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The Fit 5: Kettlebell Conditioning

From snatches to swings, our expert shares his tips to becoming a kettlebell king.
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For all of our fans who shoot us questions on our Twitter and Facebook Page, this one is for you. Each week, we will tap into our pool of editors and experts to help with any questions or challenges you are having with your fitness regimen. This week, Mike Stehle, (ATC, CSCS, CKT-2) founder of The Training Room in Avon and Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey answers questions about the issues you're having with your kettlebell workouts and routines.

For advanced athletes, Stehle has also developed a new conditioning program called MiniMetCons >>>

 

I own a 20kg kettbell and don't have much time to workout. Do you have a workout recommendation?

“One of my favorite, quick kettlebell sessions with one bell looks like this: 

As Many Rounds as Possible: 20-minutes with these movements: 
5 Pull Ups, 5 Kettlebell Presses, 15 Mountain Climbers and 20 Kettlebell Swings.

You can make this as short or as long as you want by subtracting or adding time."

Men's Fitness Athletes Train Head-to-Head >>>

 

Are there any kettlebell exercises that will build up my chest?

"Although the kettlebell is traditionally used for swinging movements, ballistic movements, presses and focusing on the posterior chain of the body, it can also be used for supine pressing movements. My favorite in that case, for the chest, would be the single arm bench press.

Start by 'cleaning' the bell up to your shoulder, sit on the bench and lay down under control. Make sure to keep the hand deep in the bell and keep your wrist straight when pressing. Keep both feet on the ground and your entire body tight when performing the movement."

30-Minute Chest Workout >>>

 

My lower back gets tight when I do swings, what could I be doing wrong?

"There are a few things that can cause this. First, make sure to keep your back flat while swinging, you should always maintain a neutral spine during all swinging movements. Second, use 'paradoxal breathing' to protect the back: inhale into the abdomen on the back swing and hold the breath until you snap your hips through the top of the swing, then exhale. This breathing practice create a virtual weight belt to help protect your back. Make sure to repeat this pattern throughout all of your swings."

20-Minute Fat-Burning Kettlebell Complex >>>

 

I have a hard time holding the kettlebell when performing goblet squats. My legs can handle more weight than my arms. What should I do?

"Continue to do them. Eventually your upper body will be able to handle it and will benefit from doing so. Also, make sure to contract the lats hard when holding the kettlebell in the goblet position, this will create more tension in the body resulting in more strength. Practice, practice, practice."

7 Reasons to Never Neglect Squats >>>

 

What are the most important things to remember when performing a kettlebell snatch?

"The snatch is an extension of the high pull exercise. Always 'high pull' the bell off the swing before 'punching' it over your head. If you feel the bell smash you in the wrist, you're either not pulling the bell and just swinging it up, or your not punching it through effectively. Follow this sequence and you should be good to go:

* Hike the bell deep through the legs.

* Keep your heels flat and your spine neutral. Always!

* Drive through with the hips aggressively and high pull the bell to the top of your head with your elbow pointing up.

* Punch through quickly while relaxing the grip at the lock out.

Using chalk will also help you keep your grip on the bell."

 

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