We are going to incorporate some kettlebell work into this workout today. I use this a lot with my clients and I am able to be there to show them the proper form and watch them as they go through the workout to prevent injury. Here are a few tips that you should keep in mind as you work with kettlebells.
Positioning Your Back Properly for a Kettlebell Workout
For all kettlebell exercises, you need to make sure your back is positioned correctly so that your hips, not your back, absorb the force of the kettlebell. The term neutral spine describes the position in which your back should be for all your kettlebell routines — and it’s easy to achieve.
Try this simple exercise to achieve neutral spine:
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your arms down at your sides; focus your eye gaze on a point about six feet in front of you on the floor to keep your neck and head position neutral.
- Reach your hips back as if you’re reaching back for a chair, and let your arms follow your hips back.
If you’re in the right position, you look like you’re getting ready to take a vertical leap in the air.
- Look in the mirror; if you achieved neutral spine, you have a nice, natural S curve in your spine (in other words, your back isn’t rounded).
Using Your Hips to Move Your Kettlebell
Your hips do a lot of work when it comes to moving your kettlebell. To help engage them properly during a kettlebell workout, put on clothing that allows you to sit all the way back into your hips (baggy clothing can impede you from moving well), and do the following:
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart (or slightly wider), your arms down at your sides, and your eyes focused on a point on the floor about six feet in front of you; have your kettlebell on the ground between your feet back by your heels.
- Stomp both your feet into the floor to plant (or root) them solidly into the ground.
- Letting your hips lead the movement, sit back and let your knees follow; keep your weight in your heels as you reach back and down to put your hand(s) on the kettlebell.
As you sit back with your hips, pretend you’re reaching back toward a box, chair, or wall. Remember that you must let your hips lead to achieve neutral spine.
- Generate force from the ground up by driving through your heels, pulling up your kneecaps, tightening your abs and glutes, and forcefully snapping your hips to move the kettlebell.
Remember the kettlebell hip snap is not a pelvic tilt!
I did this in a pyramid style, which I don’t do often but wanted to try it out again. I have to say, it’s tough! Pyramid will go as follows. Start with 10 reps of each workout then go to 9 reps, 8, 7 and all the way down until you get to 1 rep per workout
2) Using a 15 lb kettlebell, I held the bell with both hands and brought it down to one side then raised up with straight arms, to the opposite shoulder(just think of a shovel movement)… Do LEFT side then go to the RIGHT