Monday, August 30, 2010

Plank Presses

Prone and side planks are among the most effective core exercises around.  For those unfamiliar with how to properly perform a plank, refer to my video here.  You must know how to perform a proper side plank before attempting a plank press.  Furthermore, you should clearly understand the purpose of the plank exercises, which is to strengthen your ability to create "super stiffness" between your rib cage and your pelvis.  For those unfamiliar with Dr. Stuart McGill's research on the necessity of "super stiffness" for lower back protection and performance, do some homework.  I use his core principles everyday, and they are certainly applicable to any athletic endeavor.  Visit his website,, for more information.

A great advanced variation of a side plank, and another opportunity to develop super stiffness, is the plank press shown below.  Start with a very light weight, since most people's initial struggle is with the stability of the supportive shoulder on the bottom arm.  You'll want to be certain that your forearm of the top pressing arm stays at a perpendicular angle to the floor at all times, just as you would with a bent press.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Thumbtack Review

Please post reviews and testimonials of my training and kettlebell classes here. You may also include reviews on chiropractic services and rehabilitation as well.  Thumbtack is a site I am attempting to use to help generate interest in kettlebell classes and drive business, so any help is appreciated.

Monday, August 23, 2010

New Class Option

I am considering adding a new class during the week on thursday evenings at 6pm.  I ran a poll at the top of the blog for a while, and that seems like a popular option for participation.  However, there is the possibility that some of the people who voted are not actually attending classes here or even local.  So, I want anyone who is currently attending classes, or who lives locally wishing to attend classes, to reply to this post if you would like me to start that class option.  In your reply, please post your real name and your response, so I know that it is legitimate.  If I end up adding a thursday night class, I will also add a few hours before it for 1-on-1 training for those interested.  I figure I need about 6-8 people to commit to this class addition before I commit to it myself.  Thanks for your support!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Press Variations: Seesaw Press

 There are many different variations of your kettlebell press.  This version adds an element of coordination and shoulder/core stability to the mix, as one arm moves overhead while the other arm moves to the "rack."  Usually people need to start with a weight slightly less than what they can use correctly in one arm, just to develop the coordination for the exercise at first.  Try it out...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Basic Kettlebell Routine

Here is a great kettlebell routine using just the 5 basic exercises (getup, swing, clean, snatch, and press).

1 Turkish Getup : 5 One Arm Snatches - use a getup to climb to your feet, perform 5 snatches with that same arm, and after the 5th snatch, return to the floor using your getup technique.  Perform for 5 minutes straight.

 5 One Arm Swings, 5 Cleans, and 5 Presses - perform 5 reps of your swing, followed by 5 cleans, and finally five presses...all on one arm.  Then switch to the other arm and repeat.  Perform this for 5 minutes straight.

1 Goblet Squat : 5 Two Handed Swings - perform 1 goblet squat, followed by 5 swings immediately.  Keep moving back to back in that ratio for 5 minutes straight.

Total time spent exercising is 15 minutes, plus a warmup and cooldown.  This might be short, but it will not be easy!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Figure 8's

 One of the greatest lessons that kettlebell training provides is the "interconnectedness" your body and mind develop. Most novice lifters have very little body awareness and proprioception.  They have no "body flow."  Like a martial artist, gymnast, or other highly trained athlete, frequent kettlebell training develops a person's ability to utilize their body in dynamic and fluid ways, showcasing their power, strength, and mobility all in one. 

This is particularly important in daily life tasks.  Imagine if you stumbled on the curb and just abruptly plummeted face first while trying to brake your fall with your hand.  The emergency room visit to repair the broken bones, lesions, and tissue sprain would be quite expensive and painful.  Instead, imagine that same fall, but you learned to redirect your body on its side, tucking and rolling on impact, absorbing the energy through your core and hips.  You would simply brush yourself off and laugh at how disastrous the episode could have been! 

The kettlebell figure 8 teaches you that necessary proprioception and body flow.  You learn to combine rotary torsion with hip extension, while redirecting energy from your legs to your arms.  It take some time to get the coordination of the movement down, but you'll get it.  Now get to work!