Kettlebell Programs?



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Any recommendations for Kettlebells? I've never used them, and managed to grab a set of 7. I have pairs of 16kg, 20kgs.



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Hell yes! Nice job man. KB's can really increase your strength, cardio, and flexibility, in a very short time. There are a ton of different exercises you can do, but like anything, KISS applies. As with weights, the big 3 are more than enough to make anyone big and strong, the same applies to kettlebells. You can do all kinds of crazy exercises, but swings, turkish get ups, and clean and press are the foundation, and sufficient to accomplish most goals. If you could only do one exercise in life, heavy swings would be it IMO.

Given that KB's require some specific KB skills which you probably haven't encountered, I would recommend starting slow, using only 1 kettlebell, and only very slowly adding volume. Here's a couple short, but excellent tutorials:

Common mistakes: squatting the weight, rounding the back, lifting the weight with the arms/shrugging it up.

It's a hip hinge exercise, not a squat; the knees should be bent, but the propulsion is provided by the posterior chain. On the downstroke, think about pushing the hips back in a straight line, then exploding forward in that same line. This is the movement that powers most athletic endeavors, from throwing a punch, hitting a golf ball, etc.

Chang clearly illustrates the back position, which should be familiar to anyone who deadlifts.

Think of the arms as hooks to hold the KB by, and it's the explosion out of the bottom position that gives it the height. At no time should you be upright rowing it, pulling it up, or otherwise doing anything but flinging it up with your hip drive. You can, however, fling it back down, similar to hiking a football, or a lat pulldown on the cable machine, using the hips to stop it.

I would start with 10 x 10 swings using 2 hands only, until you can comfortable and easily do 200 2 handed swings, with sets of 25 and excellent form. As far as frequency, that's going to depend on your strength and fitness level. Pavel, the guy who made KB's a thing in the US, recommends more frequency, even daily. KB workouts are general very short and very intense, and you're not isolating and obliterating one muscle or group of muscles, quite the opposite. So once you get over the initial adjustment period, just listen to your body and hit it as often as possible.

I assume most here are relatively fit, so the initial adjustment period may not be enough volume for you, so feel free to add in KB goblet squats, pushups, pullups, or start working on kettlebell cleans, which involves learning the rack position (see the following vid at 1:20, and practice that):

And the turkish get up:

More detail:

Once swing volume gets up there, I prefer to split into swings days, and 'everything else' days, for the most part. Right now I'm doing 400-450 swings every other day with the 24kg/53lber, one of several ways:

a) 16-18 x 25 with a set of 14 pushups in between each set, alternating single and double hand swings
b) 8-9 x 50 with 20 pushups in between each
c) 400 straight single hand

Lately on alternate days I'll do 6 x 10 windmills with my 32kg/70lb and goblet squats, but typically I'd do 25-35 turkish get ups with the 32kg (and that'll tap you out).

I highly recommend buying Pavel's Simple and Sinister on Amazon. It's 25-30 years of knowledge and refinement, through working with the worlds special operations units and top tier operators and athletes. I'll leave you with the OG:

Let me know how I can help!

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