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Kettlebell Swing for Fat Loss

Huge Fat Loss and the Kettlebell Swing

Kettlebell Swings are huge for fat loss, period.  I can safely say that if you’re seriously into kettlebells and the swinging of them – it is usually difficult for one to keep weight on one’s body.

I really want you to note something.  This is not just an exercise that will help you in your journey.  It’s not just something that you can add in because it will probably work.  Swing a kettlebell 300x per day, twice per week and work your way up do doing this every day, and we completely remove that word – “probably”. Continue Reading…

rehab for muscle imbalances

Rehabilitating Imbalances is the Key to Fitness Over 40

 

Exercise for Those Over 40 – The Two Main Culprits

Muscle Imbalances and flexibility issues are the two of the main culprits standing in the way of people who want to get in shape over 40 years old.  As humans, work takes over our lives for long periods, and when we exit a period of years where we’ve neglected our bodies, that’s where problems commonly begin.  And it’s so easy to avoid!

Sitting in that chair, standing holding the arms out, or sitting in that vehicle – for years, compromises posture, biomechanics, mobility and strength.  This is why when we’re old, we share most all of the above conditions I’ve just listed.  Just turning 40 we’ve already feel this!  When we exercise with these conditions, we’re sure to get injured, and that’s entirely unnecessary if the proper precautions are taken when we start back up again.

 

When you start to exercise again and take charge of your life, there are important steps to take:

  1. You should have an assessment performed for your movement, mobility and posture.  I recommend an FMS screen, which is used in most professional sports.  With this system, you get assigned corrective work that will work out the kinks and inefficiencies in your body, and allow you to exercise pain free/without anti-inflammatory medication.
  2. Your body isn’t as balanced as it used to be, so you will need to work on balancing out your strengths and weaknesses from side to side, front to back and during rotation.  I recommend corrective exercise that it woven into the exercise session itself.
  3. You will need to incorporate a warmup and stretching routine that lets you exercise without causing hip/back/joint pain despite current imbalances.

Does that sound doable?  This is what my athletes do for their workouts, and it’s what I do.  Adding in these protocols,

As a Personal Trainer, I watch people trying to do things on their own, after 10-20 years of leaving their bodies dormant.  I see people start an exercise regimen, then stop in 3 days, 2 week, or 2 months.  None of this is necessary.  The truth is that with the proper education and learning, everybody can exercise and stay healthy – and you should not have to exercise and be in pain. But you will have to take the correct steps forward.

Are you ready to take those steps? Then contact us today

 

By Dan Piper, CPT, RKC, FMS,  Workout4Results.com

Rehabilitation at Dan’s Barbell and Kettlebell Club, Alameda, CA

Dan Piper is one of the Bay Area’s Few Kettlebell Specialists, and an absolute geek on body alignment and muscle balance.  He has worked as a full time Personal Trainer and Strength Coach in Alameda for 5 years, and  caters to folks truly wanting to get healthy.  

 

rehab exercise posture

Using Kettlebells to Rehabilitate and Correct Posture

How Can Exercising With Kettlebells Correct Your Posture?

Our posture is an expression of every human movement we make. What we decide to lift and how we decide to lift it affects posture dramatically.  Lots is written on how to fix our posture once we’re hurt – it’s a big industry.  But this article will deal with how to avoid getting into poor posture in the first place. Many start exercising kind of believing that it will improve posture, which is true. But many are only worsening their already poor posture by refusing to ever change their protocols or not knowing enough about their routine as it interacts with their unique posture and biomechanics. As Coaches we see this more commonly than most anything else. Kettlebells…those things that everyone walks past in the gym as many don’t know how to use them, naturally force your body into good posture. We should just call them “Posture Bells”. It’s practically impossible for one  to exercise correctly with Kettlebells and not improve posture.  

“These principal Russian Kettlebell exercises, the Getup, Goblet Squat, and the Military Press among others incorporate dynamic stretching within the exercise itself, allowing one to perform corrective work and mobility training within the strength training routine, without changing the tool.”

The modern human shoulder, which when rolled forward all day, every day from desk work or just work period, cause the back to slump over (known as kyphosis). Kyphotic posture is what we get into closer to the end of our lives – they express old age, disfunction, immobility. Slumping earlier in life has implications to consider both now and later on down the line. When we’re leaned over a desk or anything else with our shoulders rolled forward for 10 hours per day, our shoulders tend to stay rolled forward all the time as they get frozen into this position.  Someone with shoulders that are rolled forward essentially has muscles and tendons that have been relengthened to accommodate this unhealthy posture, and it will take some work and determination by the individual working with a team of professionals (Physio/Chiro, Personal Trainer) to change this and to get back to correct posture. That being said, this is very doable, and the body is extremely elastic.  We can be put back into good posture the same exact way we got into bad posture – by changing the way we move, this time for the better. From kyphotic backs to lower back pain, to folks who have twisted shoulders or tweaked hips – these problems are 100% fixable in most cases – it’s a matter of whether or not one is willing to do the corrective work.

Kyphosis/rolled shoulders and slumped back, shifts our center of gravity forward in front of the spine increasing the load the spine must support, which increases its’ curvature. This places our upper spine in a position that it’s supporting muscular structure, the back and shoulder muscles, wasn’t designed to handle, and at great risk of herniating a disk or even worse. The upper back muscles along with the shoulder and neck muscles fatigue under the added stress, our body reacting to this fatigue and expressing it by slumping, or kyphotic posture. Even slight or partial kyphosis puts undue pressure on our heart, lungs and organs, sometimes referred to as “Total Peripherial Resistance”. Slumping over puts forward and downward pressure onto the rib cage, often pushing ribs out of alignment and stretching out the muscles in our upper back and at the rear of our shoulders and neck. Slumping over puts added downward pressure on every organ located inside of our chest cavity starting with the heart and lungs. It affects our breathing, the stroke volume of our heart (volume of  blood pumped per stroke), as well as our diastolic blood pressure and cardiac output.( 1) Imagine yourself constantly squeezing a Bagpipe bag against your gut, but instead, squeezing your very own organs.

                                “Don’t add strength to disfunction Grey Cook, World Renowned Physiotherapist

Not sure how good or bad your posture and movement is? With all of the time you (you who exercise) spend working on your bodies, you owe it to yourself to go through a ten minute movement screen administered by a professional.  A ten minute FMS screen, used widely in college and professional sports is what I recommend. This gives one a score for how well your body moves in each of its’ regions (shoulders, back, hips, spine etc.), and specific exercises to correct your issues. Armed with this knowledge, one can plan workouts with a focus on improved movement and postural correction. Once good function is back, strength goes back to the top of the priority list, but not until then.  Adding strength to disfunction will hurt you worse.  If you have a truck and the gears grind, you had better take care of that before installing a turbocharger or pay the hefty consequences. Your body’s the same. Besides avoiding injury and feeling your pain subside, once your machine is re-aligned and corrected, your goals become more easily reachable, be it strength, weight loss or athleticism. What I’m saying isn’t really that novel.  As with any machine that’s well oiled, aligned and it’s gears change smoothly and optimally, optimizing movement and posture leads to optimized performance.   

I’ll never forget about what a Physiotherapist said in an article I read years ago I wish I’d saved…..”Ten minutes with your arms overhead each day is what you need to improve shoulder health”. I like to work with many of my athletes with this approach…it’s simple and it works. In Kettlebell training, one simply does a lot of overhead work, more than with any other type of resistance training.  There are a number of ways in which doing overhead work improves posture. Between the Clean and Press, the Military Press, and the Waiters Walk, some of the most widely used exercises in the sport, ten minutes of overhead work is easily attained in an average session. Shoulder mechanics are improved dramatically by simply changing the tool.

These principal Russian Kettlebell exercises, the Getup, Goblet Squat, and the Military Press among others incorporate dynamic stretching within the exercise itself, allowing one to perform corrective work and mobility training within the strength training routine without changing the tool. Each of these exercises has it’s own corrective properties going up and down the kinetic chain.  Today we’ll cover the Military Press. When a single kettlebell is pressed overhead as in the Military Press, the glutes are squeezed to brace and strengthen the lower back, the knees are locked out, the entire body is braced and the chest is held down and not extended to encourage proper diaphragmatic breathing as well as proper core bracing. Athletes performing this lift must retrain the lats to activate and become a foundation for the prime movers/muscles pressing the load overhead. The kettlebell is brought from a slightly lower position than the barbell due to the difference in the way the triceps are positioned. The working arm is brought through it’s full range of motion in overhead extension, the elbow is locked out at the top as the kettlebell allows one to turn the arms freely to their arm’s specific and unique movement pattern. Neither side is permitted to transfer a strength discrepancy or imbalance from one side of the body to the other via a barbell. Rather, the body is forced to support and move the load with proper form regardless of existing muscular imbalances or synergistic dominance. At the top position the arm is locked out and the bicep should touch the head behind the ear. The bell is gripped in the hand and hangs behind the lifter, who is forced to create stability through the dynamic coordination of the back and shoulder muscles, buttocks, chest, neck, and entire kinetic chain. With each rep, the shoulder and upper back muscles are contracted with high intensity, further shortening the very muscles that have been lengthened/damaged more with each rep and with each workout. The pectoral muscles are both stretched and contracted at the same time with each rep which effectively lengthens them, allowing the shoulders to sit back behind the chest once again. When the previously shortened pectoralis minor is stretched, the shoulder blade where it attaches at the caracoid process, can relax from pulled forward position, finally letting the humerus (upper arm) sit back properly into the shoulder socket (glenoid fossa). This causes the shoulders to sink further back to their natural position with every rep. The entire body is braced, knees locked out and glutes are held firm as a rock. The main movement is with the shoulders, while proper full body tension and bracing are trained with each rep, stretching and retraining our human facia which connects every muscle in the human body.  

Shifting the imbalanced shoulder weight back over the spine again corrects one’s center of gravity and let’s the spine stand tall again. Retraining the spines’ supporting musculature will help make sure you stay this way (the step most “forget”). Many will have some corrective work to do before performing this lift effectively and properly, as many of us have been robbed of the ability to extend arms overhead straight without hyperextending the lumbar and thoracic spine to avoid shoulder pain. This exercise, when trained correctly and with proper mobility work will bring this ability back. The strength and athletic gains one receives from correcting spinal posture will be very apparent and long term.  

Reference:

(1) Frey MA1, Tomaselli CM, Hoffler WG. Cardiovascular responses to postural changes: differences with age for women and men. Biomedical Operations and Research Office, Kennedy Space Center, Florida. 1994 May;34(5):394-402.

By Dan Piper, CPT, RKC, FMS

Rehab and Sports Medicine at Dan’s Kettlebell & Barbell Club, Alameda, California

Dan Piper grew up in San Diego, CA playing every sport imaginable including Surfing and Soccer, and loves climbing very high mountains in other countries.  As a Coach, his primary focus is on bringing high quality Corrective and Strength work to the masses.  Based on Alameda Island near Oakland, Dan’s Kettlebell Club is like nothing else offered in the Bay Area, fusing FMS with workouts he sometimes borrows from his fellow RKCs, Olympic Coach Dan John, and Taylor Lewis, CK-FMS.  He can be reached by emailing him at dan@workout4results.com .  

Fitness Through the Ages vs Today, 6 Training Tips to Regain our Timeless Physical Strength

We’re all looking for some form of reverse evolution as it’s what we need. We don’t use our bodies like we did 100 or 1,000 years ago, so anything we do fitness-wise is there to shore up what we’ve missed out on due to our modern lifestyle. This phenomenon is not familiar to us as humans – now we must supplement what we’re missing in exercise with what we did before naturally…and innately this is very, very new.  

How We Once Were

As we were hunter/gatherers throughout the ages, we performed the movements that were necessary given the situation. Much like with food (we ate what we found available regionally, and this didn’t exclude very much),exercise went much the same way. When we encountered cliffs we scaled them, so we did motions much like pull ups and lunges to perform these feats. It’s also important to note also how often we typically rested. When we encountered enemies we fought them using the pectoral muscles more as we do in combat sports today.

We also walked, jogged and sprinted when necessary, depending on what was needed situationally. That is how simple our fitness was, arguably up until about 100 years ago when we still had to do much labor to bring about crops farming and hunting everything that what was eaten. This is how we have lived historically until just recently. This is how we stayed fit. So how are our natural, age old fitness routines best recreated so that our bodies get what they need in our modern era?

Here’s a cross-analysis of how exercise was done from to 100 to 1,000 years ago, vs how it’s done in our modern era.  *Examples below mentioned after “Now” depict the mere 20% of Americans who get the recommended amount of exercise according to the Center for Disease Control.

Duration:

Now:                      

Exercise is reduced to roughly one short time slot of pure exercise each 24 hour period. Most often little to no exercise is performed outside of these time slots.  

Throughout Time:

Constant if not sporadic exercise throughout the day. Exercise was not reduced to time slots. It was common to get many forms of exercise in smaller or more varied time segments (one could exercise between 3 and 20 times per day, or constantly for large segments of the day).  

Frequency:

Now:                      

Average person about 3x/week for those who exercise

Throughout Time:  

It was common to get many forms of  exercise in smaller or more varied time segments (one could exercise.between 3 and 20 times per day, or constantly for large segments of the day).  

Cardio

Now:                      

15 min to 1 hour per day walking or jogging

Throughout Time: Extensive daily walking. Jogging and Sprinting employed when hunting,fighting or combat training

Resistance Exercise:

Now:                       

Barbells, Dumbells etc.  

Throughout Time:   

Hefting hay,hefting animals,farming, plowing,physical tasks were shared amongst inhabitants,so that a larger % of the population was physically active.

After recognizing these many significant asimilarities between traditional vs modern exercise,it should be obvious to most of us now why most of us have such a hard time staying in shape in modern times like we did in our outdoor gyms of the past when the world was one big jungle gym. The types of movement we use,the frequency pace duration and rests periods between do not even approximate the exercise routines we have performed naturally for thousands of years. And yet we desire the same result – a strong, lean and resilient,glistening body,while ignoring the way we have exercised  naturally throughout the ages.

Outdoor strength training

 

So how does one know if their fitness bases are covered? Below is a list of simple steps we can take to become strong again in the way that we have typically throughout time. Here’s what should be included in your workouts in a daily or weekly basis:  

Boost Your Strength Training Routine With These Simple Tips

Change up your tools:

Think about it – did the average person throughout time hoist only small pigs? Absolutely not! They lifted bails of hay,chickens,held down cows as they were branded,they lifted dirt,water jugs….they carried heavy objects for long distances! If you want to maintain you body,lifting barbells is great, but they don’t solve the problem of varying load TYPE,which will challenge the different strength aspects of your body. Try kettlebell training, training with clubs,cables, rubber bands etc. IN ADDITION to your current routine. Just try something new!#%! Remember how we evolved and what movements we’ve done forever and recreate them! Your joints ligaments,your entire body will absolutely love you for it.

 Exercise Outdoors:

Gyms keep us indoors…many of you hate this. I like to take the kettlebells outside and exercise – this is the answer to large % of the population that doesn’t like gyms. For you cardio-enthusiasts – your routine will just plain be more effective if you simply take it outdoors like we’ve done with our cardio for eons. What’s stopping us now?    

Try lifting throughout the day:

It’s proven that people get stronger by performing sets of lifts throughout the day than by trying to get everything in inside of one set hour per day (It also burns much more calories as the body needs to cool down and warm up for each set). Perhaps the reason why is that culturally as humans we have lifted sporadically throughout the day without condensing our routine into a corner of our lives for eons. That’s just a guess. Buy some kettlebells and place them next to your desk. Try to perform just 10 sets of 10 kettlebell deadlifts each and every day,or 5 sets of 5 as I demonstrate here in this youtube video.  

More Strength Training:

It’s clear that most of the population used to strength train given my analysis above, and now almost no one does. 99% of gym goers either do cardio, weights, or classes such as Zumba. Hey that’s you’re choice – gyms do a good job of offering you everything, so make sure and use everything. Guys do more cardio, and you ladies need to venture into the weight room.

Mobility Training:  

Mobility training is exercise with the goal of increasing range of motion in joints, and improvement of overall movements patterns and posture. Some of this mixed into our routines daily will restore some of the function we’ve lost in our bodies since the industrial revolution. Our sitting in chairs for most of our lives has caused us damage to our hips,lower backs,knees, up and down our kinetic chain of which average person isn’t aware until injured. Sitting is the source of most lower back and hip problems. Chiropractors and Physiotherapists are aware,and that’s why you see their offices open everywhere you look. Spend 15 minutes before or during your workout mobilizing your joints,your spine,your hips,and you’re likely to spend less time needing their services.   

Are you ready to regain your timeless physical strength? Then book your ONE WEEK FREE TRIAL today!

Cardio Speed Training

 

 

By Dan Piper, CPT, RKC, FMS,  Workout4Results.com

Strength Training at Dan’s Barbell and Kettlebell Club, Alameda, CA

Certified by Dan John in Kettlebell Training

 

 

I’m currently sitting in the parking lot, two hours early for my RKC certification, where one of the greatest Olympic coaches and (at 58 years old) is twice as strong as anyone else in the room. He’s also a Fulbright scholar, as well as the friendliest and warmest and funniest person you could possibly meet.

Ladies and Gentlemen I Give You – Russian Kettlebell Club Master; Dan John

Dan spearheads a side to this industry that doesn’t want you to join fads, and doesn’t care if you look like everyone else. At Workout4Results we’re following Dan’s example. We are not taking short cuts to make more money by touting quick fixes to the public.

We’ve taken the time to do things right, and to learn how to coach properly, for the long haul. We are here to help you get better; and we’re very patient. We’re here to help you develop a healthy relationship with your body, and reap the benefits throughout your entire lifetime, not just for a short season.

Flash forward 24 hours…

One of the biggest things I’m taking home this weekend from RKC 1 Kettlebell certification in San Jose is was something Dan John asked “Will your current fitness regimen benefit you 20 years from now?”

This is really essential, because for most folks I coach, the answer up to now has been “no”.

In fact, people often come to see me because they’ve been hurt doing something they thought would lift them up, but that eventually tore them down. Don’t fall into this trap!

What is a correct strength training programme?

A correct training routine is a patient, rather than a hurried process. Such is the nature of strength… Strength is patient.

 

 

February 20, 2016

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