Sunday, April 29, 2012


I was told that today was going to be sunny and mid-60's.  I woke up to grey skies and low 50's.  I feel slightly robbed, but unfortunately, this is pretty much the norm for the Pacific Northwest.  I was able to get a lot of outdoor stuff done yesterday, but I was still looking forward to a day where I could get some serious sun in my backyard.  Oh, well.  Instead I'm catching up on house chores, work, blogging (duh), and kettlebell training. 

I'm a huge fan of moves that work shit tons of muscles in one movement- overhead squats/lunges, push-ups, deadlifts, full squat clean and press, and the highly technical, but super effective Turkish Get-Up.  I found this video, and this chick is pretty bad ass.  It helps that she is lean so you can literally see every muscle in her body working:

Her form is perfect, and its hard to tell, but that's a 70 pound Kb she is working with.  I start to have issues using more than 50 pounds, and my 35 pound Kb is just fine for doing multiple get-ups on each side.  I remember the first time I was introduced to this movement- I was confused.  I went through all the motions, and while it was awkward, I never felt the heart pumping exertion like I do with other moves.  I'm sure I even thought to myself "what muscle is this working?"  The next day I was ridiculously sore after using a 15 pound Kb. 

A long span of time went by before I did TGU's again, and I always held a secret hatred of them because the movement took so damn long.  They are highly technical, and you can't just rip through them like air squats or push-ups.  Focus and control is absolutely key.  In fact, now, the more I concentrate on performing all the steps to the movement correctly, the more I find myself sweating after a short amount of time.

Notice how she rolls towards the Kb and then uses two arms to ensure its locked out above her.  Full lockout is absolutely necessary.  Next, she is focused on the Kb.  Always.  Her right knee is bent, the same side as the hand that holds the Kb.  Left leg is straight, and left arm is planted out 45 degrees away from the body.  Watching the Kb, she rolls onto her left side and uses her arm to prop her up, the whole time keeping the right arm locked out with the Kb, and eyes on the Kb. Next, she raises her hips into bridge, allowing her to sweep her left leg under her and form a very stable position with her left leg kneeing on the ground, and her right leg bent at 90 degrees with right foot flat on the floor.  She is in control, and now just needs to stand with the Kb.  Once standing, the movement is completed by doing the actions in reverse.  Lunging backwards, resting left knee on ground, planting left hand down, hip bridge to sweep left leg back, laying down, and using both arms to lower Kb and roll back to the right and set it down. 

After a quick Kb complex of 3 rounds of: 5 Kb swings, 5 goblet squats, 5 one armed overhead press on each side, 5 one arm Kb rows on each side, I did 5 TGU's on each arm.  I could feel my core working overtime to keep everything under control.  Due to their complexity and reliance on technique, these have moved from the bottom of my to-do list to the top. 

The best thing about these?  Doing them while balancing a shoe on your raised arm instead of weight is just as effective.  Try it.  Don't drop your shoe throughout any part of the movement.  When you can perform 5-7 on each side in full control without dropping the shoe, try adding some weight for a different feel.  When I'm at the gym, I often try to do TGU's with a barbell since that adds a whole new element of control.  What use is having a body that you can't control?   

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