Tag Archive | "lower"

Full-body succession workout

Designed to faciliate optimal body composition to burn maximum calories, this workout will help you build strength and tone.

The circuit training component targets muscular endurance and improves cardiovascular fitness by working the heart and lungs at a higher rate. It involves performing one set of each exercise with little or no rest in between until all the exercises have been completed.

 “Traditional-style (succession) strength programs are when all sets of the first exercise are performed before progressing to the next exercise,” says trainer Nichelle Laus.

“By adding a succession routine to your current full-body circuit, it will help in maximising your strength and adding lean muscle mass.”

 When choosing your dumbbell weight, err on the heavy side. “Succession programs generally use higher weights than circuit training,” Laus says. “This is key to building metabolically active lean tissue.”

 What you’ll need:

» Workout bench

» 1 set of medium to heavy dumbbells

What you’ll do:

For Day 1 

Start with the Upper Body exercises. Perform one set of each exercise, then move on to the next exercise without rest. At the end of the Lower Body exercises, rest one minute, then repeat for a total of three circuits.

For toning, aim at 12 to 15 reps for each exercise.

For increasing strength and maximising muscular power, aim for 10 to 12 reps for each exercise.

For Day 2 

Start with the Lower Body exercises. Perform one set of each exercise, then move on to the next exercise without rest. At the end of the Upper Body exercises, rest one minute, then repeat for a total of three circuits.

For toning, aim at 12 to 15 reps for each exercise.

For increasing strength and maximising muscular power, aim for 10 to 12 reps for each exercise.

For Day 3 

Start with the Upper or Lower Body exercises. Complete three sets of the first exercise before moving on to the next. Repeat until all the exercises of the Upper and Lower Body exercises have been completed.

For toning, aim at 12 to 15 reps for each exercise, resting 60 seconds in between sets. For increasing strength and maximising muscular power, aim for 10 to 12 reps for each exercise, resting 90 seconds in between sets.

Exercises:

Upper Body

•Shoulder Press

•One-Arm Dumbbell Row

•Alternate Incline Dumbbell Bicep Curl

•Bench Dips

•Decline Push-ups

Original source:

Full-body succession workout

Posted in Aerobics, Bodybuilding, Personal Fitness Training, Training Methods, Weight TrainingComments Off on Full-body succession workout

shutterstock_259518962

Get your best body ever with Pilates exercises

Get your best body ever with these Pilate moves tailored to your natural shape

While there no specific exercises that should or shouldn’t be performed depending on whether you have a apple, pear, hourglass or atheltic figure, there certainly are some that can help to make your workouts more effective.

Pilates can really help you to focus on specific exercises in order to enhance your particular shape, says Nadine McCann, instructor at Bootcamp Pilates (bootcamppilates.com) ‘All bodies are different and it pays to know what works for you’. Certain moves can add definition to your body and everyone can benefit from postural power of pilates. ‘Pilates is great for sculpting the body and stabilising muscles deep in the body’.

The workout is suitable for all body types, but if your short of time, just pick the exercises for your body type.

1) Toe taps (Best for: apple, pear, hourglass)

Technique:

  • Start lying on your back with legs lifted and knees bent above your hips, shins parallel to the floor and arms relaxed at your sides, palms down. Keep your lower abs engaged and your back flat on the mat.
  • Inhale, then exhale as you hinge at your hip, lowering your right leg toward the mat.
  • Inhale to return the leg to start position and change sides.
  • Alternate legs repeat 10-12 reps pm each sides, bring feet to the floor to rest.
  • Repeat for 2 sets

2) Criss- cross (Best for: apple, pear, hourglass, athletic) 

Technique:

  • Lying on your back, interlace your hands behind your head to support your head. Lift your knees and feet off the ground with your knees bent at 90 degrees.
  • Inhale as you twist your ribcage to the left and extend your right leg forward.
  • Exhale as you take your body through the centre, twisting your ribcage to the right while extending your left leg to complete the exercise on the opposite side.
  • Do 6 twists alternating sides. Do 3 sets in total.

3) Glute bridge (Best for: hourglass, athletic)

Technique:

  •  Lie on your back, with your knees bent. Place your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart, with your arms at your side.
  • Exhale as you lift your hips off the floor until your ribcage is in line with yur hips and knees. Press down evenly through both feet.
  • Inhale as you squeeze your glutes for three seconds and then exhale as you lower your hips slowly back down to the mat.
  • Do 15-20 reps, the rest pulling your knees to your chest, then repeat once more.

4) Side plank twists (Best for: apple, hourglass)

Technique:

  • Starting in a side plank poisition, with one hand directly under your shoulder, place your top hand behind your head, with yur elbow pointing straight up.
  • Inhale and twist your chest upward.
  • Exhale and rotate your chest toward the floor.
  • Do 5-8 reps per side and rest before repeating on the other side.

5) Side reach (Best for: apple, pear, hourglass, athletic)

Technique:

  • Sit with your knees bent and legs tucked behind you to the right,  supporting your weight with your left hand and keeping your arm straight,
  • Inhale to prepare. Exhale you lift your hip away from the mat, extending your top legs as your top arm reaches overhead. You’re aiming to lift your side up toward the ceiling.
  • Inhale to return to the start position.
  • Do 6-8 reps on each side and rest, before repeating the whole thing once more.

6) Swimming (Best for: apple, pear)

Technique:

  • Lie on your stomach with your forehead down and arms extended out in front. Extend your legs with your toes pointed out.
  • Focus on pressing your pelvis into the mat  while drawing your belly button away from the mat. Squeeze your inner thighs and lift your arms, legs, chest and head from the mat.
  • Inhale and exhale as normally as possible as you alternate lifting opposite arm and leg without touching the mat.
  • Count down from 10 to one then relax onto the mat to rest

7) Side-lying leg tap (Best for: hourglass, athletic)

Technique:

  • In a side plank, place your top hand on your top hip to help stabilise you. Pull in your abs and lift your waist off the mat.
  • Dip your top big toe down in front of your body to tap the floor then move the foot backward over your bottom leg and tap the floor behind you.
  • Repeat for 12-15 reps each side then rest. Repeat again.

 

Excerpt from:

Pilates exercises

Posted in Aerobics, Diets, Exercises, Health Issues, Personal Fitness Training, Training Methods, Warm up, Weight lossComments Off on Get your best body ever with Pilates exercises

The benefits of plyometric exercises

The benefits of plyometric exercises Plyometrics are great for cardio, toning and fat loss here, we take a look at how the humble plyometric box can be a killer workout session.“The plyo box has been popular among athletes and hard-core fitness enthusiasts for a while now, but has become more mainstream since the introduction of CrossFit,” says elite trainer of over 15 years Matthew Strickland.“They are great for cardio-based and high-intensity training, but can also be used for rehabilitative purposes and for evening out physique imbalances.”Plyometric boxes and aerobic steps come in a range of heights and sizes to adhere to varying fitness levels and exercise goals. While fixed-height boxes are available and usually come in sets of three to four, try opting for a sturdy, adjustable step if you are tight on space. And if you aren’t confident in the jumps, we say go for foam rather than metal or wood versions: a lot less chance of skinned shins.For cardio/fat loss: Plyometric training involves using explosive bodyweight movements to exert maximum force in the shortest amount of time – making them the perfect fat-burning tool. Explosive movements also mean power and strength, especially in the lower body, can be achieved. Again, keep rest periods short and repetitions as high as possible – although given their taxing nature, sessions shouldn’t go much longer then 30 to 45 minutes.

Taken from: 

The benefits of plyometric exercises

Posted in BodybuildingComments Off on The benefits of plyometric exercises

Leg raises

Leg raises are a great way to target the stomach, strengthening lower abdominals and hip reflexors, plus it doesn’t require any gym kit. Add these moves to one of your home workouts for a simple, effective way to tone your tummy. Try 10 reps to start with, and progress to more once you’ve perfected your form.

Try out these different variations of leg raises to challenge yourself, make sure you’re also hitting your fat-burning workouts hard, as you need to torch that fat to reveal your new toned tum!

Lying down leg raises:

-Lie on your back with your hands on the floor or under your bottom.

-Keeping a slight bend in the knees and feet together, start with both feet up towards the ceiling.

-Without allowing your lower back to overarch, slowly lower your legs towards the floor without bending the knees any more than they already are.

-When legs are almost on the floor, squeeze the abs and lift them back up to the start and repeat.

Hot tip: if these aren’t challenging enough for you, why not add some ankle weights?

Leg raises with a ball 

Add a bit of weight to make your leg raises more challenging

-Start similar to the lying down leg raises 

-With your feet on the floor, place an exercise or medicine ball between your feet, griping it firmly 

-Begin to raise your legs up, then slowly lowering your legs down, the weight will cause you to use more control 

-The weight will cause this exercise to me more challenging than the regular leg raises but effective works the abdominals.

Hanging leg raises 

You can perform this exercise at the gym, in the park or at home if you have a door pull up bar

-Hanging from a bar with your arms- grip firmly wide or medium 

-Begin to raise your knees/legs so that your body makes a 90 degrees angle 

– Lower your legs down and repeat the exercise

This exercise can be difficult, some gyms provide a padded bench that can support your back and padded arm rests for your elbows.

Side leg raises 

This exercise can be performed lying or standing

For standing

– Standing on one leg, raise the opposite leg to the side as far as you can

– Bring it back to the standing position and repeat this exercise for both legs 

For lying 

-Lie down on one side- with legs extended and stacked on top of one another

-Raise the top leg up as high as you can, lowering it back down to the first poistion. 

-Repeat 

 

Original post:

Leg raises

Posted in Diets, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Nutrition, Sports nutrition, Weight lossComments Off on Leg raises

Pedal power

Jumping on a shiny new steed and pedalling off into the sunset is a glorious feeling – you just can’t beat it! But if you haven’t saddled up for a few years, you may be wondering where to start or why to bother. Don’t worry! We caught up with Gareth Turner from Cyclebeat (cyclebeat.co.uk) to chat about the benefits of life on two wheels and how you can get back in the race. 

Slim cycle

Jumping on your bike is a fantastic way to blitz calories and trim down. ‘Cycling is a great way to lose weight and a brilliant way to burn calories – you can burn around 500 calories an hour cycling and sometimes much more,’ says Gareth. ‘Cycling can also have the added benefit of increasing your metabolism – even after the ride is over.

And it’s a great option for working out on your commute. Think about it – you can get your workouts in on the way to and from work and cancel that gym membership altogether if you want! ‘And, because it is a non-weight bearing exercise, it’s a lot easier on the joints than something like running, so you can do it more often,’ says Gareth. Sounds good to us!

It’s also a great toner, working your lower body hard, which – thanks to this focus on the bigger muscles in your body (bum and legs!) also burns fat. ‘Cycling helps to tone your muscles and works your calves, thighs and bottom, while also giving your shoulders and arms a workout, too,’ says Gareth.

Healthy heart

Cycling is not only bags of fun, and a great way to stay in shape, it’s good for your heart, too. ‘Cycling improves cardiovascular fitness,’ explains Gareth. ‘And the British Heart Foundation says that cycling regularly can help to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes by up to 50 per cent.’ 

Mind matters

And getting on your bike could have benefits for the mind, too. ‘It’s not just the body that sees the benefits, as cycling is believed to reduce stress, anxiety and provide a sense of wellbeing,’ says Gareth. A cycle home after a long day is a great way to shake off your worries.

Wheely wheely fun

Whizzing around on a bike gives you a great sense of freedom and there are so many types of cycling, and types of bikes, you can try. ‘Cycling can be very varied and fun – try mountain bike trails, exhilarating downhills, BMX and road biking with amazing views,’ says Gareth. Plus it’s one of the few workouts in which you can have a good gas with your mates, too! Have you every tried catching up over a quick swim or disco rave class?! ‘Cycling can be very social by riding in a group and also with the family – everyone can get involved,’ adds Gareth. 

Back to it!

Check out Gareth’s top tips for beginners or those getting back into cycling:

The first thing that you will need is a bike; it’s best to visit a good bike shop where they can give advice and find you a bike that fits properly.

Start by riding comfortably for up to 45 minutes three times a week, then look to slowly build on the number of sessions, duration and speed of sessions gradually.

There are cycling proficiency courses that can build skills and get you ready for the road if you’re nervous.

Practise riding in a traffic-free area, such as a local park, to build confidence.

Why not get used to pedalling, standing and clipping in and out of pedals at a studio such as Cyclebeat (cyclebeat.co.uk) before heading out.

Original source:  

Pedal power

Posted in Bodybuilding, Diets, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Health Issues, Nutrition, Sports nutrition, Weight lossComments Off on Pedal power

Creative exercises to do at your desk

Creative exercises to do at your desk Get moving with these creative desk moves by WH&F trainer Nichelle Laus before the sedentary fallouts kick in.BICEPS CURL – grab a paperweight, a small, filled water bottle, a stapler, or your handbag handle in your hand. While seated or standing, take the object in one hand with your palm facing upwards. Starting with your arms straight at your side, bend the elbow and curl the arm up towards your chest, hold, then lower back down. Repeat.CHEST CHAIR PUSH-UP
 – get into a push-up position and place hands on edge of sturdy chair, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. This is your starting position.

Originally posted here – 

Creative exercises to do at your desk

Posted in BodybuildingComments Off on Creative exercises to do at your desk

Train like an Olympian!

London 2012 – remember that? Of course you do! As a nation we were swept up in two weeks of sporting triumphs and patriotism like never before and, two-and-a-half years on, it is those triumphs and star performances that still keep so many of us motivated to hit the gym or head out for a run. And now, thanks to Fitness First and its discovery that the desire to train like an Olympian was so prominent during the Games, its legacy looks likely to live on long into 2015 and beyond, too. The nationwide gym and health club chain has recently opened its doors to a brand new branch in London’s Bishopsgate with an athletic slant firmly in mind.

This amazing, state-of-the-art club boasts three new fitness programmes devised by Team GB athletes and coaches, and its new track, interactive Move studio and ceiling-mounted coaching camera are ideal for gym-goers who continue to be inspired by the athletes of 2012. The club even had its opening ribbons cut by three of Britain’s best young sports stars: Nicola Adams, the world’s first female boxing Olympic gold medallist; Ed Clancy, Olympic track cycling gold and bronze medallist; and Max Whitlock, Olympic gymnastics bronze medallist. 

But, of course, you don’t have to work out in the gym to train like an athlete (though if you live in London we definitely recommend a visit to the Bishopsgate club), so Fitness First has devised this fantastic workout that’ll boost your speed, power, agility and athleticism. You’ll be running faster than Usain Bolt in no time! (OK, we can’t quite promise that, but a girl can dream…)

How to do it

Perform the first move continuously for the time period allotted for your level. Rest for 15-30 seconds depending on your fitness level before moving on to the next. Once a full set of each move is complete, go back to the start to begin the next set, following the same structure.

Beginner: 5 x 30 seconds
Intermediate: 5 x 45 seconds
Advanced: 5 x 1 minute

Treadmills

Areas trained: hips, legs, core

Technique
-From plank position, bring your right foot up to the outside of your right hand, letting the hips drop. Keep your left leg straight and right leg bent.
-Jump to switch sides so that your right leg is straight and your left leg is bent with your left foot outside of your left hand.
-Continue to alternate for the allotted time for your level. 

Safety tip
Keep your head in a neutral position

Fast arms

Area trained: shoulders

Technique
-Stand in a stable position with legs slightly bent and back neutral.
-Position your arms as if you were to begin a sprint, with one slightly in front of the body and one behind, both bent.
-Switch positions so that the opposite arm is now in front instead.
-Repeat this as fast as you can continuously.

Safety tip
Keep your shoulders back and gaze forwards 

Lateral move + T press-up

Areas trained: Core, sides, chest, rear upper arms 

Technique
-Lie face down on the floor with arms extended out to the sides.
-Bring your hands to your sides under your shoulders, palms flat on the floor.
-Keeping your core tight and body in a straight line, push your body off the floor to complete a press-up.
-Rotate your torso to the side to bring one arm up to the ceiling, taking your gaze with it.
-Bring it back to the floor and bend your arms to lower yourself back to the ground to repeat, switching sides for the next rep. 

Safety tip
Don’t let your hips drop lower than the rest of your body 

Plyometric lunge

Areas trained: legs, bottom

Technique
-Take a large step forwards and bend both knees to about 90 degrees with your back knee just above the floor.
-Generate as much momentum as possible to jump as high as you can, switching the position of your legs mid-air to land with the opposite leg in front.
-Repeat fluidly. 

Safety tip
Keep your torso upright throughout

Isometric squat hold

Areas trained: thighs, bottom

Technique
-With your back resting against a wall, lower yourself until your knees are at a 90-degree angle, keeping feet flat on the floor.
-Hold. 

Safety tip
Keep your knees in line with your toes 

Press-up holds

Areas trained: core, chest, rear upper arms

Technique
-Start in plank position on your hands.
-Bend your arms to lower your chest to the floor, keeping your body in a straight line throughout.
-Push back up to the start.
-Without tilting your body, tap your left shoulder with your right hand.
-Lower, your hand back to the floor, then tap your right shoulder with your left hand.
-Return to the start and repeat.

Safety tip Keep your hips square throughout 

Sprinters

Areas trained: hips, legs

Technique
-Run on the spot as fast as you can, driving your knees high, for the allotted time for your level.

Safety tip Keep your back straight and shoulders back

See more here:  

Train like an Olympian!

Posted in Bodybuilding, Diets, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Nutrition, Sports nutrition, Weight lossComments Off on Train like an Olympian!

Thumbnail

The Craziest Move You've Ever Seen

Most of us have seen it by now. That perfect press flag: A human being suspended on a vertical pole, elbows locked, with no point of contact other than their own two hands. It’s mind-blowing. Riveting. Spellbinding. Whether it was at the playground or on YouTube, few can forget the first time they witnessed this feat of super-human strength. The combination of power, precision and balance never fails to leave an indelible impression.

Sure, detractors are quick to claim that the human flag doesn’t represent functional strength or absolute power, but is rather just a way to show off. I vehemently disagree. What’s more absolute than this maneuver, which is only learned—or rather, earned—through countless hours of technical and muscular training? As for function, riddle me this: Have you ever seen a weak individual pull it off? I thought not.

Look around online, and you’ll find many tutorials, articles, and blog posts which discuss how to train toward performing a full human flag. They’re everywhere, and some are better than others. But what I’ve never seen is an article that speaks about where to go beyond the human flag.

Until now…

Fat Bar Flag

First things first: Anyone who can perform the classic flag for even a few seconds is a serious force to be reckoned with, so give yourself the credit you deserve if you’ve ever pulled it off. But now it’s time to raise the stakes. I recently wrote a piece for this website about grip power. One of the proven methods I discussed was to substitute a fat bar for a standard one. At the time, I was talking about weight training and pull-ups, but the same methodology works for advanced human flag training.

“A proven method I discussed was to substitute a fat bar for a standard one.”

Most human flags are performed on a bar no more than about 2 inches in diameter. A simple way to progress this beastly move is to try it on a pole that is 3, 4, or even 6 inches thick. Since you won’t be able to wrap your fingers as far around the pole as you normally would, you will need to compensate. This will require extra pulling power from the top arm, lat, and shoulder. Further, there will have to be some “palming” from the lower arm; you’ll barely be able to grip it at all from this angle.

I find it helpful to point the index finger of my bottom hand directly to the ground. This can help to establish proper positioning. Like everything human flag-related, this takes some getting used to.

Odd Surfaces

The Human Flag can be progressed in ways that move past the pole itself. Incorporating odd surfaces, uneven grips, or staggered hand patterns can take your training over the edge. Whether you’re flagging on a rock formation or subway station, odd surfaces generally lack something to grab onto in the first place. In these situations, creativity is the key.

“Incorporating odd surfaces, uneven grips, or staggered hand patterns can take your training over the edge.”

One of my core philosophies in training—and life—is not only to accept, but also embrace, the fact that we must improvise. Advanced practitioners of the human flag know what I’m talking about. Sometimes the rulebook has to go out the window. There may be times when you’ll have to keep your palms parallel, your bottom hand open, or even use a “hook grip” from the top arm. Experiment. Push your limits. This is where things get fun!

One-Arm Human Flag

It’s often been said that the ultimate progression, or “master step” if you will, is the one-arm human flag. Most folks have never seen it. In fact, it may be hard to even picture for the uninitiated. You see, when we eliminate a whole arm from the equation, we have to pick up the slack somehow. This is one exercise where it is essential to use your head—literally!

“This is one exercise where it is essential to use your head—literally!”

This is harder than it looks. It’s not enough for the head simply to support the body; you must actively press it into the surface from which you are flagging. I recommend wearing a hat. It is also worth mentioning that this progression cannot be preformed on a pole, since a flat area for your head is required. The one-arm flag takes tremendous neck strength and full body power to execute.

But can we take it even further?

Human Flag with External Resistance

If you’ve ever done a squat, a press, or curl, then you know that adding external resistance to any exercise increases muscular demand. The human flag is no exception. Since it’s already so challenging to the arms, lats, and shoulders—not to mention the entire lateral chain—adding any weight at all is serious business!

You will probably feel like you’re lifting your body higher than usual; you’ll be fighting additional gravity. In fact, it may feel like your feet are pointing at the clouds, when in reality, they’re barely parallel to the ground. This can prove to be an unexpected proprioceptive challenge, aside from the obvious strength hurdle.

“This can prove to be an unexpected proprioceptive challenge, aside from the obvious strength hurdle.”

Further, it is important to consider the mechanics of a weighted human flag. The closer the resistance is placed to your lower body, the harder it will be. This is basic physics. Therefore, particularly when attempting this for the first time, make sure you keep the weight closer toward your shoulders, not toward your feet.

I’ve done this version of the human flag using weight vests, a cinderblock chained to my body, and even other humans! The gains are incredible, not to mention the wow-factor.

At the end of the day, imagination is our biggest strength and our minds are our strongest muscle. Never be afraid to be creative or challenge the mainstream. This is just the beginning. Let me know your thoughts and keep aiming big and training hard!


Recommended For You

Strength Where It Counts: The 5 Best-Kept Grip Strength Secrets

Who cares how big your forearms are if they can’t get the job done? Build strength you can use with these five grip-building techniques!

Stay Fit: The All-Purpose Travel Workout

All too often, life won’t wait for you to finish your 12-week program. Keep strong wherever you go with these resourceful full-body lifts!

Do More With Less: The 3 Home Gym Essentials

A stacked gym with every fitness tool known to man looks cool, but how much of it are you really going to use? Keep these three fundamentals at home, and rest easy knowing you can get strong no matter what!

About The Author

Danny Kavadlo is one of the world’s most established and respected personal trainers.

View original: 

The Craziest Move You've Ever Seen

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Uncategorized, Weight TrainingComments Off on The Craziest Move You've Ever Seen

6 exercises you can do at work

Can’t get away from the office for a workout? Find a spare meeting room and feel the burn with these smart fat-burning exercises.(Bonus: they’ll leave you feeling refreshed, refocused and rejuvenated – not sweaty)!Standing Leg CurlsTarget: hamstringsStand behind your chair and hold it for support. Kick one foot back at a time, allowing your heel to almost touch the back of your thigh. Lower the foot back down and repeat.You can add some resistance by looping your handbag onto your ankle.

Originally posted here – 

6 exercises you can do at work

Posted in UncategorizedComments Off on 6 exercises you can do at work

<div id="DPG" webReader="166.854749632"><div class="side-bar c11" webReader="-21"><h3 class="article-title c9">How heavy is heavy?</h3><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/kettlebell-graphics.png" height="163" width="128"/><p class="c10">Heavy kettlebells usually come in the following weights:<br />- 53 lbs. (24 kg)<br />- 62 lbs. (28 kg)<br />- 70 lbs. (32 kg)<br />- 79 lbs. (36 kg)<br />- 88 lbs. (40 kg) "The Bulldog"<br />- 97 lbs. (44 kg)<br />- 106 lbs. (48 kg) "The Beast"</p></div><p>Those large cannon balls with handles, sitting in the corner collecting dust, look intriguing. Something that heavy and evil-looking must be good for something, you think. But you're not about to start at the bottom, in the "pump" class with puny yellow and pink kettlebells that look like they belong in the daycare. And you're not about to give up your traditional strength training exercises for something that might be nothing more than hype.</p><p>I get it. I like lifting heavy weights too, especially over my head or on my back. And as much as I love basic kettlebell moves like the swing, get-up, and snatch, I also recognize that not everyone is ready to subject themselves to the learning curve that goes along with those movements. Luckily, there's a lot you can do with a heavy kettlebell, and it doesn't have to be complicated to be effective.</p><p>These five moves will get you strong without making you look stupid, and help you reap some of the benefits of kettlebell training, like improved core strength, mobility, stamina, and "in-between" strength. By that, I mean that strength in awkward positions that fighters and other athletes seem to have in spades, but that barbells, dumbbells, and machines seldom produce.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">1 Farmer's Carry</h3>
</p><p>The task is simple: You're simply going to carry a pair of kettlebells for either distance or time. Leave your lifting straps in your gym bag, but yes, you may use chalk.</p><img src="images/2014/6-things-to-do-with-a-heavy-kettlebell-graphics-1.jpg" width="560" height="407" border="0"/><p>"The farmer's carry can be summed up as simply 'pick up and go,' but a little cuing can help you reap the most benefits from the movement."</p><p>The benefits of the farmer's carry are many:</p><ul class="dpg-list"><li>Improved grip strength, obviously, but what often gets overlooked is how much that carries over to improved total body strength; stronger grip equals <em>stronger</em></li>
<li>A stronger core, which also translates to more overall strength</li>
<li>Bigger traps from the strain of supporting the kettlebells</li>
<li>The steely forearms like a farm laborer, from the increased tension required from holding the kettlebells</li>
<li>Improved conditioning, because carrying a load while walking is incredibly energetically demanding</li>
</ul><p>The farmer's carry can be summed up as simply "pick up and go," but a little cuing can help you reap the most benefits from the movement—and keep from injuring yourself while bending over to pick up the weights. That, not a crushed toe, is the biggest risk that accompanies the movement.</p><p><strong>How To Perform The Farmer's Carry:</strong></p><ol class="dpg-list"><li>Stand between a pair of kettlebells as if they were suitcases. If your gym has matching pairs, that's great. If not, then that's also great, because the unbalanced loading is even harder on your core.</li>
<li>Take a deep breath—about 75-80 percent of maximum—and bend down, folding at the hips, to pick up the kettlebells; exhaling as you do so, similar to a deadlift. No bending the lower back!</li>
<li>Tighten your abs, lock your ribcage to your pelvis, and keep it there for the duration of your walk. If you're using two kettlebells of different weights, this will be especially difficult.</li>
<li>Walk either for distance or time; 20-30 yards or 30 seconds is a good start.</li>
</ol><p>Spend about 10 minutes doing farmer's carries, at a point in your workout where it won't matter if your grip is fried afterward—like the end. Work up to heavier kettlebells if your gym has them, or longer distances if not.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">2 Suitcase Carry</h3>
</p><img src="images/2014/6-things-to-do-with-a-heavy-kettlebell-graphics-2.jpg" width="203" height="407" border="0" class="float-right c13"/><p>Think of the suitcase carry as half of a farmer's carry—you only load one side at a time. Why would you want to do that? It pounds the ever-living snot out of your midsection, making your core truly "functionally" strong. How? When you hold a kettlebell in one hand, your body has to contract all the muscles on the opposite side of your body—your obliques especially—to keep you from falling over sideways.</p><p>The suitcase setup and execution is exactly the same as the farmer's carry, with the obvious exception of having that extra kettlebell for balance. This means you need to be careful not to lean into the carry—that is, to bend toward the side without the kettlebell. Your torso should remain upright and perpendicular to the ground at all times. This is harder to pull off than you might think; you may feel like you're more or less straight, but a mirror will usually tell a different story.</p><p>Programming is the same, except you carry the kettlebell down your track in one hand, and carry it back in the other.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">3 Rack Hold</h3>
</p><p>The "rack" is where the kettlebells are received and held across the chest. It's where a clean finishes, and the overhead lifts start and finish. It's also a powerful position for building strength throughout the body, but especially in the midsection.</p><img src="images/2014/6-things-to-do-with-a-heavy-kettlebell-graphics-3.jpg" width="560" height="336" border="0"/><p>"The rack hold is a powerful position for building strength throughout the body."</p><p>I'll be frank: For most people, the rack with two kettlebells is uncomfortable. With heavy kettlebells, it's <em>very</em> uncomfortable. So start with a single kettlebell until you get the hang of the position, but once you do, start using a pair of kettlebells. By teaching you to get comfortable with discomfort, the timed rack helps you master the type of full-body tension that carries over to pretty much every other type of kettlebell and barbell lift.</p><p><strong>How To Perform The Rack Hold:</strong></p><ol class="dpg-list"><li>Stand with a single kettlebell between your feet, the handle "up" like the grip on a pistol as opposed to facing you, like the grip on a barbell.</li>
<li>Bend down as if you were about to deadlift the kettlebell and grab the handle with your working hand. Cover that hand with your other hand, in a "pistol grip."</li>
<li>Deadlift the kettlebell, and as you approach lockout, use momentum to "cheat curl" the kettlebell into the rack.</li>
<li>The kettlebell will be resting on two points of contact: The back of your wrist and on your upper arm, just below your shoulder. Your forearm and upper arm will form a triangle in which the kettlebell sits.</li>
<li>Your hand should be facing the center of your body, and your elbow pointed down toward your hip.</li>
<li>Hold this position for 30-60 seconds. Perform as many sets as you like. Like the farmer's carry, 10 minutes at the end of your workout is a good plan.</li>
</ol><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">4 Rack Walk</h3>
</p><p>This beauty is a combination of a loaded carry and the rack hold. It adds a level of difficulty to the carry that many people find surprising, in the form of increased abdominal stress, respiration demand, and the way it reaches the little stabilizer muscles along your spine.</p><p>To perform the rack walk, simply cheat curl the weight up to the clean position as you did with the rack hold, and then take off. Perform it with the same parameters as the other carries.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">5 Front Squat</h3>
</p><p>Many gym rats and bodybuilders don't have the necessary wrist and shoulder flexibility to perform a true barbell front squat with a clean grip. As a result, they're forced to use the awkward "bodybuilder" grip, which promotes rounding of the upper back, and which in turn can injure the lower back. This makes the kettlebell the perfect tool for front squats.</p><p>Holding one or two kettlebells also puts a larger-than-normal pressure on the abs, making them work harder than a far greater barbell load would, as I mentioned in my <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/grind-to-grow-try-your-squats-and-presses-with-kettlebells.html">last article</a>. Additionally, I consider the kettlebell front squat to be an incredibly effective "loaded mobility" exercise. Because of the way the load is situated, your abs automatically contract, your shoulders depress, and your hips magically seem to have more space in them, allowing for a deeper squat than many people can manage with just a barbell.</p><img src="images/2014/6-things-to-do-with-a-heavy-kettlebell-graphics-4.jpg" width="560" height="471" border="0" class="c14"/><h6 class="altH6 c15">Kettlebell Front Squat</h6><p>Training with a single kettlebell front squat exposes the weaknesses in your midsection while simultaneously strengthening it. It also serves as a little assessment, since if the two sides feel dramatically different, there's a good chance you have a side-to-side imbalance. If that's the case, you may not want to load with a heavy barbell, due to the possibility of injury, until you spend some good time with the kettlebell alternative.</p><p><strong>How To Perform The Kettlebell Front Squat:</strong></p><ol class="dpg-list"><li>Follow the setup for the rack hold.</li>
<li>Take a deep breath, about 75-80 percent of maximum, and hold it.</li>
<li>Squat until you go as low as you can, maintaining pressure in your abs, and keeping a slight extension in your lower back.</li>
<li>Pause for a second and stand up, exhaling through pursed lips and matching the exhalation to the ascent.</li>
<li>Perform sets of 5 reps.</li>
</ol><p>
<h3 class="article-title c12">6 Single-Arm Floor Press</h3>
</p><img src="images/2014/6-things-to-do-with-a-heavy-kettlebell-graphics-5.jpg" width="252" height="334" border="0" class="float-right c16"/><p>Has your bench press stalled? This little beauty may be just what the doctor ordered. The single-arm floor press will not only strengthen your triceps and your lockout, but it will help you refine your bench press groove by positioning your arm in the strongest position to lift big weights.</p><p><strong>How To Perform The Single-Arm Floor Press:</strong></p><ol class="dpg-list"><li>Lie on your back with the kettlebell next to your right hip.</li>
<li>Roll to your side, and grab the kettlebell by the handle, using the pistol grip, like you did with the rack hold.</li>
<li>Roll the kettlebell onto your stomach with two hands.</li>
<li>Press it up with both hands so the kettlebell is over your sternum.</li>
<li>Remove your left hand and lower the kettlebell so your forearm is perpendicular to the floor and your triceps rest on the floor. Your upper arm should be approximately 45 degrees from your body.</li>
<li>Pause with your upper arm on the floor for 2-3 seconds and then press the kettlebell. *Perform 5-10 reps, and then put both hands on the kettlebell, lower it to your stomach, then roll back to your side and put the kettlebell on the floor.</li>
</ol><h3 class="article-title">Go Heavy!</h3><p>These six movements are more than enough to teach you about the unique challenges and benefits of working with kettlebells. Experienced kettlebell lifters regularly utilize things like loaded carries and floor presses to address strength deficiencies and practice building tension.</p><p>When you're ready, the floor press also has the benefit of preparing your arms and shoulders for one of the best kettlebell exercises you can do: the Turkish get-up. Until then, just keep picking up those heavy beasts, squeezing your core for all it's worth, and holding on for dear life.</p><br class="c17"/><h3 class="article-title">Recommended For You</h3><div class="c20" webReader="5.05699481865"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/swing-for-the-fences-kettlebell-training.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/swing-for-the-fences-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c19" webReader="6.95336787565"><h4 class="c18"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/swing-for-the-fences-kettlebell-training.html">Swing For The Fences: Kettlebell Training - Burn Fat And Build Muscles!</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Make the kettlebell swing your 1-stop shop for increased muscle size, definition, fat loss, and the heart of a racehorse!</p></div></div><div class="c20" webReader="4.61290322581"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/kettlebell-explosion-harness-the-power-of-the-kettlebell-swing.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/kettlebell-explosion-smallbox2.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c19" webReader="5.67741935484"><h4 class="c18"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/kettlebell-explosion-harness-the-power-of-the-kettlebell-swing.html">Kettlebell Explosion: Harness The Power Of The Kettlebell Swing</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Don't try to learn the kettlebell swing by watching it get butchered in your local gym. Use these drills to nail this powerful movement once and for all!</p></div></div><div class="c20" webReader="6.28793774319"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/meet-the-squats-7-squat-variations-you-should-be-doing.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/7-must-try-squat-variations-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c19" webReader="8.64591439689"><h4 class="c18"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/meet-the-squats-7-squat-variations-you-should-be-doing.html">Meet The Squats: 7 Squat Variations You Should Be Doing</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
In the old days, there were two kinds of squats: 'good' and 'bad.' Today, you can shop around between multiple versions of the movement. No more excuses. Get off the machines and give the squat a shot!</p></div></div></div><div class="padded-content article-content mod-about-the-author" id="article-about-author" webReader="38.9156626506"><h4 class="article-section-header">About The Author</h4><div class="ata-left-column" webReader="6.8743718593"><div class="ata-author-name"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/geoff-neupert.html">Geoff Neupert, Master SFG, CSCS</a></div><div class="author-gradient-button"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/geoff-neupert.html">VIEW AUTHOR PAGE</a></div><p class="ata-author-summary">Geoff has been working in the fitness industry since 1993, when he started working in the college gym. He tours the US to help people regain strength.</p></div><div class="ata-right-column"><div class="ata-author-image-frame"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/geoff-neupert.html"><img src="images/2013/writer-geoff-neupert-sig-new.jpg" alt=""/></a></div><div class="ata-view-all-articles-link"><ul class="bb-chevron-list bold-type"><li><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/geoff-neupert.html#articles" class="bold-type">View All Articles By This Author</a></li>
</ul></div></div></div>

6 Things To Do With A Heavy Kettlebell

Those large cannon balls with handles, sitting in the corner collecting dust, look intriguing. Something that heavy and evil-looking must be good for something, you think. But you’re not about to start at the bottom, in the “pump” class with puny yellow and pink kettlebells that look like they belong in the daycare. And you’re not about to give up your traditional strength training exercises for something that might be nothing more than hype.

I get it. I like lifting heavy weights too, especially over my head or on my back. And as much as I love basic kettlebell moves like the swing, get-up, and snatch, I also recognize that not everyone is ready to subject themselves to the learning curve that goes along with those movements. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do with a heavy kettlebell, and it doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective.

These five moves will get you strong without making you look stupid, and help you reap some of the benefits of kettlebell training, like improved core strength, mobility, stamina, and “in-between” strength. By that, I mean that strength in awkward positions that fighters and other athletes seem to have in spades, but that barbells, dumbbells, and machines seldom produce.

1 Farmer’s Carry

The task is simple: You’re simply going to carry a pair of kettlebells for either distance or time. Leave your lifting straps in your gym bag, but yes, you may use chalk.

“The farmer’s carry can be summed up as simply ‘pick up and go,’ but a little cuing can help you reap the most benefits from the movement.”

The benefits of the farmer’s carry are many:

  • Improved grip strength, obviously, but what often gets overlooked is how much that carries over to improved total body strength; stronger grip equals stronger
  • A stronger core, which also translates to more overall strength
  • Bigger traps from the strain of supporting the kettlebells
  • The steely forearms like a farm laborer, from the increased tension required from holding the kettlebells
  • Improved conditioning, because carrying a load while walking is incredibly energetically demanding

The farmer’s carry can be summed up as simply “pick up and go,” but a little cuing can help you reap the most benefits from the movement—and keep from injuring yourself while bending over to pick up the weights. That, not a crushed toe, is the biggest risk that accompanies the movement.

How To Perform The Farmer’s Carry:

  1. Stand between a pair of kettlebells as if they were suitcases. If your gym has matching pairs, that’s great. If not, then that’s also great, because the unbalanced loading is even harder on your core.
  2. Take a deep breath—about 75-80 percent of maximum—and bend down, folding at the hips, to pick up the kettlebells; exhaling as you do so, similar to a deadlift. No bending the lower back!
  3. Tighten your abs, lock your ribcage to your pelvis, and keep it there for the duration of your walk. If you’re using two kettlebells of different weights, this will be especially difficult.
  4. Walk either for distance or time; 20-30 yards or 30 seconds is a good start.

Spend about 10 minutes doing farmer’s carries, at a point in your workout where it won’t matter if your grip is fried afterward—like the end. Work up to heavier kettlebells if your gym has them, or longer distances if not.

2 Suitcase Carry

Think of the suitcase carry as half of a farmer’s carry—you only load one side at a time. Why would you want to do that? It pounds the ever-living snot out of your midsection, making your core truly “functionally” strong. How? When you hold a kettlebell in one hand, your body has to contract all the muscles on the opposite side of your body—your obliques especially—to keep you from falling over sideways.

The suitcase setup and execution is exactly the same as the farmer’s carry, with the obvious exception of having that extra kettlebell for balance. This means you need to be careful not to lean into the carry—that is, to bend toward the side without the kettlebell. Your torso should remain upright and perpendicular to the ground at all times. This is harder to pull off than you might think; you may feel like you’re more or less straight, but a mirror will usually tell a different story.

Programming is the same, except you carry the kettlebell down your track in one hand, and carry it back in the other.

3 Rack Hold

The “rack” is where the kettlebells are received and held across the chest. It’s where a clean finishes, and the overhead lifts start and finish. It’s also a powerful position for building strength throughout the body, but especially in the midsection.

“The rack hold is a powerful position for building strength throughout the body.”

I’ll be frank: For most people, the rack with two kettlebells is uncomfortable. With heavy kettlebells, it’s very uncomfortable. So start with a single kettlebell until you get the hang of the position, but once you do, start using a pair of kettlebells. By teaching you to get comfortable with discomfort, the timed rack helps you master the type of full-body tension that carries over to pretty much every other type of kettlebell and barbell lift.

How To Perform The Rack Hold:

  1. Stand with a single kettlebell between your feet, the handle “up” like the grip on a pistol as opposed to facing you, like the grip on a barbell.
  2. Bend down as if you were about to deadlift the kettlebell and grab the handle with your working hand. Cover that hand with your other hand, in a “pistol grip.”
  3. Deadlift the kettlebell, and as you approach lockout, use momentum to “cheat curl” the kettlebell into the rack.
  4. The kettlebell will be resting on two points of contact: The back of your wrist and on your upper arm, just below your shoulder. Your forearm and upper arm will form a triangle in which the kettlebell sits.
  5. Your hand should be facing the center of your body, and your elbow pointed down toward your hip.
  6. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds. Perform as many sets as you like. Like the farmer’s carry, 10 minutes at the end of your workout is a good plan.

4 Rack Walk

This beauty is a combination of a loaded carry and the rack hold. It adds a level of difficulty to the carry that many people find surprising, in the form of increased abdominal stress, respiration demand, and the way it reaches the little stabilizer muscles along your spine.

To perform the rack walk, simply cheat curl the weight up to the clean position as you did with the rack hold, and then take off. Perform it with the same parameters as the other carries.

5 Front Squat

Many gym rats and bodybuilders don’t have the necessary wrist and shoulder flexibility to perform a true barbell front squat with a clean grip. As a result, they’re forced to use the awkward “bodybuilder” grip, which promotes rounding of the upper back, and which in turn can injure the lower back. This makes the kettlebell the perfect tool for front squats.

Holding one or two kettlebells also puts a larger-than-normal pressure on the abs, making them work harder than a far greater barbell load would, as I mentioned in my last article. Additionally, I consider the kettlebell front squat to be an incredibly effective “loaded mobility” exercise. Because of the way the load is situated, your abs automatically contract, your shoulders depress, and your hips magically seem to have more space in them, allowing for a deeper squat than many people can manage with just a barbell.

Kettlebell Front Squat

Training with a single kettlebell front squat exposes the weaknesses in your midsection while simultaneously strengthening it. It also serves as a little assessment, since if the two sides feel dramatically different, there’s a good chance you have a side-to-side imbalance. If that’s the case, you may not want to load with a heavy barbell, due to the possibility of injury, until you spend some good time with the kettlebell alternative.

How To Perform The Kettlebell Front Squat:

  1. Follow the setup for the rack hold.
  2. Take a deep breath, about 75-80 percent of maximum, and hold it.
  3. Squat until you go as low as you can, maintaining pressure in your abs, and keeping a slight extension in your lower back.
  4. Pause for a second and stand up, exhaling through pursed lips and matching the exhalation to the ascent.
  5. Perform sets of 5 reps.

6 Single-Arm Floor Press

Has your bench press stalled? This little beauty may be just what the doctor ordered. The single-arm floor press will not only strengthen your triceps and your lockout, but it will help you refine your bench press groove by positioning your arm in the strongest position to lift big weights.

How To Perform The Single-Arm Floor Press:

  1. Lie on your back with the kettlebell next to your right hip.
  2. Roll to your side, and grab the kettlebell by the handle, using the pistol grip, like you did with the rack hold.
  3. Roll the kettlebell onto your stomach with two hands.
  4. Press it up with both hands so the kettlebell is over your sternum.
  5. Remove your left hand and lower the kettlebell so your forearm is perpendicular to the floor and your triceps rest on the floor. Your upper arm should be approximately 45 degrees from your body.
  6. Pause with your upper arm on the floor for 2-3 seconds and then press the kettlebell. *Perform 5-10 reps, and then put both hands on the kettlebell, lower it to your stomach, then roll back to your side and put the kettlebell on the floor.

Go Heavy!

These six movements are more than enough to teach you about the unique challenges and benefits of working with kettlebells. Experienced kettlebell lifters regularly utilize things like loaded carries and floor presses to address strength deficiencies and practice building tension.

When you’re ready, the floor press also has the benefit of preparing your arms and shoulders for one of the best kettlebell exercises you can do: the Turkish get-up. Until then, just keep picking up those heavy beasts, squeezing your core for all it’s worth, and holding on for dear life.


Recommended For You

Swing For The Fences: Kettlebell Training – Burn Fat And Build Muscles!

Make the kettlebell swing your 1-stop shop for increased muscle size, definition, fat loss, and the heart of a racehorse!

Kettlebell Explosion: Harness The Power Of The Kettlebell Swing

Don’t try to learn the kettlebell swing by watching it get butchered in your local gym. Use these drills to nail this powerful movement once and for all!

Meet The Squats: 7 Squat Variations You Should Be Doing

In the old days, there were two kinds of squats: ‘good’ and ‘bad.’ Today, you can shop around between multiple versions of the movement. No more excuses. Get off the machines and give the squat a shot!

About The Author

Geoff has been working in the fitness industry since 1993, when he started working in the college gym. He tours the US to help people regain strength.

Taken from:  

6 Things To Do With A Heavy Kettlebell

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Sports nutrition, UncategorizedComments Off on 6 Things To Do With A Heavy Kettlebell

Archives

February 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jan    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728  
Content Protected Using Blog Protector By: PcDrome.

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)