Tuesday, February 7, 2012

kettle-bells, kettle-bells kettle all the way....oh what smells...oh that's me, HEY!!!

Last night was my first real attempt at adding exercise into the recent lifestyle change.  It was a chapter I intended to last week but excused myself out of it.  Given the opportunity to do something vs. sitting and relaxing I’ll take relaxing 10 out of 10 times.  It’s not that I don’t appreciate the feel of exercise or the high that is associated with it during and after it’s just getting motivated and moving has been another issue that I need to focus on next.  Making me accountable for the exercises is a baby step in that direction.  I’m the type of person that can get dressed in 5 minutes and squeak in right under the clock.  It’s just the way I’ve been, instead of waking up the ½ hour earlier that would be beneficial I end up rushed.  I think part of me enjoys the adrenaline charge from the rushing.  Today for example today in the ride in we had a “discussion” on this very subject that the kids are ready and dressed and they’re sitting in the car waiting for me to find my wallet and keys and phone and and and…I interrupted “This means you’re buying me a Manpurse isn’t it?
 So as I said the exercise was a step in me adding another layer onto the slow carb diet   (I’m sticking to this plan for 2 weeks then moving to another exercise set to keep my body confused and not fall into a routine)   .  On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I will be doing a set of kettlebell workouts.  Now why kettlebell you ask.  You may have the mindset that kettlebells are reserved for fighters and aspiring strong men, in fact most gyms I’ve visited don’t carry them.  The move I use with this plan is the basic kettlebell swing. I’ll explain what that is in just a minute.  Instead of getting technical with sets and reps which I’ll leave to my boy Sean, I’ll be focusing on doing the swing 75 times 3 times a week combined with a  warm-up of 5 minutes prior to the kettlebell and Myotatic Crunches (which I will explain after kettlebell-jeez lots of explanations today) following the kettlebell.  As Sean has said and I agree with any personal trainer or fitness instructor worth their .02 will tell you form is most important and while 75 repetitions of this exercise seems like a lot it really is only 5 minutes for me the first time through.  I couldn’t do all 75 at one shot so I broke it up into groups of 20 with a final group of 15.  If you wanted to get technical you could say this is 3 sets of 20 with 1 set of 15.  In between each of the groups or sets I would rest for one minute or less and continue until I had completed all 75 while ensuring I had correct form.
Here are the few guidelines I have for the kettlebell.
·         Stand with your feet outside of your shoulders about one foot space on each side. Facing an imaginary clock your torso is facing 12 o’clock your feet facing 11:00 and 2:00 respectively
·         Keeping your shoulders pulled back (think walking tall and standing up straight) to avoid rounding your back during the exercise.
·         The lowering movement (backswing) is the feeling of sitting down in a chair, not a squatting movement
·         Do NOT let your shoulders go in front of your knees
·         Imagine pinching a penny between your butt cheeks when you swing forward. It should be impossible to contract those muscles any more.  If your dog’s head gets in the way, it’s should be lights out for Fido
Here's a great picture example of what your proper form should look like.

The next thing I mention was the Myotatic Crunch.  This uses your full range of motion, I’ve tried the Ab Ripper from p90x and found that to be exceptionally effective but I’ve become a big fan of this since I stopped doing the p90x since I just couldn’t commit the full hour or more a day to the routine with work and kids and things that come up throughout the week at this point. (I’m hoping in the future I’ll return to it but for now this is what I’m focusing on.)  If you have a BOSU ball then you’re set, if you do not have a one then a Swiss ball (45-55 cm size this is what I have/use) or a pile of firm cushions will also do the trick.  The main goal is to ensure your butt is close to the floor but elevated about 6 inches at most then follow these steps.
·         Start with your arms stretched overhead as high as possible keeping your arms next to your ears for the entire exercise.  Your knees bend and feet flat on the floor with the very top of your butt and lower back on the ball/cushions.
·         Lower your body under control for 4 – 5 seconds until your fingers touch the floor, the entire your time keeping your hands extended
·         Pause at the above position for 2-3 seconds while focusing on keeping yourself “long”
·         Rise your upper body under control and pause in the upper fully contracted position for 2-3 seconds (your arms should NOT pass being perpendicular with the ground.
·         Repeat (I aim to do 50, 5 sets of 10)
That’s it folks that’s my exercise plan for the three days, the other three days I’m changing it up to jogging/running.  Doing this last night it gave my body the same feeling as if I had done the plyometrics on the P90x program. 

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