After reading a good bit of Bud Jeffries new book, I Will Be Iron (currently out on ebook format, soon to be out in paperback), I was more than just a little bit inspired. One of the things I like about his book is the real world focus on simple but effective workouts with just a few crucial tools. He also pairs drills very well – I’m even futher convinced that I need to get a tire for the small group to flip – that or we may have to work out something and meet up with our friends at The Jungle for a special workout event… who knows! A full review of I Will Be Iron will be live in a few days, but I am really impressed with it so far – especially since Jeffries also includes talk about his Qigong practice and mobility. Likewise the start-stop swings were included so the small group could practice their hikes – the start stop swing is explained in great detail in Mastering the Hardstyle Kettlebell Swing – but, the basic gist is that you reset/re-hike between each and every swing. Try it – you’ll see!
Following our joint mobility warm up, they did 20 2 hand swings – then everyone chose a moderate kettlebell for the next combination – 45 seconds of 1 hand swings, switching every 5 reps, then 15 seconds rest. More rest taken if necessary – three rounds.
Next was the review of the “hollow” position – this was one of the really neat things that we touched on at the RKC2 this past summer, and then also at the Bodyweight Workshop in October – this is a basic, but difficult exercise in tension and awareness – and really should be in everyone’s practice. Following that review, I decided to gently introduce what is known as “The Evil Wheel” – you know, that little goofy gadget to the left of this sentence? Used properly it can really be interesting. ALWAYS remember to keep your abs fully engaged the whole time, or you’ll end up using your back – and that’s BAD. Also – only roll out as far as you safely can – it’s never a contest – and again think of starting in that hollow position while kneeling (pad those knees too). They alternated using the wheels and practicing the hollow position – 30 seconds on, 30 seconds rest+switch for 2 rounds, then pump stretch, 10 2 hand kettlebell swings and then 2 more rounds of hollow and wheel.
Next we got out the ropes for a bit of fun – 2 groups – one group had a moderate to light kettlebells and were doing one hand swings, switching hands each swing (D.A.R.C. swings), while the others were doing a fun battling ropes drill I learned from Laurel Blackburn of Tallahassee Kettlebell a few weekends ago – alternate arms up and down while walking towards and then backwards about half the length of the ropes. VERY interesting and VERY challenging drill. Both groups repeated each station three times. 30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest+switch.
Finally – one group did kettlebell deadlifts with heavy kettlebells, while the other group did 2 hand start stop swings with a moderate weight kettlebell, just 2 rounds 30 seconds on, 30 seconds rest+switch.
We finished up with joint mobility and plenty of water.
The fun thing about this particular workout is that it drills the crucial elements of the the kettlebell swing while still maintaining interest. We emphasized staying square and hand switch technique with the first segment of 1 hand swings, we reinforced engaging our abdominals with the hollow and wheel practice. The D.A.R.C. swings again emphasize coordination with hand switching, and the start stop swings really drive home the importance of the hike and deceleration. Fun stuff!
Have a great weekend and please let me know if you try any of these drill combinations!
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