The swing is an amazing workout, targeting the glutes, hamstrings and back, plus the cardiovascular system – but if that’s all you’ve been doing with a kettlebell, you’re missing out!
From building functional strength to working on endurance and even mobility, the humble kettlebell has a lot to offer. You could start with these 9 movements, then as you get more confident start to sub them in for barbells to work on unilateral strength, or even create your own movements to target your needs and weaknesses.
Read on to hear my 9 best kettlebell workout movements and watch a video of how to do them!
When was the last time you tried a new fitness class? Last month? Last year? Can’t remember? It’s easy to settle into a routine with fitness, especially as so many of us struggle to enjoy it at first and keep motivated, but hear me out – there are good reasons to try out new fitness classes every now and again.
I’m not saying dump your current programme, as consistency is so important in hitting your goals, but there are definite positives to throwing in a curve ball occasionally. Read on to find out what these benefits are, and the easy way to slot new activities into your schedule!
Functional training and mud runs are both big trends in the fitness world right now, but are they mutually exclusive? I recently took on the Major Series Mud Run with Blacks and whenever I wasn’t submerged in water or knee deep in mud, I was thinking how difficult obstacle courses and mud runs are to train for, not least because you don’t know what’s coming in them – it’s unlikely my washing machine could handle what it had to do after the Major Series on a weekly basis!
However, there’s something you can add into your mud run arsenal to make sure you’re prepared. Functional training can prepare your body for whatever life throws at you, whether that’s running for and jumping on a bus, or a mud run. Instead of just training one muscle group for growth and/or strength, like a bicep curl, functional training works the entire body with compound moves that improve strength, power, and mobility. This could include anything from your conventional squats and deadlifts to plyometrics like box jumps and even more technical moves like a pistol squat.
Read on to find out how my own functional training benefited me when I tackled the gruelling Major Series Mud Run.
Remember I wrote a post, Get Spartan Fit, about training for a Spartan Race? I posted that after having a look around online for the obstacles, and after finding only a few (Spartan are cagey about which obstacles they have at each race) I did a bit of extra upper body stuff at the gym and headed towards my first Spartan Race with confidence.
Oh, how wrong I was. As I walked towards the race village last weekend and spotted some of the obstacles, I realised how under-prepared I was. Now I know the only thing that prepares you for doing a Spartan Race is to do a Spartan Race, because most of the obstacles are pretty unique. Of course, now I have completed a Spartan Super I feel much more wizened to Spartan’s suffering, so read on for my tips on surviving your first Spartan.
Today was my fourth CrossFit class at QDos, thus completing my first week at the box, which is near Manchester Airport. Major kudos to the guys as not only do they have a gym name where you can make that “kudos” pun, they’ve also improved my form remarkably and already taught me to do new things. Considering these improvements it’s pretty unfair that CrossFit has a bad reputation for ruining form and getting injuries: throughout this week I’ve been under the watchful eye of a coach at all times – even two for bigger classes – with small adjustments being made to each movement I’ve made.
If you’re a beginner thinking of starting CrossFit, my advice is to just go for it! Everything can be scaled or modified to your own abilities, and there’s absolutely no shame in doing so. Everybody is working too hard on their own workout to mind what you’re lifting, and also many of the workouts are AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) which means that even if fitter athletes have finished their first round they’ll continue onto further rounds. It’s impossible to tell who’s up to which point in the WOD.
That being said, don’t hold back with trying out more advanced things. I accidentally turned up for Games Team training, decided to just go for it and had a great time. I’ve really surprised myself at the amount of things I’ve achieved this week.