Kettlebell Kings Blog

Heavy Kettlebell Lifts Part 3: Windmills

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Oct 25, 2016 12:31:00 PM

In Part 3 of our Heavy Kettlebell Series we are covering The Windmill. Oliver Quinn who collaborated with us on Part 2 is back to work with us and demonstrate in the video below.

You can find him on Instagram as @olliequinntraining, where he posts a lot of really informative and impressive posts for building strength and power.  We highly recommend you follow him for more learning on similar subjects as this. In his demonstration he will be utilizing his Kettlebell Kings 123 Pound Powder Coat Kettlebell

By Oliver Quinn:

The Windmill movement builds a number of really important aspects for heavy lifting: 
 
  • Core strength
  • Spine mobility and strength
  • Shoulder strength, stability and mobility
  • Hamstring strength and flexibility
  • Balance and coordination 

A number of these muscles are responsible for running, jumping and getting up and down all of which are required in every day life and even more so in competitive lifting. So, whether you want to compete in fitness or improve your every day life strength, this is a movement that can help.

Before trying a windmill with a kettlebell you need to make sure you have the required mobility and technique. The video below demonstrates the windmill movement without any weight used, so make sure you master the movements in the video and described below without any weight before adding your kettlebell. I recommend using the windmill stick drill as a stretch to help you work towards getting the required thoracic-spine and hamstring mobility, or use it to learn/teach the windmill.

No spinal torsion/twisting is allowed. This is not like passively picking up your car keys when you drop them! Make sure your spin stays straight through out the movement.

How to:

  1. Get the bell up overhead (on your right side) any safe way you can. Lock your arm out and pack your shoulder. A common method is a clean and press or jerk (shown below)

  2. Point your feet to the left (if the bell is in your right hand) about 30-45 degrees should do it.

  3. Look up at the kettlebell, turn your head so you can see the bell with both eyes, not just one. It helps with balance.

  4. Both shoulders should be externally rotated throughout this movement. Packed and unshrugged. Lats firing!

  5. Initiate the hip hinge by pushing your butt backwards and right, breathe in hard through your nose and pull yourself down into the hinge, front leg slightly bent and unloaded,  keep the rear leg straight and feel your hamstring and glute getting tighter as you hinge over,  simultaneously rotate your shoulders towards the kettlebell so they become stacked directly under it.

I like to imagine pulling a giant rubber band down from the ceiling with my kettlebell hand. This will keep your shoulder in its socket and connected.

       6. Maintain as much contact as possible between your left arm and left leg during this movement. This will give you constant feedback and make you feel safe and in control

       7. Pause for a few seconds at the bottom  squeeze your glutes and hamstring and come back up to the top position. 

Breathing is really important throughout, I recommend Power breathe, keep your abs braced like you are about to take a punch the whole way through! Short sharp breaths work well/or, inhale hard through your nose all the way down an exhale through your teeth all the way up to the top. Both work, the goal is to stay braced. This is demonstrated in the video.

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See video below: 

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Topics: Kettlebell Workouts, Kettlebell Technique, Heavy Kettlebell Workouts

Heavy Kettlebell Lifts Part 2: Atlas Stone Deadlifts With A Heavy Kettlebell

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Oct 2, 2016 2:43:58 PM

Kettlebells are perhaps the most diverse piece of fitness equipment you can use. Most people probably still think of kettlebells mainly as equipment for high repetition and/or high intensity workouts. However, kettlebells can be used for high weight/low repetition movements for those of you who really want to build muscle and power. Part 2 in our series of heavy kettlebell lifts involves utilizing the kettlebell like a lot of strength competitors use an atlas stone in order to build power and strength.

We have a guest demonstrator and author working with us on this post, he is Oliver Quinn and he is very strong. You can find him on Instagram as @olliequinntraining, where he posts a lot of really informative and impressive posts for building strength and power.  We highly recommend you follow him for more learning on similar subjects as this. In his demonstration he will be utilizing his Kettlebell Kings 92 Kg Powder Coat Kettlebell.

By Oliver Quinn:

Did you know you can use your larger kettlebells like an atlas stone ? 

 
Atlas stone deadlifts or, the "pick", lapping,  loading onto a platform and even shouldering can all be done with your big kettlebells. (see video below). Here is a demonstration of working with an actual atlas stone, which as you can see involves a deadlift life movement to initially get the weight in motion. You can do this with a kettlebell as well, additionally you can do a lot more with a kettlebell compared to an atlast stone which makes them a great workout tool.
 
This is a lot more difficult and challenging than a regular kettlebell deadlift due to the extra range of motion, and the lack of  any handle to hold on to. It is actually even a little more difficult than a regular atlas stone "pick" or deadlift because your hands are gripping iron rather than stone, and stone grips skin much better than iron does. Be careful, it is almost impossible to complete this lift with a flat back. Of course , you could just stick your fingers under the bell and sort of goblet squat it, but that is not what we are after here.

How to do it: 

  1. Feet either side of kettlebell, center of kettlebell at center of foot. 
  2. Hinge over, hips high, load hamstrings.
  3. Arms straight down, don't try to bicep curl it. Squeeze the globe with your wrists and hands getting as much skin into contact with the bell ass possible. Fingernails of middle finger should be touching the floor.
  4. Take a deep breath, pressurize your abs and core and stand straight up.
  5. When the weight is past your knees bring your feet together so you can put the weight on your lap. Sit down and relax. 

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See video below: 

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Topics: kettlebell, kettlebells, Heavy Kettlebell Workouts

Things To Do With Heavy Kettlebells: Part 1

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on May 23, 2016 11:57:39 PM

Most people probably still think of kettlebells mainly as equipment for high repetition and/or high intensity workouts, which they are great for. However, kettlebells can be used for high weight/low repetition movements as well if you really want to build muscle, especially one of the most important muscle groups in your body. Some people know this, which is why our 48Kg|106 Lb Powder Coat kettlebell is always one of our top sellers when it is in stock. 

At Kettlebell Kings we recently launched even heavier kettlebells in 56, 68, 80 and 92 kilograms, designed for those who want to take their low repetition kettlebell movements to the next level, so we wanted to do a series on some of the best uses for them. 

For the purposes of this series, heavy is a relative term. The movements we will cover in this series can be done with any kettlebell that is heavy relative to your current strength. For example if you currently train with an 8 kilogram bell for high rep workouts you could do these same movements we show here with a 20 or 24 kilogram bell.  We chose to showcase some of the super heavy bells we have designed for folks with a pretty high level of fitness, kettlebell or lifting experience but you can do the same movements with kettlebells which are heavy relative to your current training.

Read More About The Heavy Bells

Jessica and Seneca from Texas Kettlebell Academy have put together an instructional piece on the 'Heavy Kettlebell Deficit Deadlift (squat hybrid)' which we will go over here. The purpose of the 'Heavy Kettlebell Deficity Deadlit' is to strengthen the posterior chain. What is that? Only one of the most important groups of muscles in your body which affects your ability to move. 

 

The posterior chain is a group of muscles consisting of tendons and ligaments on the posterior of the body, including the biceps femoris, gluteus maximus (main extension muscle of your hips), erector spinae (straighten and rotate the back), trapezius (large muscles that cover almost your entire back), and posterior (butt). 

These muscles are responsible for running, jumping and getting up and down all of which are required in every day life but even more so in competitive lifting and athletics because of the necessity of powerful hip extension, which this lift helps. Overall, that makes the Deficit Deadlift a great lift for overall improvement in and outside the gym.

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The Deficit Deadlift :

  • increased range of motion compared to normal deadlift

  • place kettlebell in between platforms/boxes and stand on them above the kettlebell

  • knees are over the ankles, the weight is back on your heels

  • spine is straight, lift with arms first, keep back straight and drive with force through heels

    • you do not have to drop kettlebell all the way back down when coming down but you do want to get low

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Topics: Kettlebell Workouts, Kettlebell Technique, Training Programs, Heavy Kettlebell Workouts