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Rings of Power by Mike GIllette

Rings of Power by Mike Gillette Cool new book from Mike Gillette about Ring Training for all fitness levels. Being on this shoot with Mike was like working with a real live action hero! (And I got to put a cinderblock on him too!) Mike knows his stuff and shares everything you need to know for his versatile go-anywhere ring training.  Full progressions of every exercise, workout plans, and all the know-how to take the training as far as you wish. Good stuff, and yes, that's me on the left side of the cover  :)

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The Key to the Kettlebell Swing: The Hip Hinge

Kettlebell Swing Hip Hinge Drill

No matter how much we talk about the hip hinge, revisiting it is always time well spent.  In fact it's a good idea to revisit the hip hinge whenever your kettlebell Swing just isn't... feeling right or if you're wondering why a weird little 5'3" 125-130lb almost-middle-aged woman with a questionable hairdo is able to Swing a 106lb kettlebell.

The kettlebell Swing is a simple movement, but with some specific "rules" at least as they are performed "Hardstyle" AKA in the HKC, RKC style.  Of course there are other styles out there like Kettlebell Sport (also called GS or Girvoy Sport) which have a different approach.  While I respect the other style, the RKC style is what I practice and have practiced since about 2009 and is what seems to be suited to my needs. SO that's what we'll be talking about today.

The infamous "hip hinge" is one of the primary movers of the kettlebell Swing, it's the crucial point where the energy from the ground is transferred to really make the Swing happen.  And although this movement seems to be logically "normal" many people in modern times have simply forgotten that they can really bend at the hips. And through no fault of their own many tv fitness "experts" thinking that they can just pick this thing up have demonstrated very squat-based swings to the general public.  And don't get me started about the double edged sword known as YouTube. For this reason you'll find all kinds of amusing analogies good coaches have come up with to get this concept across to people.  For instance, some will even reference the "bend and snap" scene from "Legally Blonde".  Apparently, for certain demographics that just makes the lightbulb come on for excellent swings.  Yes the hip hinge is a very athletic, but not very "ladylike" movement.

The hip hinge, and learning to maintain it with abdominal strength really is the key to kettlebell swings, at any weight and for any number of reps.  Strengthening the abdominals will take pressure off the back during swings and other related activities, and if practiced regularly you'll find the carry over to everyday life is pure gold. With inactive lifestyles being the norm, practicing the kettlebell Swing and hip hinge skills can provide so many strength (and preventative) benefits that they are almost too many to name.

That being said, these "special powers" really become evident when these movement patterns become habit and automatic.  Practicing these movements patiently over time and getting with an RKC Instructor to help you further refine them is really the way to go.  Unlike so much in "fitness" the Swing is something you can spend a lifetime working on--it's more like a movement from martial arts in that regard. 

So after all that babbling, here's a video I recorded just before a huge rain/thunderstorm hit.  It's not edited at all, so for those of you who enjoy quirks along with your kettlebell tips, then you're in for a treat.  Others will hopefully not strain themselves while rolling their eyes.  Either way, hope this helps.

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Kettlebell, calisthenics, maces, battling ropes, sandbags, these workouts are for whatever you have--or don't have!

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NYC Workouts Notebook

Here's an eBook of workouts I created for an exclusive NYC private gym (kettlebells, calisthenics, sandbag) along with options for customization and coaching!

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Brand new resource with fully up to date kettlebell training information --everything from the beginner basics all the way to highly advanced techniques.  Program design, sample workouts, and all the theory you need to construct your own plan for your own training or for your personal training clients.  An absolute MUST HAVE for all current and aspiring RKC and HKC instructors. FINALLY an updated resource is HERE!

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