Build a powerful chest with kettlebells

 

A common complaint with most kettlebell programs is the absence of horizontal pressing. Sure you’ll get some push-ups, but who doesn’t love that feel of pushing weight away from you multiple times? 

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From a programming standpoint the lack of horizontal pressing is made up for in overhead pressing, but this can lead to imbalances. Chest presses aren’t just for the beach and mirror. It aids in your overall strength while building shoulder and triceps strength as well and putting more stress on bigger muscles like your chest. 

 

There are myriad tools you can use for chest exercises. At the end of the day a weight is a weight so anything that challenges you has the potential to build strength and size. With that said here are three movements specific to the kettlebell that offer unique benefits. At the end of this article there will be a chest workout you can incorporate into your...

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5 Kettlebell Do's and Don'ts for Maximum Results

 

Kettlebells are still the new kid on the block in most big gyms. There are plenty of ellipticals and benches, dumbbells and mirrors, but still only a handful (a small rack if you’re lucky) of kettlebells. Even with ALL the information out there I’ll still see and hear some things being done with these versatile little cannonballs that make me shudder.

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What attracts most people to the kettlebell is its devious simplicity and how it can deliver incredible workouts in limited time just about anywhere. From complexes to flows and everything in between you can hit just about every muscle and movement pattern while adding a unique flavor to your sessions.

Here are a few things to avoid as you begin (or continue) your kettlebell journey and some ways to get the most from your training.

#1: Don’t figure it out on your own

The kettlebell is simple in nature and design, but delivers complex exercises. Cleans and...

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Kettlebells Versus Dumbbells

 

Why not just use dumbbells?

“If you can do it with a kettlebell you can do it with a dumbbell!”

I hear this all the time from people who have zero experience with a kettlebell and it couldn’t be further from the truth. Most tools have a time and place in your training depending on the goal. If you’re just going to do deadlifts, farmer walks, rows or just use the weight to prop a door open then sure, kettlebells and dumbbells offer the same thing. However, if you plan on using the kettlebell for the things that make a kettlebell unique, then no.

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Before you think that this is a dumbbell-bashing article and kettlebells are superior in every way, you’re right. End of discussion.

Seriously though the intention here is to shed some light on why kettlebells are unique to dumbbells and what you can do to get the most from each tool. Let’s take a look at the...

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5 Snatch Kettlebell Mistakes and How to Fix Them

 

The kettlebell snatch is a phenomenal movement at building strength, power, endurance and coordination. It’s a fairly complicated movement that can create a lot of pain and strife if done incorrectly so a focus on technique is crucial for success. Leaning on solid technique will allow you to do more, go heavier, and get a better overall session in. 

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The snatch is a powerful move with any implement, but a kettlebell allows for a couple main benefits. With a kettlebell you can work unilaterally as opposed to both hands on a barbell. This builds single arm strength, rotational power, and balance. The single arm snatch creates an  anti-rotational component that will create more stress on the trunk.

Typically with snatches the bar is dropped from the overhead position taking the eccentric out of the equation. The kettlebell snatch (single or double) creates added stress on...

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The Kettlebell Windmill

 

“It makes you comfortable in uncomfortable positions” I said to my client who started complaining about the weird, contorted position I was having them get into. I had one of the pro fighters I trained performing a windmill with a light kettlebell and he was struggling. Not only was he a strong dude, but an insanely capable athlete. Even so, a kettlebell windmill was challenging because it wasn’t about brute strength. It’s about stability and flexibility in a pattern that most people rarely train. 

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The windmill challenges your shoulder stability, core strength, flexibility and glute strength all in one. It’s a move popularized by old school strength athletes like Arthur Saxon typically done as a bent press or side press, but morphed into the straight arm windmill. It’s a show of strength and balance that creates a more capable, resilient...

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6 Tips For Smarter Fat Loss

fat loss marcus martinez Jun 23, 2020
 
  1. Focus on strength
  2. Decrease rest periods
  3. Be explosive
  4. Walk away the pounds
  5. Take a breath
  6. Sleep in

We just launched our new Fat loss program keeping these in mind and watch your body transform.

Ask nine out of ten random people on the street what their main goal is and you’ll get some variation of “I’d like to lose my spare tire.” Type “fat loss” into your interwebs machine and get ready for a smorgasbord of articles, tips, facts, and PLENTY of contradictory information. Eat this! Don’t eat that! Move like this! Don’t even think about moving like that! 

The other reality is that even when most people hit their goals they tend to gain that weight back at some point, causing them to repeat the cycle over and over (and over) again. It’s no wonder the fat loss portion of the fitness industry has grown exponentially over the last couple decades. 

After years of being on the searching end of info and going through...

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The Intensity Junkie

marcus martinez Jun 05, 2020

True or false? The only way you can get a good workout is when you’re severely out of breath with your heart pounding like a war drum with your legs are as shaky as a new-born giraffe all while being able to see through time. 

Unfortunately, there are far too many people (trainers and trainees) that think this is true. They think that more is better and that the stimulus is the goal of the workout. 

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Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sweat-inducing, heart-pounding session that pushes me to my limit, but that should be the exception not the rule. The endorphin rush of high intensity training has been well-documented which may explain why so many people chase that high with faster, more intense workouts.

The problem is that we only have so many hard workouts in us.” Use it or lose it” applies to our strength, range of motion, and work capacity, but there’s a limit to it. If our only focus is doing more all the...

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Build a Stronger Back with these 10 Kettlebell Row Variations

 

A strong back will take you far in life. While most people are out there focusing on their “mirror muscles” you’re doing your rows and building a healthy, resilient, muscular back. The row is a compound movement that hits your back, shoulders, arms and core. When programming rows it’s important to maintain a 2:1 (or even 3:1) ratio of pulling to pressing. This will help alleviate imbalances and specifically shoulder issues. A stronger front side because of years of pushing horizontally and vertically can lead to rounded shoulders and less than optimal posture which will eventually lead to pain. A strong back from top to bottom will help alleviate postural issues and create a solid foundation for heavier lifting. 

When it comes to pulling there are many implements you can use. Kettlebells offer an ergonomic advantage with their higher position than a dumbbell. The center of mass with a single base (as opposed to two sides of a dumbbell) makes it slightly...

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5 Kettlebell Mistakes and How to Fix Them

 

5 Kettlebell Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Just as with any tool the kettlebell can do some damage if they aren’t treated properly. Too many trainees see a picture or watch a couple of videos and give the kettlebell a whirl. The devil’s in the details with kettlebell training, but with many explosive kettlebell movements a few bad moves can be exponentially dangerous. 

Some mistakes are obvious and require a complete form overhaul while others are a bit more nuanced. Here are five of the biggest mistakes I see with kettlebell training and the easiest fixes to get you back on track.

1 - Back Pain with Swings 

Swings are a dynamic movement that require a hinge that already puts your back in potential danger and speed. Combining those two things with a client who doesn’t understand moving through tension. Get free kettlebell workouts here!

The Fix: Increase intra-abdominal tension through diaphragmatic breathing

2 - Slamming Forearms with Cleans...

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Build Rotational Power With These 5 Clean Variations!

 

The kettlebell clean should be a staple in your training for a variety of reasons. From building strength and power through your entire body to being the link between lower to upper body exercises with a kettlebell there’s a lot that can be done with this movement. There are a couple of issues I see with the clean. The first is a lack of technique which puts the user and his or her client in potential danger. The second is a lack of variety. 

When it comes to general fitness there should be a blend of progress and variety. This keeps things fresh and enjoyable, but still offers results. If the variables you add assist in overall progress then it’s a win. If they distract you and keep you spinning your wheels then that’s no bueno. I’m not a minimalist where you should only do one or two things, but I am a proponent of getting less with more. 

With the kettlebell doing the same thing day in day out will build strength and power, but at what cost? If...

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