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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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Ask GiryaGirl: I just learned the kettlebell swing... Now what?!

So - you may have had your first visit with an RKC or HKC instructor and learned to do the kettlebell Swing ! (Big shout out to Mark, Nick, and Tony!)   Now you're back home, have given yourself a rest and are no longer gnashing your teeth because of being sore in weird places.

Where to start?!   Here's a couple of routines you can use to reinforce and practice what you learned:

Joint Mobility warm up to begin

Then snag a dowel or broom and practice the hip hinge - keeping the dowel down the center of your back, in contact with the back of your head, the middle of your back, and your tail bone.   Remember sit back with the hips - the knees will naturally bend a LITTLE but that shouldn't be the big part of the movement.  

Here's a video about the hip hinge for review:

Practice face the wall squats, concentrate on pulling yourself down, don't just drop.

Remember that whenever you touch a kettlebell, even just to move it, keep your abs tight - this will help to protect your back - and will give you good habits for working with heavier weights.  

"Jump" through your heels, keeping all four corners of your feet in contact with the ground.

With your swings, always focus on quality over quantity - make each rep count, learn from each rep and make the next one better.  If you need to, grab the dowel and remind yourself of the hip hinge movement pattern.   Always lock out at the top of the Swing.  If something feels wrong or you get out of your groove, stop, re-hike the kettlebell and start again.

If you're starting from a fairly sedentary lifestyle you may wish to just start with this on most days:

  • 5 minutes of swings, 30seconds work, 30 seconds rest (keep moving)

Alternately - you can mix it up:

  • 10 swings, 10 deadlifts repeat 10x resting as needed

Or

  • 10 swings, 10 deadlifts, 10 push ups 5 or 10x through, resting as needed

 

Get "fancy" with a "twisted ladder"

10 swings, 1 deadlift (or body weight squat, wall squat etc.)

9 swings, 2 deadlifts

8 swings, 3 deadlifts

down to 1 Swing, 10 deadlifts

 

PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!  This isn't really just a workout - you're learning a skill - and all skills need practice.  We're all still working on our Swing - I most certainly am, my strength coach is, and everyone that really wants to get better, fitter, stronger all the way up to Master level RKCs are constantly looking to improve and hone their skills.   Never stop learning, and don't discount the power of consistant practice.   Stop before you get so tired that your form suffers.   Your conditioning will improve over time as well - don't think you have to run yourself into the ground every time, especially not while you're trying to learn the basics at first.

Safety first, and always rest when necessary - keep moving, don't sit down or lay down - its bad for your heart.

Remember to check in with your RKC or HKC to make sure you're on the right track, and ask lots of questions - we love questions.

 

 

Recommended materials to reinforce what you're learning with your local RKC or HKC:

For after you get going with the basics:

  • Josh Hillis's 21 Day Kettlebell Swing Challenge (if you want a great challenge that's going to get you in the habit of consistent training, then this is for you.  There are beginner, intermediate, and advanced programs.  Great Value!)
  • Kettlebell Goddess (Sure its "for women" but the workouts are great for anyone) great program design and versatile workout formats on this DVD - not to mention STELLAR demos and explanations from the Kettlebell Goddess herself, Andrea Du Cane
  • Convict Conditioning - round out your workouts with these powerful bodyweight drills - starting from absolute zero.  Can't do a "regulation" push up yet? This book will get you there - and beyond.  I use these drills, and I've also used the progressions with a variety of clients - including grandmas!
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