Posts Tagged ‘kettlebells’

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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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You already know how I feel about yoga and kettlebells.  Yin and Yang… perfectly matched, each one helps achieve a higher level of success at the other.  Today, I’d like to discuss a few things from my yoga practice.  At the start of every yoga class we’re always asked to set our intention. Our intention is something that will resonate through our practice.  It’s quite often something we want to work on… and then we are reminded to think of our intention throughout the class.

I always appreciate this part of class because it forces me to focus on something and be very present.

Today my intention was strength and compassion. I often feel like those are the yin and the yang of life.  I merge these two into a single phrase I can repeat: “Be strong, be compassionate, and be sure of yourself and your convictions.”  If there’s one thing that resonates true for me it is this and it goes for everything… in your business life, in your social life… and, yes, at the gym!  If there is room for doubt, explore it, and then decide.

I’ve complained in past posts about the “busy” excuse. People are too busy these days for their own damn good, and quite often to their detriment. If we don’t take the time to understand people and issues at a deeper level, not only are we doing ourselves a disservice, but we’re quite often cutting others off as well with our “too-busy” attitude.  But this soapbox I’m on goes for understanding oneself as well.

How can we remain strong in our convictions if we don’t truly take the time to understand ourselves?  Understanding yourself well enough to be strong in your convictions takes time, dedication and courage.   It’s worth it.  Once we have achieved a strong sense of self, then we are not shaken by others opinions.  We wake up, we look in the mirror and we know who we are.

My New Year’s resolution last year was to attempt a deeper level of compassion, and learn how to do a free-standing headstand for 1 minute.

With help and encouragement, I accomplished the headstand.  I’m thrilled and have made it part of my daily routine to stimulate my 7th chakra with a headstand.  I think it has helped inspire my thoughts and my writing.  Compassion is back on my list for 2012.

As the yoga class comes to a close our instructor says: “Let the fruits of our practice benefit not just ourselves, but benefit all of those around us.”  So here it is… be strong, be compassionate, and be sure of yourself and your convictions!   On the mat, we learn how to breathe through some difficult poses.   As we emerge from the studio, I believe we are better equipped to navigate difficult situations.  Breathe.  The fruits of your practice will follow you throughout your day.

Peace Out,
Kate