Happy Thursday to you,
Congratulations to all those that completed the 30 day kettlebell clean challenge.
Starting things in life is easy but being consistent and sticking to a plan, even when you don’t aways want to, is a good quality in life to have.
Consistency is the key to success with any exercise program.
Here’s how you can succeed:
- Do something each day (eg. 10 squats etc.)
- Don’t break this daily chain for 30 days
- Increase the daily exercises as your habits improve
The main reason I use very short workouts is I want you to be consistent.
For many people, starting their training with long intense workouts soon becomes overwhelming and they give up.
So starting with a daily challenge or my 4 minute circuits is a simple way to build a workout habit and succeed. The barrier to entry is low and consistency improves.
There is plenty of time for longer more intense workouts later. Just focus on consistency first.
More daily workout challenges will be coming soon my friend!
The kettlebell windmill is an often neglected exercise but well worth your time.
The windmill will:
- Develop strong core and oblique muscles
- Improve hip mobility
- Work through any hamstring tightness
- Improve shoulder stability and mobility
- Warm up the body ready for your workout
Core training is often mistakenly thought of as being floor based due to the over popularisation of crunches, sit ups and ab rollers.
But you can condition your core muscles safer and more effectively when standing.
Think about it….how much time do you spend on the floor?
Getting great at crunches only makes you great at crunches.
When you stand and need to use your core muscles to support your spine those crunches will not help you.
So you need to work your core muscles when standing and windmills will help you with that.
I use windmills as part of a warm up and do not go too heavy, I only want to activate the muscles and work on mobility.
Progress your windmills slowly like this:
- Practice the movement without a kettlebell
- Practice the movement with a kettlebell in the bottom hand
- Practice holding a kettlebell for 30 secs overhead and walking around
- Practice with the kettlebell in the top hand
- Practice with a kettlebell in both hands
5 repetitions each side is a great number to use for practice. You can perform 2 – 3 sets if you would like.
Those who suffer with shoulder issues need to be careful.
Windmills can either make you or break you depending on how much load you use. Always add weight gradually over time.
Remember that connective tissue (tendons and ligaments) takes longer to adapt to exercise than muscle. So even though it may feel good the first few times you should not overdo it.
Learn more and watch the videos? Guide to the kettlebell windmill
Let’s see the windmill in action from my 50 kettlebell circuits:
- Windmill x 30 seconds each side
- Side Lunge x 30 seconds each side
- Clean x 30 seconds each side
- Thruster x 30 seconds each side
As you can see we begin with the windmill to warm up the shoulders, hips and core muscles before progressing onto the more demanding exercises.
Again we are using all 5 movement patterns to balance out the body: push, pull, hip hinge, knee bend and core.
I guarantee that you will not be disappointed with this 4 minute workout both from a mobility, stability, strength and cardio perspective.
This is the perfect example of how you can perform a short 4 minute workout to develop a workout habit. Want more? Then perform 3 circuits. You can even increase the kettlebell weight for rounds 2 and 3.
This weeks question:
Q. “I’m struggling to get good form on the snatch. The bell seems to knock the back of my hand at the highest point over my head. Any tips?”
A. The kettlebell snatch is an advanced exercise that should only be attempted once you have mastered the swing and the clean. You should also feel comfortable with the kettlebell overhead by practicing the Turkish get up and windmill.
Most hand knocks come from one of two things or both:
- You are not fully extending the arm directly overhead
- You are allowing the kettlebell to flop over the top of your hand
If the arm is not extended directly overhead and the arm is slightly forward then the kettlebell will always bang / rest on the wrist or forearm.
Shoulder / thoracic mobility plays a large part in how far back you can raise your arm. This is a common problem in well muscled men. Improvements must be made to improve mobility or this issue will never be resolved.
The second issue is down to technique. The kettlebell should not be swung up and over in an arc rather it should travel straight up in a straight line and then the hand punched through the handle.
Facing an old wall is a good way to help remind you that the kettlebell needs to travel upwards. Great tip for improving your clean too!
I hope this helps.