Kettlebell Kings Blog

Kettlebell Foundations: The Hardstyle Kettlebell Swing

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Oct 17, 2017 12:09:18 PM

Our previous posts with Doug Fioranelli have been building towards the Kettlebell Swing. Even though the swing is one of the movements most people are familiar with, you actually should build up to it with the deadlift and the squat in order to prepare your body for the kettlebell swing, rather then going right into it. 

By Doug Fioranelli

As we continue this Hardstyle Kettlebell Series for Kettlebell Kings we have built up our strength and proper movement patterns by learning the deadlift  and then the squat; which are foundational for what we are covering now: The Kettlebell Swing. 

The kettlebell swing is truly the unique movement primarily associated with the kettlebell itself which cannot be optimally performed using any other equipment.  From top athletes to the new trainee, the kettlebell swing has numerous training benefits which include strength enhancement, power production and endurance.    

Kettlebell Swing: Proper Set Up and Patterning

Like the Hardstyle Deadlift, the kettlebell swing is a hinge pattern which primarily utilizes the muscles of the posterior chain (hamstrings and glutes).  It’s important to start with a good ground connection which is essential for stability and power production; a flat sole shoe or barefoot is preferred when performing swings.  After establishing a solid ground connection, here are the steps to take to perform a proper Hardstyle 2-Arm Kettlebell Swing:

  • Set up in an athletic stance with two hands on the kettlebell which is directly in front of your feet making a triangle position.
  • Tip the handle of the bell back towards you and lock your lats into place where the biceps are connected to the ribcage thus creating back tension; think shoulder blades in back pockets.
  • To start the backswing; hike the kettlebell through your legs by hinging your hips (not squatting).
  • When you feel your hamstrings stretch; squeeze your glutes and drive your feet into the ground to move the kettlebell upward through the legs.
  • Make sure the hips and knees always finish (get the hips fully underneath your body and lock your knees); this not only ensures proper technique but also saves your lower back from injury.  You want to properly propel the kettlebell upward (not forward) using your hips.
  • No leaning back; you want a tall body posture at the top of the movement with the arms extended and the kettlebell parallel to the floor.
  • When performing the backswing; wait for the kettlebell to almost hit you before you hinge.  The kettlebell should be above the knees and the biceps should connect to your sides just before you hinge.  Hinging too early will result in a lack of strength and may cause a sore lower back or an injury over time.

Some other details of the kettlebell swing include:

  • Have a good grip on the handle during the swing so the bell does not flop at the top or during the end of the backswing.  This excessive movement will make it difficult to keep your body stable.
  • A slight elbow bend in the arms is allowed during the swing, however do not actively bend your elbows and pull the bell in towards you to assist the bell up to the top of the swing.
  • Traditional hardstyle breathing is one breathing cycle per swing where you inhale through the nose or mouth during the backswing and then a tight exhale (don’t let all your air out) during the upward motion of the swing.

Once you feel comfortable with the 2-arm swing you can start practicing with some of the swing variations that will then help you build the foundation for other kettlebell movements like cleans and snatches.

LEARN VARIATIONS BELOW!

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Topics: Kettlebell Movements, Kettlebell Foundations

Kettlebell Foundations: Kettlebell Squats

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Sep 10, 2017 5:34:16 PM

By Doug Fioranelli

In the first article and video of the Hardstyle Series for Kettlebell Kings I broke down all the essential kettlebell deadlift movement nuances and their progressions.  The deadlift is the foundation where the hip hinge pattern is established.  This hip hinge pattern is essential to build a strong posterior chain and to learn how to move the body properly when we get to the hardstyle swing.

However, before we get to the swing, which will come in the next instalment, let’s strengthen up those legs and core a bit more by learning how to properly squat with the kettlebell. We have published the full post on our main site at https://www.kettlebellkings.com:

 

Read the full post HERE

 

Make sure to subscribe to our blog through the form on the right side or at the bottom on mobile devices. Get updates when more content like this is published!
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Topics: Kettlebell Movements, Hardstyle Training, Kettlebell Squats, Kettlebell Foundations

Kettlebell Foundations: Kettlebell Deadlift Progressions

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Aug 16, 2017 4:36:38 PM

We are excited to work with Dough Fioranelli, owner of Rise Above Performance Training on a super informative series about hardstyle kettlebell movements. There are essentially two different schools of thought in kettlebell training and both are great, we have covered a number of Kettlebell Sport type movements and will be working to bring you more of the hardstyle movements which most people are familiar with. In the first part of the series, Doug goes through an awesome progression of Kettlebell Deadlifts and variations designed to improve your overall lift and performance. Doug created and awesome video demonstration and explanation of all the movements which you can watch below!

By Doug Fioranelli

There are two prominent types of kettlebell training that serve the trainee with two completely different purposes.  The first type of training you have seen all over Facebook; athletes moving those different colored bells overhead for five to ten minutes sets often having the look of pain on their face.  The other type reflects a much more common training setting where moving an iron ball with a handle might seem a bit foreign to the new trainee from traditional weights and machines. 

The latter reflects a more hardstyle or foundational form of kettlebell training and, in my opinion, is the most suited for new trainees, athletes, coaches and trainers looking to learn and teach others.

In this Hardstyle Series for Kettlebell Kings I will completely breakdown all of the essential kettlebell exercises in article and video format so you can add this tool, with confidence, to your training arsenal and achieve the results you are looking for.

For this first installment, we are going over the foundational kettlebell deadlift.

Proper Set Up and Patterning:

The hardstyle deadlift is one of my favorite exercises for many reasons.  First, I believe the set-up is much easier to achieve than a traditional barbell deadlift because the kettlebell can sit easily between your feet whereas the barbell deadlift is in front of the body and maintaining proper back alignment during the set- up is much more difficult, especially for the new trainee.

Secondly, it is a great way to teach someone how to hinge at their hips which has many benefits including: increased glute and hamstring activation for muscle building and proper hip drive which is important for proper execution of other kettlebell movement as well as enhanced sports performance.

  • Set the kettlebell on the floor in-between your knees and ankles with a slightly wider-than-shoulder-width stance.
  • Grab the handle firmly and connect your biceps to the side of your body to set your back so it is straight with your chest up, shoulder blades together and lower back arched (not rounded) and head neutral with the chin slightly retracted.  If you visualize a clock you want your head positioned at 10 o’clock and your hips at the 4 o’clock position.
  • Anchor your feet firmly into the ground, tighten your core, squeeze your glutes and drive the body up by pushing the floor away with your feet until you are standing up straight with your hips underneath you at the top.

Read More Below! Make sure to subscribe to our blog through the form on the right side or at the bottom on mobile devices. Get updates when more content like this is published!


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Topics: Kettlebell Movements, Deadlifts, Hardstyle Training, Kettlebell Foundations

Turkish Get Up

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Jul 25, 2017 9:08:35 PM

The Turkish Get Up is one of the most popular kettlebell movements and we are asked all the time for specific content just about the TGU. So we wanted to make sure and create that for you! Our friend Mike Salemi along with Mind Pump Media have created an incredibly detailed video about the technicalities of the Turkish Get Up.

What Does the Turkish Get Up Work?

Everything.  The Turkish Get Up requires a strong core relative to the weight you are training with to stabilize you throughout the entire movement. Most athletics require a strong core, so the TGU is a great movement to strengthen your core no matter what level of athlete you are. Whether you are professional level or just getting back into shape, a strong core will help achieve your goals.  The TGU might also be the best shoulder muscle building movement because of the stabilization required throughout the movement. The demonstration below will show that throughout the movement the weight is stabilized with the shoulder. A whole different set of muscles, the hips and glutes, are used to raise the body from the floor.

The Turkish Get Up varies from many workout movements because you move through it so much slower than other movements like swings or ballistic movements which creates a whole new sense of control and self awareness about your position.

Make sure to subscribe to the blog for updates by filling in your email under 'SUBSCRIBE TO EMAIL UPDATES' depending if you are viewing this on mobile (it is at the very bottom) or desktop in the right hande column.

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Topics: Kettlebell Movements

Build The Kettlebooty: Part 1

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Jun 28, 2017 12:44:54 PM

Kettlebells are incredibly versatile as workout tools. Kettlebells have been most closely associated with functional fitness and full body workouts, but when used properly you can isolate particular muscle groups and effectively focus on building them. Even some of the best full body kettlebell movements have great benefits for particular muscle groups.  Brittany van Schravendijk, who is one of the top competitive kettlebell athletes in the world, down these movements for us!

We have covered some of this in our Kettlebells For Aesthetic training series to focus on building the chest, legs, back and shoulders but in this series we will be focusing on the Gluteus Maximus. There are a number of kettlebell movements that will help you focus on building the Gluteus Maximus, which is one of the largest muscles in the body and one of the main reasons humans can stand compared to other primates. This series will cover 7 different exercises designed to help you build the perfect Kettlebooty!

We will take you through two movements to master in each post and then it all comes together in the end with a full kettlebell workout that utilizes the different movements!

 These movements are designed to:

  • focus on the Gluteus Maximus AKA Kettlebooty
  • improve your core and hip strength
  • can be used with other kettlebell movement to create a full body workout

By Brittany Van Schravendijk:

I want to preface this by saying I love what fitness influencers have done on social media - motivating millions of people to get active and start working out - and I fully support people showcasing their bodies online if they so desire. However, I do think that the majority of the population tends to set unrealistic expectations about their own bodies based on the influx of pictures showcasing fitness models with perfect bodies, including bodacious booties they claim to have built by working out.

Get More Workouts & Content Designed To Build Your Kettlebooty & More! 

First of all, if someone has a giant butt AND a thigh gap, they are probably sporting some implants. If someone trains naturally to build a large gluteus maximus, the odds are they will have some awesomely strong quads and hamstrings to boot (read: little to no thigh gap). Genetics play a role as well - you cannot follow a workout program posted by someone who was born with an amazing ass and expect to look like that person when you finish. While there is nothing wrong with wanting a nice looking kettlebooty (that’s the point of this article!), I want to remind you that growing your glutes will take time and work, and your butt is still going to look like YOUR butt, not someone else’s! Building a kettlebooty requires serious discipline and commitment, like building muscle in any other area of your body. Following a basic bodyweight workout plan or running 5 days a week is not likely to get you there - but weightlifting with progressive overload will.

Make sure to subscribe to the blog for updates by filling in your email under 'SUBSCRIBE TO EMAIL UPDATES' depending if you are viewing this on mobile (it is at the very bottom) or desktop in the right hande column.

Nutrition plays a role too! You have to eat more to gain muscle, and you have to eat healthily to avoid excess body fat. Aesthetics may be your biggest motivator for working out initially, but at some point you will realize that how you feel about how you look is affected more by what you change on the inside than what you change on the outside. In my experience, most people are more motivated by being able to do something empowering with their muscles than by simply looking good in the mirror. And trust me, being able to lift heavy things is one of the biggest empowerment exercises there is - physically and mentally!

 Read & Watch More Below!

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Topics: Kettlebell Movements, Kettlebell Workouts, Kettlebooty

Kettlebell Workouts For Golf Part 5: Double Outside the Body Swing

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Jun 27, 2017 12:00:00 PM

This is Part 5 in our 5 part series designed to help improive your golf game as well as build strength and conditioning. In this post we will cover the Double Outside The Body Swing.

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:

Double Outside the Body Swing for Golfers

Think you’re driving the ball long? Well think again. A fluid and powerful golf swing is one in which each segment builds off the prior, starting with the pelvis, thorax (chest region), lead arm, and finally shaft.3  And while the golf swing is a movement driven by rotational power, there certainly is a time and place for power exercises that occur in other planes of motion.

This may be appropriate for situations for example when seeking to avoid overuse patterns stemming from the same repetitive movement (i.e. pattern overload), or when we need simply need to build up a power deficit, and we are less concerned with it happening through a rotation.2

The Double Kettlebell Outside the Body Swing is a ballistic swing that focuses on loading the lower body in the sagittal plane (front to back direction), and mainly incorporates the muscles concentrated on backside - lower back, glutes, and hamstrings.

One reason why I choose this specific kettlebell swing variation for golfers specifically, is because many players exhibit a common postural fault known as “C-Posture” - increased rounding of the back during normal standing posture and also the position at address. C-posture restricts rotation, making twisting around a smooth axis all the more challenging.3 By positioning the kettlebells at your sides, this swing variation encourages an opening of the chest and elongation the spine, which is something wise to promote while lifting.

Get More Golf Workouts & Expert Advice Here!

 

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Topics: Kettlebell Movements, Golf, Mike Salemi

Kettlebell Workouts For Golf Part 4: Goblet Squat For Golfers

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Jun 20, 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 4 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 Goblet Squats For Golfers

Are you the golfer who hits the ball in every direction except the one you are aiming for? Since over half of all amateur golfers lose their posture during their golf swing, you are certainly not alone. Interestingly, research conducted by the Titleist Performance Institute shows that players unable to maintain proper positioning throughout the full golf swing also are unable to successfully complete a full overhead squat. 

An overhead squat is a movement requiring a combination of trunk stability, as well as excellent mobility out of both ankles, knees, hips, thoracic spine (mid back), shoulders, and lats. With this one movement screen we can uncover lots of useful information regarding where we are likely to see swing faults emerge.1

When a challenge in performing an overhead squat stems from either a hip, knee, or ankle mobility issue, the Kettlebell Goblet Squat, or the Modified Goblet Squat, can be an excellent exercise for the golfer to ultimately better maintain proper angles during the swing.

One way the Goblet Squat does this is by positioning the load in-front of the body, providing a counter-balance for the player to effectively lean against - allowing him or her the freedom to squat to lower depths more easily. This movement will also up-regulate activation of the anterior (front) core musculature in order keep the torso stable and upright, something that is beneficial for most any golf conditioning program. 

Get More Golf Workouts & Expert Advice Here!

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Topics: Kettlebell Movements, Golf, Mike Salemi

Kettlebell Workouts For Golf Part 3: Single Leg Romanian Deadlift

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Jun 13, 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 3 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:

Single Leg Kettlebell Modified Romanian Deadlift for Golfers

It’s no secret that just about every golfer wishes he could drive the ball further. However, while driving the ball further may be synonymous with expressing rotational power, one element most players miss is first establishing a solid working foundation of stability prior to teeing off into higher speed movements.1 If a player misses this fundamental step in his or her training progression, movement faults are likely to show up, such the ability to control pelvic posture to be used for optimal power transfer from the lower body to the upper body during the golf swing.2 

In this modified version of the Kettlebell Single Leg Romanian Deadlift, the player must stabilize asymmetrical loads through the midline, while also dynamically balancing on one leg.

By design, the movement tries to induce a rotational torque on the spine from which it is the golfers job to counteract. The player must concentrate hard on maintaining a square pelvis and stable trunk throughout all repetitions. When performed properly, this exercise trains the muscles of the lower back, glutes, hamstrings, as well as those of the entire trunk via a single leg hinge pattern.

Mastering it is best accomplished via slow, controlled movements which once again, promote a safer and more effective transfer of force prior to incorporating power building exercises into your golf conditioning program.1 

Get More Golf Workouts & Expert Advice Here!

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Topics: Kettlebell Movements, Golf, Mike Salemi

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

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   

 

 

 

Get More Golf Workouts & Expert Advice Here!

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Topics: Kettlebell Movements, Golf, Mike Salemi

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

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).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!

Get More Golf Workouts & Expert Advice Here!

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.

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Topics: Kettlebell Movements, Golf, Mike Salemi