The original kettlebell
You’ll probably be reading a good bit about the kettlebell on this blog over the next while as I’ve decided to dust of me ole wristbands and once again train for Kettlebell Sport.
This is something I had to give up a few years ago through injury, but the Anatomy in Motion course I took last year seemed to sort me out, and I am able to keep myself in alignment by applying the AiM system on myself.
It really is a case of, “Physician, Heal Thyself!”
But one thing about this blog has become apparent, is that I have been neglecting the beginner.
As I tend to blog about something that happened in the gym that day or something that came up in conversation and occasionally something that is just in my head at the time I open the laptop. But then I get this email:
“Hi David, I wanted to say thank you for all your videos and get information. I am from the States and I wish there was a facility (and instructor) like yours near me, I would certainly be going there! I started a KB “beta test” workout through Breaking Muscle and they had no instructional videos so when I googled KB Snatch your website came up. Your video and breakdown instructions were most helpful. That also lead me to other instructional videos such as the swing, clean and press, etc. I will continue looking through your website and blog because I love it! Thanks again.
And it got me thinking two thoughts:
Thought 1: I really ought to write more for the beginning kettlebell lifter
Thought 2: I should be in sunny and warm Florida instead of wet and windy Ireland.
Back to thought 1.
There’s a studio or gym offering kettlebell classes on every street corner.
More and more gyms are adding kettles to their weight rooms.
People are buying bells for home use.
90% of fitness instructors teaching kettlebells have been on a course run by some muppet who hasn’t a fucking clue! <— Tweet that cos it’s true!
I can say that with absolute confidence and authority. I have had to undo the shit that these “certifications” have done on several occasions. One lady who taught her own classes came to me on a recommendation, the following week she came back and reported that not only had her back stopped hurting, but so had her clients.
One of my girls studied a fitness instructor course herself and went on the kettlebell module. When she came back to me we talked about the module and explained why almost everything the “instructor” told her was actually bollocks!
But I’m going off on a tangent and getting onto a soapbox, so…….breeeeeeeathe….
Of the plethora of possible exercises you can perform with a kettlebell which ones should you do as a beginner and which should you leave out?
The key drills are fairly obvious:
The Goblet Squat
Next on the list would be a Military Press, but this is something I’d asses first. Many newbies are better served with push ups than they would be with a press.
I’d maybe add to that the “Around the World” drill as it makes a great warm up, passing the bell from hand to hand around the body is a great core activation drill while also developing confidence in the lifters ability to move a bell around.
This is the first clip that came up on Youtube for the Around the world drill. It’s a minute and a half long, but really you only need 10 seconds to get the idea (and no, I’ve no idea why he’s wearing gloves either…)
And the Deadlift and Romanian Deadlift make for great introductory steps leading up to the Swing.
Beginners don’t need anything more.
Yes you can use standard gym moves like lunges and bent over rows, but the three lifts above can be combined to form a solid workout on their own.
Enter the infamous 5-10-15 workout that features on my Level 1 Kettlebell Workshop
Or we can mix kettlebell lifts with bodyweight drills such as push ups, pull ups and various lunge drills.
Don’t make it any more complex than this.
Beginners don’t need variety, they need to master the basics. A smart trainer can use a small handful of exercises to create numerous workouts while still ensuring that the basics get dialled in and mastered.
Only once genuine competence is achieved should more complex drills like the Clean, Snatch, Get Up and Windmill need introduced.
For more details on the Level 1 workshop and the beginner friendly kettlebell lifts, click HERE