Archive for the ‘kettlebell exercises’ Category

Hello everyone!  Hope you are training smart.  Just wanted to let everyone know of our upcoming events coming here in the late winter/early spring.

Russian Kettlebell Challenge Workshop

Sunday, March 20th.  12pm-3pm

This is a 3 hour workshop designed to introduce or sharpen your kettlebell skills.  We will be teaching and practicing the 6 foundational kettlebell exercises.  Here are the foundational exercises:

  • Kettlebell Swing (and variations)
  • Kettlebell Clean
  • Squat variations
  • Kettlebell Press
  • Kettlebell Snatch
  • Turkish Get Up

Cost is only $89 and you can sign up by CLICKING HERE.  Again this workshop is ideal for those individuals who want to learn how to PROPERLY perform the kettlebell exercises/workouts in the RKC/Dragon Door community.  It is also a fantastic prep workshop for the Hardstyle Kettlebell Certification and the Russian Kettlebell Challenge.

Workshop is eligible for CEU’s (ACE, NASM, NSCA, NATA).  For NASM and ACE you will have to petition and pay a separate petition fee.

Hardstyle Kettlebell Instructor Certification Workshop

Omaha, NE

Saturday, April 30th: 8am-5pm

For more information and to sign up CLICK HERE

Workshop is eligible for CEU’s (ACE, NASM, NSCA, NATA).  For NASM and ACE you will have to petition and pay a separate petition fee.

Russian Kettlebell Challenge Re-Certification Workshop

Omaha, NE

Sunday, May 1st: 8am-5pm

For more information and to sign up CLICK HERE.

Workshop is eligible for CEU’s (ACE, NASM, NSCA, NATA).  For NASM and ACE you will have to petition and pay a separate petition fee.

Hello again everyone.  Hope all of you are doing well with your lives and training smart.

Today I want to review a DVD/Workbook combination by Master RKC Brett Jones and Gray Cook, RKC.  It is called Kettlebells from the Center: Dynami.

This workbook/DVD is a progression from the Secrets Series and Kalos Sthenos.  If you have not previously watched these before videos and workbooks I highly suggest to watch them as it makes a seemless transition into Dynami.  This workbook does a fantastic job of building your exercise skills through a proper progression.

Pattern Building>Slow Strength>Symmetry> and then Dynami (power).

Many of you may have heard that it speaks about the Kettlebell Swing and then its power counterpart, the Push Press.  But you would not believe how so much more is contained in this book.  They begin with the basics of movement as a great review that even includes often overlooked principles of movement screening and clearance tests to proper breathing (biomechanical and anatomic).

The DVD and workbook covers so many drills and progressions that are vital to myself not only as an individual but as an instructor.  I have progressed many individuals through the deadlift, swing and single leg deadlift much more efficiently with the use of the drills in this workbook/DVD.  SO MUCH is covered and it is great once again that I can see it on DVD and then be able to read the information and refer back to it in a workbook.

Items covered in Kettlebells from the Center (includes instruction, pattern building, slow strength, power and common mistakes)

  • Deadlift and variations
  • Swing and variations
  • Single leg deadlift and variations
  • Squat
  • Bottoms up squat
  • Press
  • Bottoms up press
  • Push Press
  • and Squat to Push Press
  • fantastic movement prep drills you have not seen anywhere else!

One thing I ABSOLUTELY LOVE about the bottoms up progression is that it is a fantastic way for you as an individual to address symmetry and be able to clean those things up.  Those of you going through the ROP ladders to get your clean and press numbers should really consider using some of the bottoms up progressions during your off weeks or your variety days to help you to address your symmetry.  You WILL notice that with these particular drills will help you improve quickly and avoid injury as well!

Again I highly suggest Dynami for you to purchase for yourself and for your clients.  All of you will greatly benefit from this series.  It is a must for those individuals who are training for RKC Level I and II to help you progress efficiently and get the strength you need to complete the requirements of your certification.

Hello again everyone.  Hope the holiday season is treating you well and allowing you to look forward to spending some time with the ones you love.

Today’s blogpost is the 2nd in a 4 part series of DVD’s taken from a workshop that included Mark Reifkind, Tracy Reifkind and David Whitley.  Today I review the DVD, “Deepening Your Get Up Skills” by Master RKC David Whitley.

David has EXTENSIVE knowledge of many lifts.  It is his mastery of the Turkish Get Up that allows him to be able to perform and master the more extensive lifts.  He makes a very valid point that all kettlebell lifts has roots back to the get up and the swing.  Master the get up and the swing and then the clean, snatch, press, squat, and all RKC level II exercises will come much quicker and with less risk.

I feel that this DVD is is vital for those of you who are training for your Hardstyle Kettlebell Certification &/or your Russian Kettlebell Certification as it complements Enter the Kettlebell program in your training by teaching you the finer points of the RKC Turkish Get Up that you will be tested on at HKC/RKC.  Believe me I know!  I worked with David on my getup skills and performed many of the drills he has on this DVD.  When it came time for me to perform the Turkish Get Up at RKC in August of 2009 I was fortunate enough to receive a compliment on my technique by Pavel himself!  If you follow this video and work on your limitations in your get up, passing the technique portion of your HKC/RKC will not be an issue.

Secondly,  all the finer drills and cues that he uses in the video will help you to remember proper technique but will also allow you to be able to use them with your clients to help them understand & feel what proper technique in every stage of the TGU should feel like.

Last but not least I have a secret to tell you about with his DVD.  He also shows his mastery of the bent press.  Of all the RKC’s that I have worked with, David’s mastery of the bent press is hands down the best I have seen and he shows such precision in his technique.  He also gives VITAL drills to help master the bent press technique as well.

I highly recommend David’s DVD – Deepening Your Get Up Skills DVD and am really seeing how beneficial this DVD set would be to someone who is training for HKC/RKC and those of us who want to develop mastery of the lift as well as have those drills to help our clients perform the movement efficiently.  Every RKC/HKC (current and future) should have this set in their library.

Hello everyone!  Hope all is well with you and your families.

Was speaking to a client (and close friend) and we spoke about kettlebell training.  She commented on how good our technique was on the kettlebell swing.  I told her that it wasn’t always this way and that I am still always “tweaking” and practicing for the perfect rep.  She found that very hard to believe until I pulled out my iphone and showed her this video.  She was shocked.

All of you SGHP members out there enjoy this video and feel free to make fun of us as much as you would like. Take a look at the backwards hat, crappy swing (which made my back very sore) and are those running shoes?

This was our second week in David Whitley’s Kettlebell Class.  I was very naive and felt I had the kettlebell swing SO DOWN PAT that I took a video of it.  Boy was I wrong (and boy was I naive, sorry Dave!).

The point of the video is to show people that practice will help improve your technique (barring any imbalances or asymmetries that may exist, you should take care of those first).  As for myself, I struggled with figuring out the kettlebell swing.  Like with every dynamic movement, (example: dribbling a soccer ball, swinging a golf club, throwing a ball) it takes practice to get the desired result.  I hope this encourages all of you to see that with time, practice and patience you too can be where Nikki and I are at today.  (Notice Nikki was swinging a 12kg-orange and now she usually prefers to swing a 24kg-red or 28kg -orange/purple).  The same could be said for our squats and turkish get ups.  We spent a lot of time working on those drills, corrective exercises and practicing to get where we are now.  And we will still continually try to improve on technique.

The benefit that we had (and that our members have) is our kettlebell instructor was well trained with understanding the nuances of the kettlebell exercises and how to best teach us to improve on the swing.  You may get that from a DVD (preferably anything from Dragon but more than likely you will not.  I thought I had everything down from the 15lb kettlebell and DVD I bought at a local store, but I was sorely mistaken.  I needed a Russian Kettlebell Certified Instructor to show me the correct way and how to get the most out of my kettlebell workouts.  I haven’t found anything close (other than the TRX) that provides so much bang for your buck.

The problem is that most trainers (including fitness celebrities) feel that they have the kettlebell swing down (and can teach it to anyone) because they have never been shown the absolute correct way to perform the swing.  If those trainers would do like we did and meet with an RKC professional then they would FEEL the difference between good technique versus poor technique.  They would feel how it works the backside (proper technique) instead of the frontside (incorrect technique).  They would understand the difference between proper load and not enough load.  These concepts I had no grasp of until I met with David and continued onto my progression (physically and mentally) to become RKC certified.

What is the big deal with technique you ask?  Here are some things to think about:

  • The RKC method teaches a step by step approach to kettlebell training.  This is the way we are suppossed to learn.  Most trainers will just start and end with the swing.  Is that how we learned to play a sport?  Is that how we learned to walk as toddlers?  No we learned step by step.
  • As Americans, we are too frontside loaded.  This leads us to imbalances, poor movement, injuries and poor health.  The RKC swing is training the backside.  The part of the body we tend to neglect and do not train nearly enough.
  • The RKC has way more bang for the buck.  More load.  Safer (MUCH SAFER). Better Workout.  Can prevent injury and pain (EVEN BACK PAIN, by getting you to fire your muscles the way you were made to)

Here is a nice little comparison video of my swing (just like the one up top) and then my swing after 12 weeks in kettlebell class with expert instruction.

So I hope that my words and the video has inspired you that you are on the right track towards your goals.  The true goal should be that you make small steps every day (this can be with your nutrition, training, movement, soul, etc) to be better than you were weeks and months before.

Great Article by Geoff Neupert, MRKC about increasing gains in 60 minutes per week
Terrific article by Goeff in the new Hardstyle Magazine (Page 5-PDF download)

One thing I absolutely love about Dragon Door is they give you a full preview of what they have. Nothing I want more when I am making a purchase is to get a full understanding of what I am buying. You can check out Geoff’s “Kettlebell Muscle” book that just came out and see a full table of contents, same with other works like “Convict Conditioning” by Paul Wade and even a breakdown of every DVD in the CK-FMS series.

Keep up the great work Dragon Door. I probably would not have purchased as many products if you would not have given me such a terrific preview.
Mark Snow, MA, RKC, ATC, FMS-C, PES

Hello everyone.  Hope all is well for you and your families.

Today, Nikki and I were scheduled to perform a session of the Kettlebell Burn program we purchased from Geoff Neupert, Master RKC.  Nikki is doing great and was ready for the program.  Myself on the other hand was coming off some low back/SI joint pain from playing sand volleyball last week.

Most people do one of two extremes when faced with this sort of problem:

  1. They don’t do any sort of workout and take anti-inflammatories and rest.  MAYBE ice.  The pain may improve but the dysfunction remains.
  2. They do the workout anyways and push through any pain that may arrive and suffer the consequences in the following days after (usually can end in a visit to the doctor or chiropractor)

Now for me and my understanding how my Functional Movement Screen Score goes, I knew what exercises I could do and what needed to be modified.

Here is how our program was laid out and what Nikki did:

  • Clean and Press Ladder (1,2,3) for time
  • Version of TGU for reps each side followed by reverse lunge each side for reps for a specific period of time
  • Swings for time

Now here is what I did instead:

Warm Up

  • Checked shoulder mobility and cleared thoracic rotation
  • Noticed that hip flexors were dynamically tight, performed 1/2 kneeling hip flexor stretch followed by cook hip lift

Clean and Press Ladder

  • Performed 10kg press ladder in tall kneeling position
  • Performed 5 wall push ups outlined in convict conditioning
    • Repeated the process for the remaining period, tried one set of clean and press to 3 with 16kg which felt “ok” so returned to tall kneeling position for presses
    • You think this would be easy but I was sweating bullets due to the fact that I really had to concentrate on getting my hips and trunk stable for the press without falling on my face

TGU version and reverse lunges

  • I did 5 reps of get up to elbow each side really concentrating on proper form and not “plopping” down at the end.  I tried my best to do what Gray Cook says by “owning the movement”
  • Followed that with 1/2 kneeling hip flexor stretch for 5 breaths from relax into stretch
  • Reverse lunge 5 reps per side with KB in goblet position
    • If this exercise would have caused any problems in my back I definitely would have thrown it out
  • Brettzel each side
    • Repeated the whole process for the prescribed time


  • Performed the following in alternating fashion
    • static stomp deadlift (averaged about 7) with 20kg
    • regular swings (avg 15) with 16kg)

Was it a smoker of a workout?  Heck no, it was not meant to be (remember I made it corrective instead of conditioning).  But I did break a good sweat, felt good that I did something and I walked out of the workout feeling much better than coming in.

If you want to learn more about the FMS, Dragon Door has a terrific DVD set that covers the whole CK-FMS progressions.  There are also seminars available to sign up for FMS seminar events as well through perform better.  If you would like to learn more about the Turkish Get Up corrections check out Kalos Sthenos.

Also, check out Geoff Neupert’s new book, KETTLEBELL MUSCLE – The Secrets to Compound Lifting. I have been able to see a taste of the book when Nikki and I were test subjects for Geoff and it is a terrific strength and conditioning workout!

I read a terrific post by Senior RKC and Strength Coach, Dan John.


He speaks of the importance of the Kettlebell clean and rack walks and farmers walks. These exercises in my mind helps to practice the proper posture and muscle recruitment of the hardstyle lockout. I am to a big believer in the farmers walk and rack walks so decided to perform a workout under the idea of Dan John’s Ideas.

Grab 3-4 sets of kettlebells according to your level. I grabbed 2x12kg, 2x16kg, 2x20kg, & 2x24kg. Perform the following:

5 double Kettlebell swings, set the bells down
double kb deadlift to farmers walk, 20 yds down & back
5 double Kettlebell cleans
double kb rack walk, 20 yds down & back

Start light and move to heavy. I did 3 rounds. Took me 35 minutes.

Place importance on proper form and don’t push your body to sloppy technique. This was a terrific workout for me since I needed to work on proper posture and proper bracing with Kettlebell training. Plus I was able to work on my kb clean which is the technique that I feel I need to work on most.

Tough workout today so I thought I would share it with everyone.

Circuit ran 45 seconds/45 seconds/45 seconds then rotate to next station with a 45 second rest

Did 4 rounds. Matt & Dennis did a good job on this one!

Group #1
1 arm row R
1 arm row L

Group #2
Half kneeling press to TGUish stand R arm/R Leg
Half kneeling press to TGUish stand L arm/L leg
Kettlebell swings

Group #3
Forward Lunge R leg(I did the Prisoner lunge like Sandy Sommer would say)
Forward Lunge L leg
Push Ups

Everyone have a great weekend!

Terrific Blog I read from John Scott Stevens R.K.C. he teaches kettlebell courses/classes back in my home state of Nebraska. Please read it if you have time.