Happy Thursday to you,
Android phone lovers, my new Kettlebell Workout Wizard app is here.
- Android users – download the free kettlebell workout app
- iPhone users – download the free kettlebell workout app
I have some other good news, I listened to your feedback and the next app updates are already being coded, you can expect them soon.
If you have downloaded the app then I’d really appreciate some feedback too, 5 stars always brightens up my day 🙂
In other news, I’m launching my second 30 day kettlebell challenge next week.
The workout challenge will focus on the kettlebell clean and its variations.
Many people struggle with the clean but once mastered it really is one of the easier exercises and very important for daily life.
Look out for next weeks newsletter on how to download the program and get started for free.
The Integrated Body
In today’s movement focus I’d like to stress the importance of thinking of the body as one functioning unit rather than as a collection of parts.
In modern times we like to get granular with everything but sometimes we need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
From the widest viewpoint we see that the human body comes from nature, is nature and is made up of purely natural things.
Nature heals us, comforts us and inspires us. Remember that when you are feeling a bit down and blue.
As we focus in closer on the human body we see an integrated collection of systems all working together to help you move and stay healthy.
We have functional lines that connect muscles to other muscles via fascia and other soft tissue similar to a string of sausages.
One of these functional lines connects the soles of the feet right the way up the back of the legs, buttocks, back, neck and over to the scalp.
If you have problems anywhere along a functional line then it can show up in other areas. For example by rolling the sole of your foot on a hockey ball and releasing tension can help improve your forward bend.
In other words, when you think you are training a muscle what you are really doing is stimulating just one section of a connected system.
It is for this reason that I don’t really like to talk about muscles but would rather emphasise movement patterns.
This integrated approach also explains why so many of use get niggling injuries and repetitive problems which are often misdiagnosed.
Often the site of the problem is NOT what caused the problem.
If you lack ankle mobility due to restrictive footwear or a previous ankle injury, then the knee is forced to compensate and this is how many knee injuries happen.
This exact problem happened to Tiger Woods when he repeatedly failed to rotate his ankle during his swing pushing all the rotation up into his knee joint.
The same problem happened to NBA (basketball players) when they used to wear restrictive boots resulting in an increase in knee injuries.
The common response to a knee injury is to wear a knee brace, which limits mobility and pushes the problem further up the kinetic chain to the hips and lower back.
A better solution to joint problems is to look above and below the joint.
- Poor ankle or hip mobility = knee problems
- Poor hip and upper back mobility = lower back problems
- Poor upper back mobility = shoulder problems
- Poor shoulder and core stability = upper back problems
- Poor lower back stability = hip problems
The science on exercise and movement is changing fast.
Most exercise training programs are stuck in the past and based on old body building techniques that emphasis the isolation of muscles and not movements.
If you want to move better, pick up less injuries, and develop strength that is useful in daily life, then thinking about full body integration is the way forward.
In future newsletters, I’ll be breaking this concept down further and helping you better understand what and how you can do to improve.
Here’s workout 35 from my 50 kettlebell circuits:
- Single handed swing x 30 secs each side
- Reverse lunge with rotation x 30 secs each side
- Clean x 30 secs each side
- Squat and press x 30 secs each side
I’ve used this 4 minute kettlebell circuit many times in my kettlebell classes.
We usually perform the circuit 3 times with 60 seconds of rest in between each circuit.
As you can see we are using ALL of the important movement patterns: Deadlift, Pull, Knee Bend, Core, Push, which explains why it is so exhausting for such a short workout.
Give it a try!
Why zebras don’t get ulcers
When I’m working with clients I always want to understand and work on their stress levels.
Stress trickles down and affects every part of the body.
Tackling your stress will have a huge impact on every aspect of your life from how you deal with other people, to disease, sleep, exercise recovery and weight gain.
If you want to read more about this topic then I highly recommend the book “Why zebras don’t get ulcers” by Robert Sapolsky.
OK, that’s all for today.
Take care of yourself and others.