Steve Cotter: Double Kettlebell Swing

Steve Cotter is back here with more kettlebell training.  This time it’s the Double Kettlebell Swing. He kicks us off with a couple of handy tips: 1. If you have never used two kettlebells before in your training, then it would pay start off with a lighter kettlebell since you are doubling up: if you normally use a 53lb weight (approximately 25kg) then you might want to drop down to about 30lbs (just under 15kg) for each hand. 2. With one weight, it is fine to split your stance hip width apart, but with two, you need to widen your stance considerably more to avoid leg injuries. So, to begin: Squat, with shoulders back and sit back. Inhale, then exhale as you pull up the kettlebells. Start with a few mini swings to get used to the movement, then increase the range of motion higher so that they are level with your chest at their highest point. Make sure that you are in control of the kettlebells and that they are not pulling you forwards. Steve Cotter shows us this challenging double kettlebell swing, but swings are really the foundation of kettlebells workouts.  They help in training and conditioning the muscles that are required for many different movements, including sprinting and jumping (forwards and upwards).  They can also improve your squat and deadlift technique and help you to focus on your...

Turkish Get up: Steve Cotter’s Two Kettlebell Workout Variations – Lunge Style

Kettlebell King Steve Cotter shows us his take on the Turkish Get Up with two variations.  This exercise is shown initially without the kettlebell and I would strongly advise that you get used to the movement before attempting to perform this workout with the kettlebell.  When you are ready try it with a light weight first so you can get used to focusing on it.  This is because the kettlebell is above your head for most of the exercise and during some delicate manouvering… The Turkish Get Up will give you a great workout with fewer reps ( in my experience!) so give it a try if you are short on time, be sure to work each arm equally. There are two variations: Turkish Get Up #1 Lie on the floor and form a base. Take the kettlebell with an underhand grip and straighten the arm, pressing the kettlebell towards the ceiling. Find the ground with your free hand and keep the weight bearing arm locked out. Lift your hips, keeping the kettlebell in position. Take the front foot back into the lunge. Find a stable position and step straight up. Turkish Get Up #2 Sit on the floor with one leg extended, the other bent underneath and the kettlebell pressed straight up towards the ceiling. Support your weight with your free hand. Now bend your extended leg and and extend the bent leg (switch). Use your free hand to push yourself forward into the lunge. The set up is the same for both variations. The Turkish Get Up is fantastic for testing your strength and mobility.  It also helps you to work your range of motion, especially around the shoulders which can tend to get quite tight.  Keep the wrist supporting the weight straight at all times to avoid injury and keep your eye on the kettlebell.  Also...

Kettlebell Exercises With Steve Cotter – Mid Section And Lower Body

Kettlebell exercises can improve your condition dramatically.  Steve Cotter is a notable martial artist, but his kettlebells workouts are second to none.  Being a strength and conditioning instructor you can be certain that these tips will help to improve your technique. High Position Windmill This kettlebell exercise is perfect for training your mid section and lower body.  It is especially important to keep your Quadratus Lumborum and Iliopsoas strong to help prevent lower back pain, particularly if you have a desk job. Start by cleaning the kettlebell to the chest.  Then by pressing, jerking or push pressing the weight, get it over your head. You want the kettlebell to be locked out so that you can align the shoulder with the hip to predominantly engage your back muscles. Feet should be pointing away from the kettlebell.  So if your are using your right arm, point your feet towards the left. Keep your eyes on the kettlebell and not looking down.  Your chest should be turned upwards towards the ceiling, with your right leg straight.  Point your right hip out to the side and trace down the inside of your left leg with your outstretched left arm. The Fold This is where you really push your right hip out, fold laterally and slightly forward.  Work initially to brush the floor with your fingertips – inhale on the fold and exhale on the rise.  To improve your range of motion you can work to touch the floor with your palm. To really stretch your groin and hamstrings, you need to get lower with your free hand.  One technique is to push your hip out as far as you can to the side, this enables you to sink lower. Steve Cotter refers to his martial arts training and shows us that if we think of the floor as a brick that we...

Kettlebells Exercises: 15 minute abs workout

Kettlebells Exercises: Marcus Martinez is back here demonstrating his 15 minute Kettlebells exercises that are simple to perform but deadly on the abs! Windmill (Both Sides): 5 Reps Half Get-Up (Both Sides): 5 Reps Slow Sit-Up: 5 Reps Gladiator (Both Sides): 30 seconds Circuits: As many as you can in 15 minutes. I like this workout as it’s really targeted on the core region, so it’s great to mix up a routine once in a while with this routine. How heavy should you go? If you are new to working out with kettlebells, I would suggest taking it lighter than the weights you would normally lift; as they engage other muscles especially around the hands and wrists. Both men and women should start out with the lightest kettlebells that they feel comfortable handling for the first couple of sessions, then gradually increment up as they gain muscle strength.  I am loath to give an opinion of starter weight amount, as each person and their level of fitness is different. My policy is to avoid injury wherever humanly possible and help the body gain fitness in a safe environment.  With all exercises if there are any existing injuries or inflammation present; always stop if you feel any pain. You should feel sore after your inital bouts with the kettlebells, especially in the hamstrings and the back as you need these muscles to drive the weight.  This may feel unusual but it’s because you are using muscles that may not have been used in this way before. You can increase the load without upping the weight initially by changing your grip – pistol grip kettlebells exercises are much harder than standard ones, but make sure that you are maintaining the correct technique for maximum results and minium...

Kettlebells Workout for Killer Conditioning: 5 tips by Marcus Martinez

Kettlebells Workout Marcus Martinez of MBodyStrength shows us 5 tips to help you increase your snatch numbers and your kettlebells weight. 1. Finger Strength Ideally the kettlebell should transfer directly from the palm straight into the fingers.  When you bring the bell down, it shouldn’t hit anything in between; so you won’t get that awful pinch as it can squeeze the pads at the base of the fingers. Exercises for Finger Strength Hub/Plate Pinch (hold for time) – with the plate held out as far away from your body as possible to avoid dropping it on your feet Upside down kettlebell holds Fingertip push ups Hangs from a bar, or preferably from a ledge where you are only using your fingers With a bit of practice you should develop the finger strength and grip that you need to keep going for longer without getting as tired.  You may also find that you don’t need to use chalk which is a good thing as it can dry out the hands and cause cracking of the skin. 2. Sit into the Snatch No squatting.  You will want to drop down by letting your hips drive backwards, using the glutes and and hamstrings.  You will feel the stretch. 3. Focus on the Drive If you focus on the drive instead of the pull, it will help you go on for longer.  The pull activates the arms and shoulders; these tend to fatigue more rapidly than the hamstrings, glutes and back, which are in play when you focus on the drive.  This propels the weight upwards using these larger muscle groups and you can keep going on for longer with a heavier weight this way. 4. Control your Breath Marcus recommends for these short bouts of less than 4 minutes, that diaphragmatic breathing, will help. 5. Switch at the bottom Start up at...