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KettleBell 102

Kettlebells 102

A few weeks ago I touched on the basics of kettebells. In summary, there are only a few distinct differences between a kettlebell and any other free weight (i.e. a dumbbell): the shape/feel, the grips, and the ability to execute exercises in different ways. This week I wanted to tackle a few exercises you will commonly see being performed with a kettlebell. Since I am all about full body balance, below are four exercises that will hit all the major muscle groups when performed all together.

1.) KB Goblet Squat:
-“knee” movement
-primary movers = quads and glutes
-grips: crush grip or horns grip
-cues: sit back into your heels, chest up, back straight, KB close to chest, knees do not go over toes

2.) KB Single Arm Strict Press
-“push” movement
-primary movers = deltoids (shoulders), pecs (chest), triceps, abdominals, obliques
-grip: half rack position
-cues: wrist straight, elbow in tight, press up overhead into full extension, elbow in towards ear, rotate to palm out, abs tight, glutes tight (avoid arching back)
**do not perform this exercise if, when you get into full extension overhead, you get into excessive lumbar extension (have an arch in your back). This most likely means that you do not have the right amount of overhead mobility to perform this movement and would benefit from some corrective exercises.

 3.) KB Swing
-“hip” movement
-primary movers = glutes, hamstring, back extensors, lats, deltoids, abdominals
-grip: hold onto handle
-cues: knees soft, hike the KB back high into groin and push hips back, “pop” hips forward as the KB swings up chest level, stand up all the way and squeeze glutes on top, abs tight and back flat, avoid arching back at the top of the movement
*note: this is a hip hinge movement, not a squat! 

4.) KB Row
-“pull” movement
-primary movers: lats, traps, posterior deltoids (back of shoulders), biceps, abdominals
-grip: hold onto handle
-cues: split stance, lean forward and support yourself on front leg, back flat, chin tucked, pull KB up towards armpit, wrist straight squeeze shoulder blade, avoid rotation in hips

Perform this as a circuit or supersets: 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps to start. Please reach out with any questions!

Stephanie Spoto, CSCS

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