Archive for the ‘kettlebell swings’ Category

Hello everyone out there.  Hope you all are doing well and training smart.  Hope you are doing something to help exercise your mind, body and soul.  Just finished watching Tracy Reifkind’s Programming the Kettlebell Swing.

No one has done more with the kettlebell swing than Tracy Reifkind.  She is a visionary in the art of the kettlebell swing and the numerous ways you can perform swing variations and workouts.  Her DVD alone has provided me with some vital information about ways to change up things in our classes here at SG Human Performance.  From swing timing, on the minute swings, to the roundabout swing, Tracy provides many important drills and aspects to the swing that I would have never even thought of until I watched the DVD.  The roundabout swing idea alone is a solid drill for newcomers all the way to skilled RKC’s on perfecting their one arm swing.

IF you don’t want to take my word for it then I am sure you will listen to what Pavel has to say:

“If you searching a brutally effective fat loss and conditioning regimen, you have found it: Programming the Swing. I was so impressed with Tracy Reifkind’s innovations that I am incorporating some of them into the RKC curriculum.”


Anyone who is training clients and groups with kettlebell swings will greatly improve their programming by using her material.  I again think that this DVD along with Dave Whitley’s Deepening Your Get Up Skills and Mark Reifkind’s Lats the Super Muscles will provide you with vital information when training for your upcoming Hardstyle Kettlebell Certification and/or your Russian Kettlebell Certification.  I really would not see why you would not purchase the 4 disc set really.

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 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 Door.com) 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.

Just wanted to let everyone know that it is official. Nikki and I have signed up for the Level 1 Russian Kettlebell Challenge Instructor Certification on August 28-30th in San Diego, CA. If you are not familiar with Kettlebells or the RKC, click on the links to find out more information.

We decided that we would take the time to shoot some video and pictures of our training every week as we build up for San Diego. Feel welcome to comment on our status and ask questions or if you are training for the RKC yourself, let us know what you are doing. Would love to share training ideas with all of you out there. Here are the Instructor Certification Requirements for RKC Level I.

We are very fortunate enough to have Dave Whitley, Senior RKC instructor working with us 3 times a week at our bootcamp we attend to make sure our technique improves and that we are on the right track for San Diego.

This past week at bootcamp we concentrated on swings (of course) but David threw in some special twists for Nikki, Jay and myself. We worked a lot of double swings this week which gave the swing a interesting twist and really pushed us harder than we expected. Dave also had us perform a 10 minute snatch test this week. Nikki did a wonderful job and got to 200 with a 16kg. I made it to 163. Good start but needs improvement, and I was pretty much smoked by minute 8.

Our training on our own we decided to work towards improving our strength in the press and the turkish get up. We always perform TGU’s on Mondays and have decided to perform press ladders 3 rounds of 3 rungs each side with a light weight to see where we are at. We felt very good this past week so we are going to move up in weight and perform the 3 rounds of 3/3 again.

Just wanted to let everyone know that it is official. Nikki and I have signed up for the Level 1 Russian Kettlebell Challenge Instructor Certification on August 28-30th in San Diego, CA. If you are not familiar with Kettlebells or the RKC, click on the links to find out more information.

We decided that we would take the time to shoot some video and pictures of our training every week as we build up for San Diego. Feel welcome to comment on our status and ask questions or if you are training for the RKC yourself, let us know what you are doing. Would love to share training ideas with all of you out there. Here are the Instructor Certification Requirements for RKC Level I.

We are very fortunate enough to have Dave Whitley, Senior RKC instructor working with us 3 times a week at our bootcamp we attend to make sure our technique improves and that we are on the right track for San Diego.

This past week at bootcamp we concentrated on swings (of course) but David threw in some special twists for Nikki, Jay and myself. We worked a lot of double swings this week which gave the swing a interesting twist and really pushed us harder than we expected. Dave also had us perform a 10 minute snatch test this week. Nikki did a wonderful job and got to 200 with a 16kg. I made it to 163. Good start but needs improvement, and I was pretty much smoked by minute 8.

Our training on our own we decided to work towards improving our strength in the press and the turkish get up. We always perform TGU’s on Mondays and have decided to perform press ladders 3 rounds of 3 rungs each side with a light weight to see where we are at. We felt very good this past week so we are going to move up in weight and perform the 3 rounds of 3/3 again.

Nikki and I woke up early again this morning at 5am to get our workout in. There was a good chance that both Nik and myself will work late and not be in the mood to kick our butts, so we rolled out of bed and got to work for 30 minutes. Here is the workout we did Right of Passage style for Pavel and the RKC.

Circuit 1 – 10 minutes
-Clean and press ladder heavy 1/1, 2/2, 3/3 (means 1 rep Right, 1 rep Left, then 2 and 2, then 3 and 3).
-Followed immediately by clean and squat ladder 1/1, 2/2, 3/3
Repeat circuit as many times in ten minutes, concentrate on beautiful form!

Circuit 2 – 10 minutes
-Single leg deadlift light 1/1, 2/2, 3/3
-1 arm row light 1/1, 2/2, 3/3
Same rules as above

Circuit 3 – 10 minutes
-1 arm partner swings: 5 L arm/ 5 R arm then partner goes, 10/10, 15/15, 20/20
Perform as many rounds within 10 minutes.

Great workout!

Nikki and I woke up early again this morning at 5am to get our workout in. There was a good chance that both Nik and myself will work late and not be in the mood to kick our butts, so we rolled out of bed and got to work for 30 minutes. Here is the workout we did Right of Passage style for Pavel and the RKC.

Circuit 1 – 10 minutes
-Clean and press ladder heavy 1/1, 2/2, 3/3 (means 1 rep Right, 1 rep Left, then 2 and 2, then 3 and 3).
-Followed immediately by clean and squat ladder 1/1, 2/2, 3/3
Repeat circuit as many times in ten minutes, concentrate on beautiful form!

Circuit 2 – 10 minutes
-Single leg deadlift light 1/1, 2/2, 3/3
-1 arm row light 1/1, 2/2, 3/3
Same rules as above

Circuit 3 – 10 minutes
-1 arm partner swings: 5 L arm/ 5 R arm then partner goes, 10/10, 15/15, 20/20
Perform as many rounds within 10 minutes.

Great workout!

Sorry I have missed a couple of workouts. Nik made 2 workouts last week and I made only 1 and we had a short week due to Thanksgiving.

  • Warmup including spinal wave and the pump.
  • Split into 2 groups and did alternating ladders of goblet squats with the other group resting in the bottom of the squat, and push ups with other group resting in the top push up position (plank like hold) – did about 5 rounds
  • Stayed in groups and performed clean to press ladders with other group resting
  • Again stayed in the 2 groups and performed kettlebell swings for 30 seconds while other group rested. I believe it was 10 rounds
  • 40 minutes later and 513 calories we were finished and exhausted. Great workout

Sorry I have missed a couple of workouts. Nik made 2 workouts last week and I made only 1 and we had a short week due to Thanksgiving.

  • Warmup including spinal wave and the pump.
  • Split into 2 groups and did alternating ladders of goblet squats with the other group resting in the bottom of the squat, and push ups with other group resting in the top push up position (plank like hold) – did about 5 rounds
  • Stayed in groups and performed clean to press ladders with other group resting
  • Again stayed in the 2 groups and performed kettlebell swings for 30 seconds while other group rested. I believe it was 10 rounds
  • 40 minutes later and 513 calories we were finished and exhausted. Great workout

Great workout today.  Did only two foundational exercises but Matt (subbing for Dave who is out of town) put a unique spin on one of them.

  • Warm up including “the pump”
  • Partner Get Ups 1 rep each side, then partner goes 1 rep each side (10 minutes)
  • Kettlebell swings 30 sec on/30 sec off – 1st 5 rounds of swings were performed with a kettlebell in each hand! I used 16kgs, Nik did 12kgs.  Once my technique got a bit sloppy moved to regular swings with a 24kg (Nik did 16kg) for another 5 rounds
Sorry I don’t have a calorie count, I was a bit sleepy this AM and forgot to wear my heart rate monitor.  Starting to see some cool changes in the past 6 weeks.  Performing swings with at least 24kg kettlebell, where I could only do that for 1-2 rounds the first week.  Nik is kicking ass with a 16kg on swings and her get ups are getting much crisper.  Won’t be long and she will be doing swings with a 24kg on a regular basis.
Dave was nice enough to allow us to loan out some kettlebells this week to practice at home until our order gets in.  He didn’t have to do it, but chose to cause he is not only a great instructor, but a great person.  THANKS DAVE!