A few of my favorite Kettlebell exercises…

Check out this month’s edition of Golf Today Northwest!  You might recognize a familiar face showing a few awesome kettlebell exercises that are safe for almost everyone.

The kettlebells have quickly become one of my favorite training tools.  They are so versatile and much more comfortable on my hand then the dumbbells.  But the best part is how they can transition from being used as a means to increase the heart rate, to a strength training tool, to stability and even power!  It’s hard to find one piece of equipment that can accomplish so much.

And in case you were looking for a few other ideas on what to do with a kettlebell, here are a few of the exercises I have posted this year on the blog!

#metconmonster Day 4 update:  I took on the “Pull Up Queen” today.  It looks like this…

30 second sprint, 10 pull-ups, 10 Jump Squats, 10 Kettlebell Swings x 8 for time.

Once again, the sweat was pouring in just a short 12 minutes, and I’m pretty sure on that last set of pull-ups, I may or may not have started to feel a little nauseous (I’m puke free since 1993, so it’s going to take a little more than a few pull-ups to make me sick!)

The funny part is that I had every intention of taking today off, but my body felt great and actually was craving a workout.  We’ll see how I feel tomorrow especially with 3 days of golf ahead of me.

Happy Friday Eve!

-S

The Joy of Kettlebells!

Here is a great sequence I did this afternoon with my very favorite training tool…..the Kettlebell!

Why is it my favorite?  I struggle big time with proximal stability.  My longs limbs can take some of the blame for this issue.  When you have long legs and arms it makes for long levers.  The longer the lever, the greater the need for stability in the middle.  I have struggled over the years finding exercises that can address this issue, and frankly I was getting sick of doing Dead Bugs.  The reality is that most everything we do is standing, so while there are some phenomenal exercises that can be done on the floor, ultimately to really attack this issue you have to engage the ground and get moving.  This is where the Kettlebells stand many notches above the rest!

  • 10 One arm kettlebell swings
  • 10 Rack Squats
  • 5 Push Presses
  • 10 Snatches
  • 10 One arm rows

Repeat this sequence 3 times on each side, alternating right and left.  See if you can get through it all without a break!

See you tomorrow!

-S

Monday Rehab: Fixing my foot!

Today I shared on Instagram a little insight into my own personal treatment regiment.  My process today was particularly different because I had a flare up of a foot injury over the weekend that I thought I left in the past!  Imagine if someone took a knife and jammed it in to the side of your foot and then ran it back and forth.  That’s about the lovely feeling I have on the lateral side of my left foot!  So the goal today was simple, figure out what is going on and nip it in the bud before I get plagued all golf season with excruciating pain.

Shawnadjustment

Here’s the catch though, what if I told you that my foot pain had nothing to do with my foot?

In fact, to get rid of the issue, it has absolutely nothing to do with addressing where the pain is.

The issue at hand is occurring because I started shifting my weight to the front/lateral part of my left foot on my downswing.  My heel pops off the ground slightly and I roll to the outside of the foot .  As a result, I continually irritate a nerve and some ligaments, the end result being pain.

Why is this happening?  Well, several issues are in play.  One is that my thoracic spine is not moving well to the left.  Considering that I am currently working on rotating better with my chest through impact, this issue ensure that will not happen.  However, even though my spine isn’t moving well, it is actually not due to a mobility issue.

I am one of the few that struggle with stability.  In order to support rotation and movement, one must have adequate strength and stability in place.  That means stability in the shoulder, core, hip and ankle.  Yes, even joints that are meant to be mobile must be able to stabilize as well.

So in order to get my foot pain to decrease, I need to stabilize through those areas better in order to support the rotation.  And if I rotate better, my weight will not shift out on to the foot.  Of course this also requires some work on my actual swing to reinforce the new movement.

To summarize……..lateral left foot pain……..caused by inefficient rotation……..caused by instability in the core, shoulders and hips………which can be addressed with treatment and exercises……then rotation can be reinforced…….add in swing drills……and the foot pain goes away!

Here are 2 of my favorite exercises I did today to take steps in becoming foot pain free!

Statue of Liberty and Anti Inversion/Eversion

I love combining these two movements, they fit well together and are much harder than they look.

Statue of Liberty

  • Choose a kettlebell with enough weight to provide a challenge
  • Start with it in the rack position and then press to the ceiling
  • Focus on keeping the shoulders level and core engaged
  • Imagine your shoulder blade dropping into your back pocket
  • Walk around changing direction which will result in the stabilizers having to adjust accordingly

Kettlebell Ankle Stability

  • Start on one foot, preferably in your bare feet
  • Begin by slowly handing the kettlebell back and forth, making sure to fully find your balance on each pass
  • Focus on feeling your toes clinch the ground and resisting the direction the kettlebell wants to pull your ankle to

Start with 45 seconds of the Statue of Liberty, followed by 1 minute of the Kettle Bell Ankle Stability work.  Once you complete one side, switch!  Do 2-3 sets as part of your warm up and you are well on your way to a more stable and happy golf swing, and maybe a less painful foot!

-S

Give your strength workout a boost

Instead of giving you a full workout today, I thought I would show you an easy way to change up what you are doing in the gym and get the sweat flying!

It’s as easy as having either some battling ropes or a jump rope around, and if you don’t have either of those, really anything that gets the heart rate up with will work.  (Sprints are always a winner!)

Here is what my workout looked like….

6:30 workout

You could pick any number of strength exercises, just make sure they cover all your bases.  My focus right now is on stabilizing my shoulders, using the ground, anti-rotation, and challenging my mental focus.  This proved to be a great workout for just that!

Take your list of exercises and simply add a 30 second burst between each set.  I ended up going through the list 3 times and switched back and forth between the battling ropes and jump rope.  Since most of the exercises I was doing were in the sagittal plane, I wanted the bursts to incorporate balance, lateral movement and rotation.

Here are some variations on both!

Now you have some fun options that will help change up your regular routine!  Be sure to take breaks as needed, especially since the heart rate will be headed up.

See you tomorrow!

-S

P.S.  Golf lesson was a success today, everything is headed in the right direction and I was even able to work the ball both ways.  Tomorrow is just a gym day and putting indoors, range Friday, 9 holes Saturday and 18 Sunday.  Hello PNGA Cup next week!

A day late!

This was yesterday’s workout that got lost in the shuffle of the third day of conference, racing to the airport and a four hour flight!

I took advantage of one last day with the hotel Kettlebells, picked four exercises and set a timer for 10 minutes.  This is what happened…….

  • 10 Kettlebell Swings
  • 20 Alternating Shoulder Presses
  • 5 Eccentric focused Single Leg Deadlifts each side
  • 10 Goblet Squats

I made it through about 4 and 1/2 times, and my hamstrings and glutes have a lot to say about it this morning!

Be on the lookout this afternoon for a TKD workout!

-S

Another day, another KB workout in Kansas City!

Back up at 6am this morning to hit the Kettlebells again!  Today I chose 6 exercises and divided them up to make two mini circuits.  It went a little something like this……

Round 1 (Repeat 4x)

  • One Arm Press on the floor (8 reps each, make it challenging):  To have success with this exercise, you must work hard to maintain that neutral spine and resist the rotation!  Make sure to lower your arm at a 45 degree angle and to place your feet at a width that feels challenging but still doable.
  • Kettlebell Clean (10 reps):  Basically my new favorite exercise of all time.  Drive from the ground to power the KB up and then quickly switch your grip to catch it.  This should be all about using the legs, especially the glutes to create force.
  • Dead Bugs (10 reps):  I showed you a few variations on these earlier this week so thought I would put them in to add a little more core stabilization.

Round 2 (Repeat 4x)

  • One Arm Kettlebell Swing (10 each side):  Again, I’m still perfecting these.  Anytime weight is swinging out and away from my body I have to hold on for dear life.  So basically every time I swing a golf club.  That is why I am pushing myself to get better at the swings!  One arm provides an extra challenge but your form is still the same.  Get those glutes firing!
  • Plank Pull Through (10 Reps):  A little more stabilization with the added bonus of some t-spine rotation.  Focus on maintaining that neutral spine as you reach across.  My abs starting burning big time on these!
  • Farmer March (10 each side):  This could be one of the greatest exercises of all time that no one is doing.  Basically pick up something heavy and do a slow motion march maintaining posture.  I bet you can’t stay balanced!  If you have not done these before, you need them in your training program asap!

So that was it, only 6 exercises but wow did they cover a lot of bases.  I’m looking forward to what the morning brings, see you then!

-S

It’s a Kettlebell week in Kansas City!

I woke up in Kansas City this morning to a glorious site…..a fitness center at our hotel with Kettlebells!!  That means I am guaranteed a good week of workouts, and what better way to deal with a time change then to get up early and lift something heavy!

Here is what I did this morning:

  • One arm racked kettlebell squat:  I love this exercise because of the lateral challenge it presents.  The offset weight makes me work harder to stay balanced which is always a win.  For this circuit I did 5 reps on each side.
  • Pushups:  You just can’t go wrong with them…..well, there are a lot of ways to perform them wrong, but if you choose the correct level and are diligent on your form, they are the best.  In the words of Jen Sinkler “do as many as pretty”.
  • Kettlebell Swing:  I’m still working on perfecting these, but here are some of the coaching cues that are helping.  Start with the weight out in front of you and squat down to start the momentum.  Once the weight swings back, fire the glutes and hips to power the kettlebell up, your arms have nothing to do with it!  I let my head follow the motion versus looking straight forward the entire time, your neck will thank me.  20 Reps total here.
  • One Arm Row:  I did this on one foot today because I wanted to add a challenge to my ankles.  With the uneven weight, it puts your foot in a position to resist eversion.  Maintain solid posture and let your free arm work with the motion to better feel the rotation.  10 Reps on each side will do the trick!
  • Sprint:  Because why not.  1 min total

I went through this 5 times with no break and definitely had one of those good sweats going where about an hour after I had a George Costanza moment.  “George likes his chicken spicy!”

See you tomorrow!

-S