cardiovascular enhancement.  To perform a successful Hardstyle Kettlebell Snatch it is necessary to have a strong 1-arm kettlebell swingand good shoulder mobility and strength that come from training your overhead press.   

The Hardstyle version of the kettlebell snatch uses a powerful and rigid pattern, where the trajectory of the 1-arm swing and kettlebell  stays nearly straight up and down in the sagittal plane.  Like I mentioned earlier; to perform a proper kettlebell snatch it’s important to have a good 1-arm swing and overhead press along with these technical points below:

Set up for a 1-arm swing where the bell is in front of you in a triangle in reference to your feet

Hike the kettlebell into a backswing where the bell is close to your body and above the knees

As you begin the upward portion of the swing: squeeze your glutes to generate power so the kettlebell will travel upward beyond parallel to the floor

As the kettlebell travels upward, slightly retract your shoulder blade and elbow as if you wanted to pull the bell behind your head.  This will change the trajectory of the bell so it does not pull your arm backwards in an arc

It is important that you do not have a tight grip on the handle throughout the movement.  After the slight high pull, when the bell is near your head, punch through the handle with an open hand to bring the bell to the top position.  If you do it right the kettlebell will rest smoothly on the back of your forearm and you will be settled in the top of a press position

When bringing the bell back down to perform another snatch repetition: keep the kettlebell close to your body by dropping the wrist forward (like shooting a basketball free-throw) and letting the upper arm and elbow collapse into the backswing.  You to not want to cast the kettlebell forward and away from your body or else the kettlebell will be too low (below the knees) in the backswing which can potentially wrench your low back

Don’t get discouraged if the description sounds a bit too daunting.  Like all the other Hardstyle tutorials I have done, there are a few drills to help make you a kettlebell snatch expert in no time. 

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Topics: Kettlebell Foundations

Natural Press Overview

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Apr 13, 2018 5:32:57 PM

We are excited to have Dave Whitley contribute this piece on the Natural Press. Dave has been training with kettlebells longer than most, written on kettlebell movements and performs as Strongman feats across the world. (pictured right, photo credit: http://rdellatraining.com/ )

By Dave Whitley: 

If you have been lifting kettlebells for very long, you are probably familiar with the strict one arm press or Military press. For this lift, the body remains almost completely still and the weight is lifted from the rack to an overhead lockout.

Many people have also heard of the Bent Press.  For this lift, the weight remains pretty still, at the same distance from the floor and the body moves into a bent over position with a locked elbow. More weight can be put overhead with on hand by this technique than any other method.

If we look at these as two ends of a continuum, we have several choices of overhead pressing variations in between. One of the most powerful is the Natural press, which is term I picked up from strongman Bud Jeffries. In the natural press, we see elements of the bent press, side press, push press and military press. The guiding principle of this lift is to find where YOUR body and YOUR individual anatomy can move the most weight. 

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Topics: kettlebell press

Functional Bodybuilding Part 3 - Awaken Training Series

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Apr 4, 2018 1:00:30 PM

Workout 3 - Awaken Training Series 3.0 

By Marcus Filly: 

We are coming to you today with a representative workout from Awaken Training Series 3.0. As with the previous two workouts we released to you, we have made some edits to the exercises by changing the loading implement to a kettlebell. What can be done with a dumbbell or barbell can often be done with a kettlebell with equal or more potent stimulus. The emphasis in this session today is primarily upper body pushing. There is some single leg knee flexion work to challenge mobility and hip stability, as well as one of our "intensity" conditioning workouts that is meant to be done as fast as you can with quality movements on the kettlebells. I hear often that people are concerned to push themselves cardiovascularly when doing weight training. The truth is that when the respiratory rate gets elevated and blood pressure is up from moving under fatigue, there are new methods of bracing and core engagement that take place to achieve movements that under a non-fatigue setting wouldn't turn on. It is a great way to add something new to your training periodically. 

Warm Up

 3 Sets, rest as needed between sets

10-12 WALL FACING HANDSTAND SCAP PUSH-UPS

  

10m Goblet Duck Walk

 

10 Kettlebell Windshield Wipers 

 

The warm up above is definitely one that is aimed at some hip and scapular engagement, along with some good rotational core work. Both set you up well for the session ahead. 

 

READ MORE BELOW!

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Topics: Marcus Fily, Functional Bodybuilding

Kettlebell Kings Review by Strength Matters

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Mar 16, 2018 10:30:53 AM

We were honored recently when the team from Strength Matters reached out to us asking to try out our Powder Coat Kettlebells. Strength Matters is one of the preeminent training organizations in the world and works quite a bit with kettlebells.  Founders of Strength Matters were some of the earliest recognized kettlebell trainers in Europe.

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Topics: Kettlebell Review, Strength Matters

When Kettlebell Snatches Bite Back

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Mar 4, 2018 7:51:08 PM

By : John Schaser (Health Alchemist)

Chalk hits your skin; your senses immediately sharpen and begin to tingle. Your hands meet the cold tactile sensation of the kettlebell handle and the muggy smell of gym rubber and sweat swarm your nostrils. Adrenaline kicks in and the tunnel vision begins… Oh yeah baby, another workout is going to get demolished! You’re swinging steel like a champ – hitting new PRs and witnessing strength gains. Your love for the kettlebell is fanatical, and nothing in the world could separate you from your iron friend. Everything in your body is firing better than a well-oiled ’69 Chevelle SS big block, until…SNAP! Something in your shoulder makes a very unappealing noise and the killer workout you were about to do is halted by an injury. Pain begins to flood your shoulder as anger and frustration fill your mind.

Here’s something everyone can agree on: injuries suck. So let’s make sure this scenario never becomes a reality for those of you reading this article. The shoulder is a crucial joint for nearly any activity in life. Yet, many of us do not have a fully functioning shoulder capsule. Here lies the problem: if you cannot fully lift your arm(s) overhead without tilting the ribcage or overextending the spine, you are risking injury by performing a snatch or overhead press. To address this problem, I am going to give you the prerequisites to building bulletproof shoulders and avoiding injury. Let us begin, shall we?

Mobility is when a joint is able to move through its full range of motion without signs of pain or resistance. For example, taking the shoulder through a full range, pain-free arm circle. Below is a 3-step mobility regimen that will open the shoulder joint to a full overhead position, build control throughout the newly opened range of motion, and stabilize the new overhead position.

STEP #1. Open the shoulder’s range of motion (ROM) to simulate the overhead and snatch position.

Warm Up:

Straight Bar Hangs: 30 sec - 1 min holds (if 30 seconds is too challenging, just hold as long as you can).

Hanging is very beneficial because it relieves compression of the tissues in the shoulders and will stretch the arch of ligament and bone covering the rotator cuff and subacromial bursa*.

*CA Arch (Kirsch M.D., John M.. Shoulder Pain? The Solution & Prevention: Fourth Edition (p. 18). Bookstand Publishing).

Now that we have warmed up, it’s time to open the shoulder to a new range of motion. We will be stretching the tissues restricting the shoulder, while teaching the nervous system to control the new range in a lengthened AND shortened overhead position. If you have difficulty raising your arm overhead without compensating by tilting the ribcage or overextending the spine, do not skip this next exercise!

Exercise #1: Push/Pull Stretch Sets

  1. Find an elevated object that is roughly a few inches higher than your navel. This could be a bar on a rack, plyo box, countertop, etc.
  2. Begin by hinging at the hips and placing both extended arms palms down onto the object. This should simulate the overhead position. Passively stretch for about 2 minutes. 
  3. Next, contract all the muscles in the upper body and drive force downward into the elevated object. Be sure to keep arms straight and back flat.
    1. You should feel as if you are driving the object down into the ground. Continue to drive force downward for 12-20 seconds or until fatigue begins to dampen the contraction.
  4. Once you complete the hold, immediately reverse the movement by retracting your shoulder blades and pull your arms behind your head. The shoulders should be contracting to hold the position and the chest will dip slightly downward.
    1. Continue contracting and pulling the arms back for 12-20 seconds or until fatigue begins to dampen the contraction.
  5. After you complete the contraction, hold the newly opened range for a total of 1-2 minutes, passively stretching and breathing into the position.
  6. Repeat for 2 rounds.

 

Reminder: Avoid overextending the spine and dipping the chest too low. Let your focus of the movement stay within the shoulders, not the back.

Read More Below!

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Topics: Stretching

Functional Bodybuilding Part 2 - Awaken Training Series

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Feb 19, 2018 5:44:10 PM

Our series on workouts with a kettlebell flavor from Awaken Training Series, a 12-week online Functional Bodybuilding program with Marcus Filly, continues below.

Workout 2 - Awaken Training Series 2.0 

Awaken Training Series 2.0 progresses from the 1.0 program with some additional splits and movement pairings. In today's example session we are hammering the legs and the posterior chain. We begin with a warm up that is time focused. In an Every Minute On the Minute (EMOM) format like this you begin a clock and perform a new exercise at the top of every minute for 3 minutes and then repeat for 4 cycles. The total time on the warm up is 12mins. On the first minute you perform 5 Single Leg Kettlebell Romanian Deadlifts per leg. Whatever time there is remaining in that first minute you will rest until beginning the second minute movement. After minute 3 is complete you return back to minute 1 and so on until 12 minutes or 4 cycles are complete. This will get your hips and core to wake up!

If this is your first time reading a post in this series, make sure to check out Part 1.

Kettlebell Kings is excited to have Marcus Filly contribute a four part series for our followers about functional bodybuilding with a focus on kettlebells. Marcus has competed at the CrossFit Games six times, three times as an individual (2016 12th fittest) and three times as a team member (2012 6th fittest team). Marcus can be found at his website here: https://revival-strength.com and social media @marcusfilly and @functional.bodybuilding

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Warm Up

Every Minute on the Minute for 12 minutes, In an Every Minute On the Minute (EMOM) format like this you begin a clock and perform a new exercise at the top of every minute for 3 minutes and then repeat for 4 cycles. The total time on the warm up is 12mins. 

  1. 5 Single Leg KB Romanian Deadlifts per Leg
  2. 30 Seated Banded Hip Abductions
  3. 20 second Kettlebell Side Plank per side

 

1st - 5 Single leg KB Romanian Deadlifts per leg

  

2nd - 30 seated banded hip abductions

we have resistance bands here if you do not have any 

 

3rd - 20sec kettlebell side plank - 20 seconds per side

 

 

In the following two super sets we are using some very slow tempos, and the time under tension in these movements will limit your loads. A knee flexion movement coupled with a hinging exercise is a great way to pre-fatigue the legs, thereby making the posterior chain work that much harder in the hinging movements. Start light and stick to the tempos closely. 

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Superset:

Reminder on how to read these tempo prescriptions:

Each number represents the total number of seconds to complete the contraction or hold the isometric. 

(Example - 3331)

  • 1st Digit - Eccentric
  • 2nd Digit - Bottom Position
  • 3rd Digit - Concentric
  • 4th Digit - Top Position
"X" - means to move as fast as possible.  

A1. Duel Kettlebell rack Squat;  tempo 3331; 6,6,6,6 reps; rest 30sec 

  

A2. Staggered Stance Kettlebell Deadlift; tempo 2020; 4-6 reps per leg x 4 sets; rest 3mins  

 

Read below for a tough super Set!

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Topics: Marcus Fily, Functional Bodybuilding

The Resurgence Of the Kettlebell

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Feb 12, 2018 11:44:02 AM

In the words of Jerry Seinfield, "What's the deal with all these kettlebells?". When you run a kettlebell internet business you encounter all types of people commenting on the content you put out. As awesome as kettlebells are, some people still do not get it. To paraphrase a recent comment on one of our posts, kettlebells disappeared for a reason! Dumbbells are the way of the future!

Well did they? Kettlebells are insanely useful and it would be hard to find an expert who believes otherwise these days.  One of the reasons we started the business is because kettlebell just made sense to us. We all had athletic backgrounds and could immediately see the effectiveness and non-fad like qualities compared to a 7 minute abs scheme.

I first read about The Lindy Effect in a book by Nassim Taleb. The Lindy Effect says the life expectancy of some non-perishable items, like kettlebells, is proportional to their current age. So every additional period of survival says there should be longer life expectancy. With that understood, we believe kettlebells should be around or a long time and should outlast most fitness equipment.

For those who are curious, we recently wrote about the resurgence of the Kettlebell and some history about the kettlebell for Ben Greenfield's blog. You can read our post on his site through the button below!

Read About The Resurgence!

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Topics: Ben Greenfield, Kettlebell History

Kettlebell Foundations: Hardstyle Kettlebell Clean

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Feb 8, 2018 8:52:23 PM

We are excited to continue our popular Kettlebell Foundations series for those getting acquainted with kettlebells. Doug Fioranelli is the owner of Rise Above Performance Training® where he uses personal, progressive programming to increase his athletes’ performance and reduce their risk for injury.  Since 2001, he has assisted many people with their strength training, conditioning and athletic rehabilitation including: adult clients, police, fire, military professionals, and athletes from middle school to the Professional level. If this is your first reading one of our Kettlebell Foundations posts, we recommend starting at Part 1 here

Sign up for his free monthly newsletter at his website and receive two free eBooks and browse through numerous training articles and videos.

By Doug Fioranelli

Our Hardstyle Kettlebell Series is coming together nicely and, by now, you should have some good practice with your foundational strength lifts including:  the deadlift, squat, and overhead press.  Hopefully, too, you have also been practicing all the variations of the dynamic kettlebell swings because now it is time to get into the fun exercises starting first with one of my favorites; the clean. 

Proper Set Up and Patterning:

Technically speaking, the clean is a movement that brings the kettlebell dynamically from the swing into the rack position.  From this rack position you can do a number of different movement combinations like: squat, lunge, overhead press, do multiple cleans and even rest for a few breaths.   

The good news is you have all the prerequisites to complete a nice hardstyle clean; a swing and a rack position.  There is a bit of a learning curve to it, however.  We are used to performing the 1-arm swing where the upper arm moves away from the body and the arm and kettlebell are parallel to the floor.  For the clean we need to keep the upper arm close to the body as if the elbow was screwed into our side.  That way we keep the bell close and our clean will be smooth as butter.

To perform a proper clean, it’s important to have a good rack position and 1-arm swing:

Set up for a 1-arm swing where the bell is in front of you in a triangle in reference to your feet.

Hike the kettlebell into a backswing where the bell is close to your body and above the knees.

As you begin the upward portion of the swing: squeeze your glutes to generate power, keep your upper arm connected to your torso and slightly retract your shoulder to guide the kettlebell towards the racked position.

Make sure to receive the kettlebell in the racked position by sliding your hand through the handle and have your legs and hips locked out in a stable position.

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When bringing the bell back down to perform another clean: keep the upper arm connection to the torso and have the kettlebell remain close to your body during the backswing.  Because the swing arc is small, assist the kettlebell into the backswing using a little force so you have the elastic energy to perform multiple repetitions. 

Like I mentioned earlier, though the clean does utilize the 1-arm swing and rack position, the movement might be challenging at first and most likely will not be smooth until you have put your practice in.  Here are a few drills to achieve the perfect clean sooner rather than later. 

Read and watch more of the demonstration below!

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Topics: Kettlebell Foundations, Kettlebell Clean

Kettlebell Kings Now Offers Free Returns

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Feb 7, 2018 7:06:55 PM

Kettlebell Kings is excited to announce that we now offer Free Returns on all orders in the United States. We know that buying a piece of heavy equipment can be uneasy for some compared to being able to go into a store and pick up a kettlebell, that is why we have worked hard to acquire over 2,000 Five Star Reviews.  Some might wonder if it is the right weight for them or if they will like the kettlebell, but we are taking all of those concerns away for you and now offering Free Returns on all orders. A copy of our new returns policy is below! Here is a summary:

  • Free Returns on all orders in U.S
  • After receiving a kettlebell you can return any unused item within 7 days for any reason for Free and a refund

Kettlebell Shipping - Fast & Free

IT'S FAST! All orders ship the same day if ordered before 5PM CST, Monday - Friday. Weekend orders ship out Monday. All orders are shipped UPS ground unless requested, we ship out of Austin, Texas which means the majority of customers receive their order in 3-5 business days. We can ship to any address in the United States. All kettlebells are guaranteed in pristine condition or replaced. We double and triple box our shipments to ensure protection as well as send email and text updates about shipping status so you can track the order the whole time. Note that there are restrictions on some products, and some products cannot be shipped to international destinations. If you are outside of the United States you can select your country by clicking on the flag button in the top right corner of your screen. Select your country, you will then view our site in your currency and get accurate shipping quotes at checkout.  Unfortunately, we are unable to apply our free shipping policy to Alaska and Hawaii. We would love to, it is simply cost prohibitive because of the weight. You can still create a normal checkout on our website and apply shipping cost. 

Kettlebells Shipping to Canada - No Duties or Taxes

All shipments to Canada are free. We apply our same shipping policies as above. Shipments are free, fast and ship same day from Austin, Texas. You are not responsible for any duties or taxes for orders in Canada!

Kettlebell Returns Policy - Fast & Free!

You may return new, unused items within 10 days of delivery for a full refund. We will also pay the return shipping costs on the returns because we are so confident you will love your new kettlebell(s). If you do not like your kettlebell or wish to exchange it for another, we will incur the return shipping for you on your first exchange. If you ordered the wrong size or wish to exchange it, we will incur the return shipping, free to you on one exchange!  

If you return the bell and do not want another you should expect to receive your refund within four weeks of giving your package to the return shipper, however, in many cases you will receive a refund more quickly. This time period includes the transit time for us to receive your return from the shipper (5 to 10 business days), the time it takes us to process your return once we receive it (3 to 5 business days), and the time it takes your bank to process our refund request (5 to 10 business days).

If you need to return an item, simply login to your account, view the order using the "Complete Orders" link under the My Account menu and click the Return Item(s) button. We'll notify you via e-mail of your refund once we've received and processed the returned item.

Any claims of defect or products that do not meet your standards must be made within 30 days of purchase. We will work closely with you to assess the product and help you get the product you need within the 30 day window. Just email images of the damage to info@kettlebellkings.com and we will take care of you.

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Topics: Free Returns