Kettlebells come out of mother Russia. No surprise they have a long legacy of strongmen. In the 14th and 15th century, wrestling live bears was the extreme sport of the day. The bear was penned. The man would antagonize the bear by banging a drum until the animal attacked him. The man usually won.
Any villager, no matter how poor, could pour cement into a cast iron kettle and have all the equipment he needed for super-strength and endurance. Developing the habit of flinging the kettlebell around on a daily basis, gave many Russians the back, legs and core strength to excel in bear wrestling, weightlifting or the Red Army, where kettlebells figured heavily in basic training.
If the kettlebell is alien to you body, as it probably is, you’re about to discover a whole new level of hurt. Be sure to chose the right weight to avoid injury, but substantial enough challenge to give you some pain the next day. For women, that’s usually about 15 lbs, for men it’s around 20 lbs and 30. But a real man should be able to handle a 50 pounder in short order, or so I’m told. You will be able to add weight quickly.
If you’ve got bulging discs, don’t bother. However, if your back is merely weak, it won’t be for long. It tones the body like nothing else. And even for hardcore lifters it’s a great new way to shock your muscles.
Take a class, or book a training session with me. And prepare to wrestle the bear.
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Most people who suffer from back problems don’t have to. The trick to getting miraculous results is not in the stretching. Although stretching is part of the process along with light cardio to heat up the lower lumbar. The fact is (and it’s a shame not to know this), strength training is what’s most effective. The solution is in building the muscles around the injury.
You may not be able to work the damaged area (or do anything at all) for a day or two or three after the injury. But then therapy is necessary. You can rid yourself of the stiffness and bring relief to chronic back problems (slipped disc, spinal fusion, sciatic) by adding the following quick-to-do exercises to your daily routine.
Super-set crunches with Super-mans. Roll onto your stomach. Raise arms above your head like you’re flying through the air. Lift up your limbs off the floor. Hyper-extend so that only your pelvis is touching the mat. Hold for 30 seconds. Down for 15 seconds. Do 6 sets before going back to your crunches. Do 3 more rounds of 6 set of Super-mans.
Another one. You need a Bosu Ball (one of those 1/2 ball thingies that are flat on one side). Put your pelvis on the Bosu Ball. Have someone hold your feet. Hyper-extend for 30, 50, or 100 reps with hands on chest. Times 3. Now back to your crunches.
One more option. Some of you may know the slanted upright bench just inside System’s in the corner to the left of the cardio area. I call it the Hangover Bench because you hang over it. You may do your obliques on it. Put your pelvis on the pads. Bench over, go down as deep as your back can safely handle, come back up and hyper-extend slightly. Hyper-extend your butt off.
Or, better still, you can hire me. And I’ll show you how.
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