Kettlebell Kings Blog

Kettlebell Science - Using Kettlebells To Prevent Common Injuries: Hamstrings

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Jun 10, 2017 11:00:00 AM

One of the benefits of kettlebell training is using kettlebells to strengthen specific parts of your body in order to prevent injuries. Kettlebells are unique in that you can isolate specific muscles with them or entire sections of your body.  Learning how to use kettlebells correctly is a great way to help prevent injuries to parts of the body by using kettlebells to focus on building specific muscle groups. 

We are working with Dr. Eric St-Onge (Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook ) to create a series of blog posts about how you can use kettlebells to prevent common injuries and learn some anatomy at the same time. Dr. Eric St-Onge has a very unique background in that he has experienced sports injury, rehabbed, gone to school for chiropractic and now he helps other people rehab through his knowledge, experience and approach to care. In addition, what makes his contribution to our blog so great is that he is a Kettlebell Sport athlete so he can speak first hand to how the body interacts with kettlebell training and the specific movements to help prevent commons injuries.

What is especially fascinating about this series is the explanation of the anatomy of the different muscles involved, shown in the video below. We look forward to bringing you this series and teaching you about preventing injuries as well as learning some anatomy along the way. 

Hamstring Injuries

Hamstring strains are one of the most common injuries in the athletic population. Having weaker hamstrings is shown to create higher risk for hamstring strains, so doing movements specifically to strengthen hamstrings is a great idea. Dr. St-Onge will be going over kettlebell movements designed to increase hamstring strength and therefore reduce injury. 

Hamstring Muscle Anatomy 

There are four main hamstring muscles, from inside to outside, semimembranosus, semitendinosus and biceps femoris (shown at 0:50 in video below). All of these muscle attach down to the shin bone. Three out of the four hamstring muscles work to extend the hip and flex the knee, while just one of the muscles only flexes the knee. The video below shows a detailed explanation of where each of the muscles are in the body.

Read More About The Movements To Strengthen the hamstrings below!

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Topics: Preventing Injuries, Kettlebell Science

New 33MM Handle Competition Kettlebell

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Jun 9, 2017 3:08:02 PM

We are excited to introduce our new 33mm handle competition kettlebell. Our goal as a company has always been to listen to lifter feedback and provide the kettlebells that lifters need. Since we have been in business there has always been a desire from some lifters to have a 33 millimeter handle. We believe we have released a kettlebell that a lot of lifters can support. We sent out samples of the prototype to a number of the top Kettlebell Sport and Team USA members and the support has been overwhelming. We are really happy with what some of the top lifters in the United States have had to say:

"The distribution of weight in the Kings new 33m model - at lockout and in rack - is very even, creating a comfortable stability unique to most bells on the market. The window allows for a quick, secure insertion, and the 33m handle allows for a solid grip even from smaller hands. I'm very happy with the quality of these bells!" - Melissa Swanson, 2xMSIC and North American Record Holder

We wanted to share some thoughts on what went into creating the new bell below as well as show you a video review by a member of Team USA. 

These competition style kettlebells have 33 millimeter handles compared to the 35 millimeter handles of our other competition kettlebells. These bells are ideal for someone who prefers a slightly smaller handle diameter for high repetition kettlebell workouts.  Just like all of our other bells, they have a lifetime warranty. Here are some of the highlights:

  • SAFETY, our competition kettlebells are specifically top-heavy molded with a thicker handle base and a greater percentage of load toward the top of the bell's body.  This ensures that the kettlebell does not pull the lifter's arm to the outside when overhead or in the rack (resting at waist level) yielding injury prevention and energy conservation.

 

  • CONES, enlarged cones on side angle of bell for greater comfort on hands, wrist and forearm in wrack and overhead position. Doug Seamans, who competes for Team USA in Kettlebell Sport shares his thoughts, "Now, the cone/ear, this is also a big deal because the more material can be cast into this area, the more comfortable it will be in rack and in overhead position, and the quicker you will feel insertion on the clean and snatch. But and even bigger deal about casting more material into this part of the bell is that it changes the center mass or balance of the bell. The more weight there is in the handle the less weight there will be in the body of the bell, thus bringing the center of the mass closer to your wrist which will keep your wrists from fatiguing early in your sets. Lastly, changing the center of the mass also changes the flip or rotational speed of the bell and the impact it has on your forearms and wrists, because the bell takes less energy to spin or flip in snatch and clean movements, you will again conserve energy and may gain some speed in those movements and you will fatigue less quickly.

HANDLE, TEARDROP SHAPE, the handle is modeled after Ural style bells with a 'teardrop' shaped handle which is 35mm from top to bottom and 33mm side to side. This is shape that more naturally fits in your hands. If you make the shape of your hand when it holds a bell it is not perfectly cylindrical, it is smaller side to side then it is top to bottom. In the video review below, Doug shares his thoughts on all of these items.  You can read and watch his full review HERE as well. 

Read & Watch The Full Review Here

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Topics: kettlebell types, kettlebell sport

Kettlebells For Power Lifting Part 3: Improving Deadlift With Kettlebell Swings

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Jun 8, 2017 2:23:00 PM

This is Part 3 in our series of kettlebell workouts to improve powerlifting. If this is your first time reading about the subject, we recommend you start with Part 1 here.  The kettlebell swing is what most lifters are first exposed to with kettlebell training. Speaking from experience, the kettlebell swing can add serious increases to your deadlift numbers. Over the course of about a month, deadlift max went from 405 to 455 without doing deadlifts and just focusing on kettlebell swings. This latest post covers the kettlebell swing in depth with the video demonstration and then goes back over an actual kettlebell training regimen you could do to improve your powerlifting numbers. Make sure to subscribe to future posts through the sign up form at the bottom of our post.

By Zack Henderson:

The 1RM deadlift and the kettlebell swing are at two ends of the same hip hinge spectrum.  Integrating the strength of lats, core and posterior chain is equally necessary for a heavy pull and a powerful ballistic.  In this way, the deadlift and swing are very complimentary to each other.  The plight of the powerlifter is living in a world where all hip hinges are hard grinds.  The quick, powerful nature of the swing helps to fill gaps in the hip hinge pattern - increasing strength while sparing the spine.

Swings can find a place in nearly any routine.  Due to the inherently light nature of swings, they may be trained at a higher frequency than deadlifts.  Try “power swings” in a low rep fashion once a week and 10 x 10 2-Handed swings 2-3x per week.

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Topics: Power Lifting

Kettlebell Workouts For Golf Part 2: Kettlebell Halo

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Jun 6, 2017 12:00:00 PM

We are excited to begin our series on kettlebell workouts for golf.  We will be covering kettlebell exercises that are designed to strengthen the muscles which help your golf game by hitting the ball further and having more control over the club path.  This is Part 2 in our 5 part series that will cover a number kettlebell movements which will improve your game, make sure to subscribe to notifications for when each new post is released by completing the form below.

We have collaborated on this series with Master of Sport, Mike Salemi (@kettlebelllifestyle) and Mind Pump Media (@mindpumpmedia), both are great follows on social media and full of knowledge about kettlebell and fitness. In order to prepare for this series, Mike Salemi went to the Titliest Performance Institute certification and completed his TPI certification which is designed to "teach professionals how to increase player performance through a deep understanding of how the body functions during the golf swing." (http://www.mytpi.com/certification).  14 of the last 17 Major Championships were won by golf professionals advised by a TPI certified expert. Combining the knowledge taught at TPI certifications with Mike's already indepth knowledge of the body and lifting will create an amazing series of posts designed to help improve your golf game as well as overall strength.

By Mike Salemi:

Kettlebell Halo for Golfers

What if I told you that one key to lowering your handicap involved a simple, quick exercise you can incorporate prior to any golf outing or conditioning program?  The Kettlebell Halo involves a single, light kettlebell for the purpose of warming up and increasing circulation within both shoulders, improving the fluidity and range of motion of your swing. The Kettlebell Halo is a circular based movement that takes the shoulder complex through a expansive range of motion, dynamically priming it for the demands that are soon to be placed upon it.1,2

Get More Golf Workouts & Expert Advice Here!

For the golfer, having mobile shoulders is critically important. Any time there is a restriction at one joint, there must be compensation at another - in this case, when shoulder range of motion is limited, to make up for it the spine will often be the compromising factor. Players with especially tight shoulders tend see issues arise in their swing mechanics while coiling, making it challenging to enter into a complete and optimal backswing.2  A few common swing faults we are likely to see in those golfers who lack overall movement quality of the shoulder complex are a loss of posture, early extension, and chicken winging - all of which change the quality and consistency of how you strike the ball.3   

 

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Topics: Kettlebell Movements, Golf

Kettlebells For Power Lifting Part 2: The Bench Press - Bottoms Up Press

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Jun 1, 2017 2:23:00 PM

This is Part 2 in our series of kettlebell workouts to improve powerlifting. If this is your first time reading about the subject, we recommend you read Part 1 here.  As previously mentioned, a lot of the great and most accomplished kettlebell lifters we have met since starting our business are former powerlifters.  We believe as workouts and strength building continue to evolve with each generation,  people who identify as a certain thing, i:e 'power lifter', 'kettlebell lifter' will fade away and there will continue to be more blending of different modalities to create better overall lifters and athletes. 

By Zack Henderson:

 

Shoulder Mobility & Stability

Mentioned in Part 1, you can read about the Bottoms Up Press below. The most common gym injury happens to the shoulders.  It's no wonder considering that not only are our postures compromised by hours of sitting and phone use, but shoulder issues get compounded when we go to the gym and do lots of pressing exercises. Pushing big weight with stiff, rounded shoulders is a recipe for disaster. 

The nature of the bench press presents two issues for shoulder health.  One, lying on a bench effectively forces the movement to be done with as little scapular motion as possible.  Two, the press requires a symmetrical movement from a (likely) asymmetrical base.  Nearly everybody has a shoulder that is more mobile or stiff than the other.    

Bench presses are perfectly safe in their own right, they simply present a risky environment for compromised shoulders.  To simultaneously give the shoulders some extra mobility and stability work, we need look no further than the Turkish Get-Up.  The TGU takes the shoulder joint through various ranges of motion with a locked out arm.  Specifically, doing this exercise with a kettlebell presents a unique challenge to the rotator cuff and “opens” the shoulder without forcing a static stretch.

A strong low bar back squat position is dependent upon thoracic spine mobility as well.  A powerful drill for t-spine health is the kettlebell arm bar.  Much like the TGU, the arm bar develops shoulder stability by moving around a locked arm, but really double-downs on t-spine mobility by the nature of the hip positioning. 

We create free weekly workouts you can sign up for here: 

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Keep reading to learn about improving your bench press by using kettlebells!

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Topics: Power Lifting

Improve Your Golf Game With Kettlebell Workouts Part 1: Single Arm SuitCase Deadlifts

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on May 30, 2017 12:00:00 PM

We are excited to begin our series on kettlebell workouts for golf.  We will be covering kettlebell exercises that are designed to strengthen the muscles which help your golf game by hitting the ball further and having more control over the club path.  This will be a 5 part series that will cover a number of movements in depth, make sure to subscribe to notifications for when each new post is released by completing the form below.

We have collaborated on this series with Master of Sport, Mike Salemi (@kettlebelllifestyle) and Mind Pump Media (@mindpumpmedia), both are great follows on social media and full of knowledge about kettlebell and fitness. In order to prepare for this series, Mike Salemi went to the Titliest Performance Institute certification and completed his TPI certification which is designed to "teach professionals how to increase player performance through a deep understanding of how the body functions during the golf swing." (http://www.mytpi.com/certification).  14 of the last 17 Major Championships were won by golf professionals advised by a TPI certified expert. Combining the knowledge taught at TPI certifications with Mike's already indepth knowledge of the body and lifting will create an amazing series of posts designed to help improve your golf game as well as overall strength.

By Mike Salemi:

Kettlebell Single Arm Suitcase Deadlifts for Golfers

Did you know that up to 30% of all professional golfers play injured?2

For the golfer who must swing a club repetitively in the same direction for 18 holes, overuse patterns and muscle imbalances are almost guaranteed. The Kettlebell Single Arm Suitcase Deadlift is one type of Anti-Rotational exercise that when done properly and with the right intent, can help identify asymmetries in the body, restore body balance and reduce the likelihood of injury. Anti-Rotational exercises include those that involve an athlete stabilizing and resisting rotational (and often frontal plane) forces from acting on and within the body. These exercises often tend to be unilateral in nature, forcing one limb to work independently of the other; in contrast to barbell exercises where a stronger arm or leg has the ability to compensate for the weaker side.3

Get More Golf Workouts & Expert Advice Here!

With the Kettlebell Single Arm Suitcase Deadlift the goal is to teach the golfer how to stabilize the pelvis and trunk effectively while resisting rotation, as well as lateral flexion (side bending). This movement develops the muscles concentrated on the backside of the body (low back, glutes, and hamstrings), as well as the lateral core stabilizers (those located on the opposite side of the loaded arm).1 The strict hinge pattern and midline stability this movement develops further helps set the necessary foundation prior to power generating exercises present in most golf conditioning programs. Watch the demonstration below!

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Topics: Kettlebell Movements, Golf

Kettlebells For Power Lifting: Part 1 - Improving Your Back Squat Numbers

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on May 25, 2017 8:00:00 AM

A lot of the great and most accomplished kettlebell lifters we have met since starting our business are former powerlifters. As power lifters a number of them have held records, but now mostly train kettlebells. We believe as workouts and strength building continue to evolve with each generation,  people who identify as a certain thing, i:e 'power lifter', 'kettlebell lifter' will fade away and there will continue to be more blending of different modalities to create better overall lifters and athletes. Not only does it break up the monotony of working out, but there are practical applications as well.  In this piece, Zack Henderson, SFG II, SFL, SFB, covers a number of kettlebell movements that will help strength and specifically strength needed for power lifting.  Speaking from personal experience, these lifts have and will add really nice increases to your powerlift numbers. 

By Zack Henderson:

Like any serious strength athletes, powerlifters can become myopic in their training.  This is easy to do, as the entire sport is confined to the performance of only 3 lifts - the back squat, bench press, and deadlift. 

What many fail to realize, however, is the amount of progress they leave on the table by neglecting training modalities and tools outside of the barbell for their programming.  It’s easy to write off kettlebells as a novelty training device, but with smart application, the kettlebell might  fill the gaps any powerlifter needs to to maintain a stronger, healthier body that can perform at peak levels for many years to come.

Specifically, we’re going to explore 3 ways the kettlebell can be best utilized in a powerlifting program - shoulder health, work capacity, and specialized accessory work.

Shoulder Mobility & Stability

The most common gym injury happens to the shoulders.  It's no wonder considering that not only are our postures compromised by hours of sitting and phone use, but shoulder issues get compounded when we go to the gym and do lots of pressing exercises. Pushing big weight with stiff, rounded shoulders is a recipe for disaster. 

The nature of the bench press presents two issues for shoulder health.  One, lying on a bench effectively forces the movement to be done with as little scapular motion as possible.  Two, the press requires a symmetrical movement from a (likely) asymmetrical base.  Nearly everybody has a shoulder that is more mobile or stiff than the other.    

Bench presses are perfectly safe in their own right, they simply present a risky environment for compromised shoulders.  To simultaneously give the shoulders some extra mobility and stability work, we need look no further than the Turkish Get-Up.  The TGU takes the shoulder joint through various ranges of motion with a locked out arm.  Specifically, doing this exercise with a kettlebell presents a unique challenge to the rotator cuff and “opens” the shoulder without forcing a static stretch.

Like what you have read so far? Sign up to be notified about Part 2 in this series by entering your email address in the sign up form on in the right column. 

A strong low bar back squat position is dependent upon thoracic spine mobility as well.  A powerful drill for t-spine health is the kettlebell arm bar.  Much like the TGU, the arm bar develops shoulder stability by moving around a locked arm, but really double-downs on t-spine mobility by the nature of the hip positioning. 

Arm Bar 

 We recommend you read more about receiving a quick, free, dynamic kettlebell workout every week you can click below. 

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Topics: Power Lifting

Kettlebell Complex: 15 Minutes - As Many Rounds As Possible

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on May 22, 2017 1:00:00 AM

Our friend Kelly Manzone from our recently completed, Battle Bells Challenge has created a brand new kettlebell complex for us. Kelly is a great follow on Instagram as she posts lots of kettlebell related movements and exercises as well as other mobility movements. We recommends you follow her at @kellsbells88.

By Kelly Mesko:

Kettlebell Complexes are the perfect way to fit in an efficient and effective workout in a short period of time.  It is also an opportunity to incorporate moves that take the body through all planes of motion like building strength, mobility, stability, flexibility and endurance along the way. As opposed to focusing on just one movement and purpose.

Depending on the combination of exercises; you can create a full-body workout that you can perform solo or add to a standing training program.  Complexes with either single or double bells are a creative way to sequence combinations that require complete concentration and focus, creating that mind muscle connection, yielding results!

This complex is a 15 minute A.M.R.A.P. That means run a timer for 15 minutes and perform as many rounds as possible of the following sequence of exercise. Starting with the Figure 8 and ending with the Split Stance Row, constitutes one round. So, try to go through as many rounds as possible. The video below demonstrates the movements in the sequence they appear. 

How To Perform:
1) Figure 8 to Hold with Reverse Lunge & Press - 10 reps
2) Snatches each arm, 10 reps
3) Hand to Hand Squat, 20 reps
4) Split Stance Row, both arms - 10 reps each

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Topics: Kettlebell Complexes

Kettlebell Kings Sponsors Professional Rugby Team

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on May 18, 2017 3:20:01 PM

Kettlebell Kings is excited to announce our sponsorship of The Austin Huns, the new professional rugby team based in our hometown of Austin, Texas.  We are really excited to collaborate with The Huns and believe this will be a great way to show the applications of kettlebell training to high level, professional sports like rugby. Kettlebell Kings and The Huns are planning lots of cobranded content which will feature the team improving their strength and conditioning with Kettlebell Kings bells and demonstrating the best training movements for the rigors of professional rugby. The 2017 season is currently in playoffs so we are very excited The Huns will have an entire offseason to train with Kettlebell Kings leading into their 2018 debut in Major League Rugby. Below are more details from the press release by The Austin Huns!

AUSTIN HUNS RUGBY ANNOUNCES NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH KETTLEBELL KINGS

AUSTIN, TEXAS (May 18, 2017) – Huns Rugby Management is excited to announce a new 4-year partnership with Kettlebell Kings as the official supplier of kettlebells for the team.

The partnership will provide the team access to premium brand kettlebells used by top-level athletes, helping the athletes to get ready for their upcoming year in Major League Rugby. Kettlebells are an ideal training tool for rugby athletes because of their versatility in their ability to build endurance and stamina as well as power and strength.

Founded in 2012 by three friends, Kettlebell Kings carries one of the widest selections of kettlebells online, ranging from 5 to 203 lbs, in addition to free shipping on all orders. The company, which has been featured in Men’s Fitness, Muscle & Fitness Hers, Women’s Running, has experienced success due in part to their relentless pursuit of creating some of the most high-quality kettlebells available, along with outstanding customer service and strategic partnerships like that with the Austin Rugby team, which help grow the their audience.

“Our professional athletes have a really intense training regimen leading up to and during each season, and it’s important to not only have the right training strategy, but also the best tools,” says HRM General Manager Thierry Daupin. “And we are so fortunate to have a great partner like Kettlebell Kings to provide our players top-quality equipment.”

“We are really excited to be working with the Huns Rugby Management,” says Kettlebell Kings Co-Founder Jay Perkins. “We decided we wanted to be a part of rugby in the United States after watching the world championships last year. We are always on the lookout for great partners like them, where we can help each other reach our individual goals together. We are really excited about the position and direction of rugby in the United States as well as the Austin team, which is why we wanted to be a part of it.”

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Topics: Rugby

Kettlebell Complex: Full Body Double Kettlebell Blast

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on May 18, 2017 10:46:28 AM

Kettlebell Complexes, sometimes called Kettlebell Flows are a great addition to kettlebell training. There are a number of reasons to utilize Kettlebell Complexes. Like any kettlebell exercise they are an incredible way to build strength and endurance while burning calories, but one of the things we like most about Kettlebell Complexes is how creative you can be. There are virtually endless combinations you can create to keep your workouts new and exciting. 

Our goal is to put out regular Kettlebell Complexes with some of the Kettlebell Experts we work with.  Our first Kettlebell Complex is created by Bill Esch. Bill has a great Instagram (@kettlebellwarrior) where he publishes workouts and tips as well. 

Like any kettlebell workout, it is very important to make sure you have mastered the individual movements before moving on to a Kettlebell Complex. If you have not mastered some of the basic movements of kettlebells we recommend you have a look at the column on the right which breaks down training movements. Our Weekly Kettlebell Workouts is a a great way to get started in kettlebell workouts if this is your first time reading one of our posts. 

Kettlebell Complex

Warmup for 15 minutes in any way you like to warm up, then perform one round of the following movements followed by 4 minutes of rest. Do 5 rounds total. So do one around, rest four minutes, do another round, rest four minutes, etc. All movements are to be done with two kettlebells.  The movements are:

Then cool down with stretching. You can click on each movement to see a slowed down demonstration and explanation of how to perform. The video below puts it all together in workout format.

To receive a new Kettlebell Complex in your email inbox each week, click the button below to sign up!

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Topics: Kettlebell Complexes