Happy Thursday to you,
Can you believe January is almost over?
This month I’ve managed 11 weight training sessions, 27 meditation sessions, 8 rowing sessions, and a nice collection of long country walks.
How’s your progress going?
Around this time each year Lucy and I prepare to go cross country skiing in Austria for a few weeks but sadly that won’t be happening this year.
I’ll miss the skiing but also the winter sunshine which really helps to replenish that all-important vitamin D.
Vitamin D can be stored in the body but it does run out so that’s another great reason to get outdoors as much as possible.
OK, let’s look at undoing poor exercises and lifestyles…
Is your body getting closed down?
If so I’m going to show you how to open it up again like a beautiful flower in spring.
Let me explain…
When you are born you are all closed up.
Your spine is bent forwards in flexion, your limbs all point inwards with internal rotation and pronation.
As you start to grow you start to open up.
Your muscles develop enabling you to first raise your head, then crawl, squat, stand and walk.
It is your extensor muscles that help you to open up.
Your buttocks help you to stabilise and turn your lower limbs outwards.
Your back strengthens to support your spine, pull your shoulders back and create that beautiful spinal S-Curve.
So far so good, you are open, playing and moving the way you should.
Then something bad happens…
You start to sit down too much, which pulls you forward into flexion and closes you up.
You stop playing and keeping your buttocks strong, which causes your leg stabilisers to weaken and knees to fall inwards.
Stress causes your breathing to become shallower, which prevents deep inhalation which usually helps straighten the spine and pull you upright again.
In an effort to lose weight you start to exercise.
But you listen to outdated media which is based on bodybuilding from the 80’s.
You perform lots of crunches, which makes things worse weakening your back and pulling you further forwards and closing you down.
Guys do lots of bench and chest presses, which pulls the shoulders forwards and further closes you down.
You start running but your hips are too weak to keep your legs in alignment so your knees and ankles fall inwards. In a matter of weeks you have an ankle or knee injury.
It’s time to STOP…
Time to start opening back up again.
Time to work on the muscles that you developed as a child.
Time to develop your buttocks to strengthen and stabilise your legs again.
Time to work into the back of the body. To pull your shoulders back and straighten out your spine.
Open up again and the possibilities are endless. You can even start to run and play again.
Here’s what to do…
There is one movement pattern that will open you up better than any other.
The Hip Hinge. It will strengthen the back of your body from heel to neck
It’s the perfect opener.
There is a reason why I use the Hip Hinge and exercises including the kettlebell deadlift, kettlebell clean, kettlebell swing in all my workout programs. I want to open you up. Stand you up. Have you looking up, not down. Looking proud again.
It’s never too late to undo the stresses and strains of life.
Focus on the things that matter and start opening yourself up again today.
Opening Up Extensor Workout:
- Kettlebell Clean – 6 each side
- Kettlebell Row – 6 each side
- Kettlebell Snatch – 6 each side
- Kettlebell Renegade Row – 6 each side
- Rest and repeat 2 – 3 times
Here’s a workout to help open you up and strengthen those important extensor and pulling muscles.
We begin with the Clean which is a strong exercise for developing the extensor muscles at the back of the body.
The kettlebell row will help pull your shoulders back and develop your upper back.
The kettlebell snatch works the entire body but most importantly it strengthens the extensors muscles as you fight to open up and stand tall.
Finally, the Renegade row is the ultimate core exercise but with some further pulling requirements.
If you have been performing too many pushing or crunching exercises then this is the workout that you need to use.
Want more ready-made workouts? See my latest programs here
This weeks question:
Q. “What exercises in your portfolio do you recommend I do to gradually build up my strength so I can eventually jump from the 16kg to 24kg Turkish Get Up?”
A. If you do not own a 20kg kettlebell then making the leap from a 16kg to a 24kg can be hard especially in the TGU.
I suggest you start by practicing holding the 24kg overhead with a locked out arm. Work up to 60 seconds each side.
Next, work on the first stage of the reverse get up, so reverse lunge down onto one knee and then stand again. Perform 10 reps alternating sides after each rep.
Next, work on the half get up. From the lying position, sit up so you are posting on the one hand. Perform 10 reps alternating sides after each rep.
Next, return back to the reverse get up, descending down to one knee and then placing the one hand on the floor. Perform 10 reps alternating sides after each rep.
Finally, attempt the full get up.
Mix in the 16kg as your warm up. So you may perform 4 alternating reps with the 16kg and then 2 with the 24kg and then 4 more with the 16kg.
Aim for 10 reps 4 – 5 days per week. Gradually add more reps of the 24kg and less of the 16kg each week.
I hope this helps.
P.S. Want more ready-made workouts? See my latest programs here