Happy Thursday to you,
During these difficult times routines are more important than ever.
I currently have a daily workout routine based around the kettlebell swing.
Everyday at 11am, I get changed, walk done my garden path and into my small home gym. I switch on my small speaker, start a podcast and get into it.
30 minutes and I’m done.
I know that once I have completed my daily workout I feel like I’ve done something positive for myself and the day goes well.
But guess what….
Sometimes I just don’t feel like it, maybe I’ve got the blues or feel demotivated.
The thing is I still go down that garden path, into my gym and switch on a podcast.
I say to myself, I’ll just do a few mobility exercises, perhaps some stretching or maybe experiment with a new piece of equipment.
Then something magical happens, I start to get into it…BOOM…before I know it, I’ve performed another workout.
Job done. Blues disappear and I feel good about myself again.
So my message to you is this….JUST START.
You don’t have to finish, although you probably will.
And I know, that just like me, you’ll feel so much better about yourself for the rest of the day 🙂
The kettlebell swing
I’ve been performing a daily kettlebell swing workout recently so I thought I would share some further info with you.
The kettlebell swing can be thought of as a dynamic deadlift exercise.
So like all deadlift exercises it heavily conditions the buttocks, hips, hamstrings, forearms, and back.
Plus, being dynamic it’s challenging for the heart and lungs too.
Single handed swings activate more muscle especially the Lats and Core whereas the two handed swing develops more explosive hips.
I’ve been performing 10 sets of 10 reps with a heavier kettlebell (32kg).
Every set I think about a teaching point and focus solely on that:
- Squeeze the buttocks tight at the top
- Brace the abs tight at the top
- Stand tall pushing my head upwards
- How long can I float the kettlebell at chest height
- Pull my tail under at the top
- Shoulder pulled deep back in its socket
- Eyes down to 6 feet ahead then back up to level
- Breath in on the way down and a hard breath out on the way up
Bear in mind I’ve been swinging and teaching kettlebells since 2006 so don’t need to do all the above to avoid injury.
But I find it helps me get the most out of every single set I perform.
I encourage you to try the above cues during your next swing workout.
The swing can be thought of as a pulling exercise so in order to balance my workout I pair it with a push exercise.
The 2 best push exercises you can add to the swing are:
- Turkish Get Ups
- Push Ups
Once you can swing a kettlebell comfortably your options are endless:
- Change the amount of reps or work time
- Change the rest between sets
- Change the speed
- Use either two hands or one hand
- Change the weight
I encourage you to have some fun with the kettlebell swing. Try the above teaching cues, and play with the 5 training variables above.
Here’s a workout from week 4 of the Men’s Kettlebell Program
- Single Handed Swing Left – 10 reps
- Push Ups – 10 reps
- Single Handed Swing Right – 10 reps
- Squat Thrusts – 10 reps
Here you can see a swing based workout. Repeat the circuit 3 – 5 times.
You have the pulling movement of the swing and the pushing movement from the push ups. I’ve also added the squat thrusts as a knee bend and core based movement.
This workout conditions practically every muscle in your body and is very cardiovascular too.
You should take as much rest as is needed in between exercises and circuits.
Problems with Diet / Low Calorie Drinks
If you enjoy a diet coke or other low calorie drink and feel like these are helping with your fat loss, then it’s time to think again!
Research has shown that the consumption of low calorie drinks and artificial sweeteners leads to more abdominal fat and weight gain over time.
Here are a few things to bear in mind:
- Artificial sweeteners are not absorbed into the body like sugar and make changes to the microbiome or gut bacteria
- Artificial sweeteners fool your brain into thinking you are consuming sugar and when it is not received increases the cravings for sugar and junk food even further
- Artificial sweeteners will not cause your blood sugar to spike immediately like regular sugar but spikes have been recorded later that same day increasing cravings
Simply swapping artifical sweetners for water will dramatically increase your potential for fat loss.
So check your labels for: Sucralose and Splenda even those marketed as ‘Natural’ including Stevia and Monk Fruit have been shown to cause the same issues.
Source: How not to Diet by Micheal Gregor
I know many people have been trying to purchase kettlebells over the past few weeks and it seems most companies are ‘out of stock’.
If you haven’t got a kettlebell remember you can still perform highly effective bodyweight workouts using no equipment.
I’d also like to inform you of the progress of my new kettlebell training app.
The ‘kettlebell workout wizard‘ is currently with the developers, they have all the graphics and videos. We are aiming for release next month!
That’s all for today my friend,
Take care of yourself and each other,
P.S. Need a helping hand during these challenging times? Use discount code: ATHOME