Kettlebell Kings Blog

Beginner Kettlebell Exercise For Women: MASTER THIS BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Jul 25, 2016 10:43:07 PM

MASTER THE KETTLEBELL DEADLIFT BEFORE ANY OTHER MOVEMENT

We are going to begin a three part series highlighting kettlebell movements aimed at helping women who are beginning kettlebell users get the most out of their kettlebells. At the end of the series we will put them all together for you in a workout you can on your own! Quite a number of people who have entered our contests and subscribe to our workout list have identified as beginners, so we are doing this with them in mind.  If you know anyone who you have been preaching the gospel of kettlebells to you can forward this post to them as a way to help them get started.

Our friend, Brittany van Schravendijk, will be walking us through video tutorials of the three movements we will be highlighting and then helping us put them all together for a workout at the end. Brittany is a Master of Sport, World Record Holder, and National Record Holder in Kettlebell Sport. Brittany is the Head Coach of Kettlebell Sport at KOR Strength and Conditioning in San Diego, California. She has traveled all over the world to teach Kettlebell Sport workshops. Brittany is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA.

The first movement we will be going over is The Kettlebell Deadlift. The video below will walk you through it, but here are some key points. Below the video we will talk about which weight to use and what style of kettlebell you should use.

Why the Kettlebell Deadlift?

The purpose of the kettlebell deadlift is to strengthen the posterior chain. What is that? It is the group of muscles in your body which affects your ability to move. Seems important.

The posterior chain is a group of muscles consisting of tendons and ligaments on the posteriorof 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. The Deadlift is a great lift for overall improvement in and outside the gym.

If you like what you see, we do have  a weekly workout list you can sign up for which incorporates the movements we will be going over into cardio and strength training sessions.

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The Kettlebell Deadlift:

  • targets hamstrings, glutes and strengthens lower back
  • stand with feet hipwidth apart, right outside kettlebell
  • grab the bell while keeping our back flat and your arms straight
    • avoid rounding back and pulling with back
  • push away ground with your heels, squeeze glutes at top
  • do not use your back to lift the kettlebell(s)
  • try the suitecase deaflift after perfecting form

Kettlebell Kings has different types of kettlebells and is known for quality!

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

Intro To Kettlebell Sport Part 6: The Jerk

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on May 3, 2016 2:00:00 PM

This is Part 6 in our series about Kettlebell Sport, our goal has been to educate kettlebell lifters of all experience levels about Kettlebell Sport. If this is your first time reading one of our Kettlebell Sport posts, we recommend you start here, at Part 1 and work your way through in order. World Record Holder Brittany Van Schravendijk is with us once again to introduce you to this movement.

The Kettlebell Jerk is when you use the power of your hips to bring one or two kettlebells from the Rack position to the overhead position.  There are a lot of aspects of this lift which make it very technical. Brittany is going to explain in the video below what the rack position is, what your legs need to do during this left and breathing techniques which are really important to maximize your potential.

We have created a 4 Week Training Program You Can Sign Up For Here: 

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  1. The Rack Position

    1. is when the bells are sitting on the body

    2. you want elbows to sit in, close to the body

    3. stack one bell handle over the other to ensure tighter position of elbows

    4. fully insert hands, wrist and forearm through handles to have a good grip without actually gripping the handles

    5. legs should be straight 

    6. see our post about the Kettlebell Sport Crunch for a detailed explanation of  rack position

  2. Leg Action

    1. all of the launch to get the bells overhead comes from the hips
    2. better connection of elbows to hips equals less fatigue of arms
    3. there are two dips in the jerk
      1. sink through the legs to bring elbows and hips together, your hips should stay in line with your knees
      2.  drop under the bells when they get overhead (see our post about fixation for help with this movement)
  3. Breathing

    1. your legs need to move fast for this exercise
    2. in each dip, you exhale
      1. exhale on first dip, inhale as you come up (jerk the bells), exhale in the top position under the dip with the bells overhead

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Topics: kettlebell sport, Kettlebell Technique, Training Programs

The Kettlebell Order By Kettlebell Movement

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Apr 26, 2016 1:11:48 PM

Peter Hirsh from Kettlebell Movement is one of our go to experts for traditional kettlebell training. He runs a great site at Kettlebellmovement.com. Where he has lots of great video content, how-to's and diet and exercise programs. We highly recommend checking it out.

We asked Peter to write a blog post for us about a topic of his choosing. Whenever we ask someone to write for us we like to give them creative freedom as they interact with clients on a daily basis and we let that be the guide for what they think would be most helpful. Here is what Peter created for us:

Kettlebell training isn’t easy. Not only is it physically very demanding, but it also requires a great deal of body awareness that is usually only achieved through many months or years of practice. If you have a history in dance, martial arts or other skilled physical activity you will take to kettlebell training much more quickly, as it correlates directly to almost all sports. However, if you are beginning from scratch, there is a good chance that you are feeling a certain degree of awkwardness about certain aspects of your training and are constantly working to improve the movements. I aim to assist you with with that awkwardness today. 

For many people, a lack of flexibility will stand in the way of good technique in one way or another. Tight hamstrings may cause you to flex your back when you are in a deep hip bend, tight hip flexors will prevent you from hip extending far enough and tight shoulders and lats will prevent you from lifting your arms overhead. Tightness in the thoracic spine will make your kettlebell lifting less efficient and more injury prone and is not only common but also often overlooked. 

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Even if flexibility isn’t too much of a problem for you, the key to making everything feel more natural in your training is by going through the proper progressions. The proper progressions will both help you develop flexibility and the best motor patterns for the job. 

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Topics: Kettlebell Workouts, Training Methods, Kettlebell Technique, Tips

The Kettlebell Sport Crunch

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Apr 25, 2016 9:29:11 PM

In our effort to bring you more information about Kettlebell Sport we are back with the good folks at Texas Kettlebell Academy to talk about The Kettlebell Sport Crunch. If you have not read any of our previous posts about Kettlebell Sport, we recommend starting here.

The crunch refers to the details of elbow positions in the rack position during the first dip and the catch of the bells after the drop during the Kettlebell Jerk.  The kettlebell jerk can be its own isolated lift or part of Long Cycle, which a clean and a jerk. The video below will illustrate and show you what rack position is, if you are not familiar with it:

  • knees straight
  • elbows down into the body
  • good curve of the back which transfers all of weight onto hips
  • the body comes forward 
  • DO NOT lean backwards, body leans forward with weight to toes

We have created a 4 Week Training Program You Can Sign Up For Here: 

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So, when you dip in order to give yourself upward momentum in your lift, the body comes forward a bit and you want to crunch your elbows into the body to make like a coiled spring. 

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Topics: kettlebell sport, Kettlebell Technique

Intro To Kettlebell Sport Part 4: The Kettlebell Sport Long Cycle

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Apr 18, 2016 12:00:00 PM

We received a lot of really positive feedback so far in our series about Kettlebell Sport. So far, we have introduced you to The Kettlebell Sport Swing and The Snatch. Today we bring you The Long Cycle. The Long Cycle is a Clean and a Jerk of the kettlebell(s). Kettlebell Sport competitors compete in one arm and two arm events with the Long Cycle. 

Our friend, Brittany van Schravendijk, is back to work with us on and walk us through the steps involved in single arm Long Cycle. 

If this is our first time reading about Kettlebell Sport, we highly recommend starting with our post about Intro to Kettlebell Sport and working your way through in the order that we have published articles. 

We have created a 4 Week Training Program You Can Sign Up For Here: 

kettlebell workouts

Here is a quick refresher on Kettlebell Sport and why we at Kettlebell Kings love it:

The Basics of Kettlebell Sport:

  • endurance kettlebell lifting, lifters have 10 minutes to complete as many reps as possible
  • efficiency and technique are important to maintain energy throughout set
  • lifters compete in specific lifts with either one arm or two arms

The Benefits:

  1. great goals to motivate your workouts
  2. blend of strength, endurance, balance and coordination in one workout equals efficiency
  3. build amazing mental tenacity, this carries over to other aspects of life

In the video below, Brittany goes over Long Cycle.  She answers some frequently asked questions. 

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Topics: kettlebell sport, Kettlebell Technique, Training Programs

Intro To Kettlebell Sport Part 3: The Kettlebell Sport Snatch

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Apr 11, 2016 7:55:30 PM

We received a lot of really positive feedback and interest from our first post introducing people to Kettlebell Sport so we are breaking it down into a series. Like we mentioned, we love so much about kettlebell sport because it gives you great goals to motivate your workouts, its cominbation of strength and endurance as well as the mental tenacity it builds for all aspects of life. 

Brittany van Schravendijk is going to work with us on creating a few different sub posts about the different aspects of Kettlebell Sport for those interested. Today, Brittany is going to show us the Kettlebell Sport 'Snatch'. The Snatch is one of the movements kettlebell sport athletes train and compete in and it a favorite of Kettlebell Kings because its utilization of the entire body.

Quick refresher on Kettlebell Sport and why we love it:

The Basics of Kettlebell Sport:

  • endurance kettlebell lifting, lifters have 10 minutes to complete as many reps as possible
  • efficiency and technique are important to maintain energy throughout set
  • lifters compete in specific lifts with either one arm or two arms

The Benefits:

  1. great goals to motivate your workouts
  2. blend of strength, endurance, balance and coordination in one workout equals efficiency
  3. build amazing mental tenacity, this carries over to other aspects of life

The snatch is arguably the most technical of all Kettlebell Sport lifts, but do not let that scare you! That is why we are creating this post, to help break it down for you. 

In the video below, Brittany goes over The Snatch.  She answers some frequently asked questions. 

We have created a 4 Week Training Program You Can Sign Up For Here: 

kettlebell workouts

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Topics: kettlebell sport, Kettlebell Technique, Training Programs

INTRO TO KETTLEBELL SPORT PART 2: THE KETTLEBELL SPORT SWING

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Apr 6, 2016 2:48:54 PM

We received a lot of really positive feedback and interest from our first post introducing people to Kettlebell Sport so we are breaking it down into a series to help you learn more and give you resources if you are interested in getting started. If you have not seen part one, you can quickly review it HERE. As a refresher, a few of the things that are so great about Kettlebell Sport are it gives you great goals to motivate your workouts, its cominbation of strength and endurance as well as the mental tenacity it builds for all aspects of life. 

We have created a 4 Week Training Program You Can Sign Up For Here: 

kettlebell workouts

Brittany van Schravendijk is going to work with us on creating a few different sub posts about the different aspects of Kettlebell Sport for those interested. Today, Brittany is going to show us the Kettlebell Sport Swing. The 'Swing' in kettlebell sport is different from the swings you might have previously learned.  The basic principles of the Kettlebell Sport Swing are important because it is the basis for all the other lifts you will eventually learn and compete or practice in kettlebell sport training.

In the video below, Brittany goes over the Kettlebell Sport Swing, which has some differences from what you might have learned already. 

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Topics: kettlebell sport, Kettlebell Technique, Training Programs

Number One Tip for Kettlebell Fixation

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Jan 28, 2016 7:03:07 PM

The Texas Kettlebell Academy is back to show us one of their best tips on overhead fixation.

Overhead fixation refers to the point where the kettlebell is overhead and it stops, with a straight, extended arm and you get a 'point' (shown in the video). Fixation is important in all types of kettlebell training whether it is kettlebell sport or fitness training for two reasons:

  • Safety: Focusing on proper fixation prevents accidents with a kettlebell over your head. One of the most common mistakes lifters make is rushing into a movement by standing up too quickly and ending up with their arm bent over their head, then trying to fixate (straighten it out) at the top.  Meaning when you rush the movement you stand up with your arm bent, while holding a kettlebell overhead, then straightening or correcting it with the kettlebell above your head (example of what not to do shown). This makes standing up with the kettlebell much harder and unsteady.
  • Competition: Officially if your legs lock before your elbow does it is a push press, which will NOT count in most competitions. By enforcing this tip, you ensure you lock your elbow before your legs which is a true jerk and will count as a rep in kettlebell sport competitions.

We have created a 4 Week Training Program You Can Sign Up For Here: 

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Watch the video below and read about how to focus on the components of this movement to improve your fixation.

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Topics: kettlebell sport, Kettlebell Technique

Mulcher Kettlebell Long Cycle Complex

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Jan 5, 2016 3:10:00 PM

The Mulcher Kettlebell Long Cycle Complex

The Mulcher Kettlebell Long Cycle Complex is a skill building movement designed to focus and improve the individual components in kettlebell long cycle. Long Cycle is a Clean, followed by a Jerk, then a re-clean of the kettlebells.

To Perform as shown:
1) complete two acceleration pull kettlebell swings
2) clean the kettlebells
3) complete two bumps (shown) in which you use all of your leg momentum to drive the bells upward, this is all legs
4) jerk
5) complete two overhead squats, with your butt back, designed to get your hips back
6) re-clean the kettlebells and repeat

 

We have created a 4 Week Training Program You Can Sign Up For Here: 

kettlebell workouts

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Topics: kettlebell sport, Kettlebell Technique