Saturday, February 14, 2009

How To Do the Kettlebell Clean

So many people wear bruises on the forearms as "badges of honor." There is no honor in bruised forearms. It is just the kettlebell strongly urging you to figure out the correct form. The Kettlebell Clean is one of the basic 6 kettlebell movements and should be mastered by all who use the kettlebell. Its original purpose was to provide a safe means to get one or two kettlebells in position for other lifts. You will clean before front squats, presses, and racked squats for example. That’s still its main purpose but double cleans with hefty kettlebells feels like a workout.

Mastering the Kettlebell Clean Step by Step

  1. Start as if doing a one armed kettlebell swing but shorten the height of the triangle so move your base a bit closer to the kettlebell.
  2. Grip the kettlebell loosely with one hand and swing the bell through your crotch. Back straight, not rounded and then used “enough” hip for the work required. Don’t use too much hip. Just enough.
  3. “Tame the arc” so that the kettlebell travels the shortest possible distance. Almost as if you are zipping your jacket. You don’t want it to turn into a swing where you then pull the kettlebell towards your torso and hope for the best. Imagine a wall in front of you and you can’t smack the wall with the bell. (Please don’t use an actual wall)
  4. As you pull the kettlebell up, make sure your elbow is attached to your body. Don’t let it separate. Allow the kettlebell to “roll” over your hand so that it doesn’t crash into your forearm. If your hand moves faster than the bell as you roll it you won’t bang your wrist. Imagine a short jab. That should help.
  5. The kettlebell, the elbow and your torso should become “one.” Keep your shoulder down, (uncover your ears), triceps pressed into your ribs, armpit squeezed tight, elbow as low as possible into your hip and torso, glues and quads tight. Real tight. Also imagine gripping the ground with your toes.
  6. As you “Hard Style” it, be certain you contract your abs too. The tension you have just created gives you the power you need to proceed in what ever exercise you are about to do.

Remember to keep your 'body" under tension in the racked position.

The best,

Sandy Sommer, RKC

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10 Minutes of Kettlebells and Sledgehammers

Quick kettlebell and sledgehammer session today. Got it 5 sets of Long Cycle Clean and Jerks using double 20 KG kettlebells and did 20 sledge swings Keep the hands near the bottom end of the handle, preferably touching. Do not attempt to choke up. You would want to choke up is the if you working with the sledgehammer--when used as an exercise tool the idea is to make it as difficult as possible!....10 on each side. Completed 5 rounds in 9:55 seconds. 50 LCCJ and 100 Sledges.

Average heart rate was 148 and high was 162. Short, sweet intense.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Top 5 Kettlebell Exercises for Abs

A lot of people have asked me how kettlebells can help their abs if all the "Hard Style" exercises are compound in nature.

First, compound exercises by their nature are very intense and will help you strip fat off your body fat by putting you in a extremely high post workout metabolic state. If you have the strongest core in the world no one can tell if it is protected by a layer of blubber.

A lot of folks have a strong core but high body fat. So the first tip is to clean up the diet.

That being said, here are my "Top 5 Kettlebell Exercises for 6 (or even 8) pack abs:

1) Russian Twist: For those of you looking for a more focused approach. All I would add is that if you do the "bicycle" it gets to be even more challenging!

2) Kettlebell Swing: Done correctly this is an amazing core smoker. If you are properly employing a mix of tension and relaxation "Hard Style" you will know what I mean!

3) Turkish Get Up: Perhaps the paramount kettlebell exercise. It requires full body fitness. It's a combination of strength, flexility and focus. Your shoulders will love it and your core will "thank you."

4) Kettlebell Press: People want to know how I can include a "shoulder" exercise but the kettlebell press, "Hard Style" is far from a shoulder movement. If you create the tension that RKC requires then you will know what I mean. Lots of times my abs are burning when I do this.

5) Kettlebell Front Squat: Try it and you will see what I mean. This KILLS you core. As well as your legs.

Bonus Exercise here . Enjoy!

Sandy Sommer, RKC


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sandy Sommer, RKC and the Turkish Get Up

What is a Turkish Get Up, and why is it such a stable element of Hard Style Kettlebell Training? Is there a "hardstyle" or "RKC" form of the Turkish Get Up, and why should you care - or care to practice this form rather than any other? These questions and more are explored in the following:

Simply put the Kettlebell Turkish Get Up may be on of the most elegant of all exercise. Your body works machine like as one to do the work.

I could never get the information to you better than Dr. Schraeflel:

Here's my video

Sandy Sommer, RKC