Just say YES! …and Just add Kettlebells.

Posted: November 20, 2014 in Kettlebell, kettlebellhell, strength, swim training
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Whether you’re a cyclist, swimmer, runner, skier, paddleboarder, kayaker, CrossFitter…whatever your sport… kettlebells will make you a stronger one.

I’ve been swinging kettlebells for over 5 years now, mixing it in with all my other activities, and I can absolutely say that they have improved my game across the spectrum of activities I’ve taken on (which has been all of the above).  Due to the pure simplicity of them, anyone can work a few minutes a day into whatever else they’ve got going on.

As many of my readers know, when I’m not blogging about kettlebells, I’m usually rambling on about some race or event I’m training for. Whether it’s the Big Climb or the Fat Salmon, the Tough Mudder or the Alcatraz Swim, kettlebells will enhance your sport, guaranteed.  And I don’t say that lightly.  In the last five years I’ve noticed one HUGE difference:  I say yes!  I’m up for a challenge.  You know what I’m talking about… someone says “Hey, do this race with me” and in the past I would question whether I was up for it or not.  But not anymore.  Kettlebells have given me the confidence to say yes. With the right amount of training, I’ll be up for it!  I can’t tell you what a great feeling this is… and it has added benefits:

When we find ourselves saying yes to experiences we never thought possible, our lives become fuller and more meaningful. (my next post!) But with those new experiences we have the opportunity to meet new people.  (Take swimming, for example.  I just started swimming seriously two years ago, but I have found this to be one great community of people!  Especially those that call themselves “wild swimmers”.  These guys swim in the lake or the ocean, often year-round in any kind of weather.  They are tough and exceedingly inspiring!  They are also down to earth, quick to laugh, and they love to have a good time.  What more could you ask for?!)

So what new sport or activity have you been wanting to try? Just add kettlebells! What activity would you like to perform better? Just add kettlebells!

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Let’s get going!!  Here are the 10 basic movements I started with years ago that got me hooked:

1. Two-Handed Swings

2. Single-Handed Swings

3. Hand-2-Hand Swings

4. Clean and Press

5. Goblet Squats

6. Side Rows

7. Around the Worlds

8. Figure 8’s

9. Walking Lunges

10. Stage 1 Get-Ups

If you’ve been swinging kettlebells for awhile, and want to get stronger at a particular sport, focus on those muscles used most in that sport.

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Since we’ve been talking about swimming, let’s use that as an example.  Most of my races this summer were open water swims so I selected a few kettlebell movements that would help my lats and delts:

Overhead Tricep Lifts while lying on the floor (engaging my lats)
Bent-Over Side Rows
Power Plank Rows
Suitcase Swings
Turkish Get-Ups (to standing, adding presses into each stage of the get-up.)

Even just these few movements helped my stroke become more powerful and I was able to move more water out of my way.  When you’re racing in the open water, especially with significant chop, moving water is the name of the game.  But it’s also a mind game: You have to trust in your ability, or you will fail.  An athlete who adds kettlebells to their training will have the added confidence in their core power and will be better equipped to overcome not just the physical demands, but the inevitable psychological obstacles that crop up in open water.  (Yes, that’s probably another post right there!)  But whatever the demands of your sport, you can’t go wrong with added core power.

So work a few kettlebell movements into your exercise routine, and no matter what sport or activity you take up next, you’ll be stronger and better at it!

Peace,

Kate

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