Tuesday, June 28, 2011

recipe for a cracked skull

Yesterday at PT it was time to add another set of awesome exercises for my butt.  Last week we added dead lifts, single leg dead lifts, box steps, and hungarian dead lifts to my strength training, on top of the squats and single leg squats I had already been doing.  Out of those, I think the single leg dead lift activates my glutes the most - at least that's where I feel the most burning - but sprinkling those things into my week has made a big difference in my butt.  I'm spending 100% of my time running focusing on my form, and being able to feel my glutes while I run is a scary new brilliant but tiring experience.
I wasn't really sure what else we could add to that, but that's the fun thing about PTs - they always surprise with new ways to make you sore.  Yesterday's addition?  Kettlebells.
I've read about kettlebell training before, but have never even picked up one of the things.  I'm not the most coordinated person in the world, and the fear of putting one through either my television or my brain has kept me far away.  


We started out with the regular swing (I know these things all have special kettle bell names, but the only one I can remember is snatch, so I am calling them my own thing).  The regular swing was okay once I figured out how to pop my hips forward - it feels much like the same movement I do in a dead lift.  The next one we did was the same swing but with only one arm at a time.  It was harder to pop my arm up high enough on this one, but I could feel my glutes working harder.


And then things got scary.
The next one we did involved swinging it up with one arm and bringing my elbow into my body and flipping the kettle bell over the back of my wrist.  My right side was okay but my left (non-dominant) side kept trying to flip the kettle bell into my nose.  I was only about to do about 5 of these on that side before my wrist got tired.


The last one we did (I think this one is called the snatch, heh heh heh) involved pushing my arm up in the air like a fist pump and flipping the kettle bell back over my wrist.  I don't think I did a single one of these correctly.  I kept fist-pumping too late which caused the bell to whack me hard on the forearm.  I've got bruises on both arms today from trying to do this one.  


So, not sure about the whole kettle bell thing.  When I woke up this morning, my hamstrings were sore so I know it was doing something.  I'm going to give it a chance because PT has been awesome and super effective so far, but since my gym doesn't have any (lame) I'm going to have to go buy one.  Or maybe two - one for the first three, and a tiny one made of feathers for the last one, plus a helmet.  This also means I need to find a room in my house without any glass and walls we haven't repaired yet.  Dr. P suggested doing it in the backyard but I'm not sure that's a good idea because I'd rather not be buying new windows for my neighbors.


Have you ever used kettle bells?  What did you get out of it?  Is your skull still intact?

23 comments:

  1. You'd be a lot better at fist pumping exercises if you grew up in jersey. Just another deficiency you'll have to overcome.

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  2. Kettlebells is my absolute favorite. It's freaking awesome. I always hurt like hell all over the next day but it's so worth it.

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  3. Ha, I'm afraid of those things, too. I've used them on several different occassions, but with the "swing", I'm always totally positive I'll let go at some point and whatever is in front of me (usually a glass mirror - no bueno) is sure to see the end of existence.

    Somehow I've avoided tragedy, and my skull IS still intact. But I'll probably never use one at home...

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  4. We have one. I can't remember how many pounds it is but it's pink. I use it sometimes for variety but really have no idea what I'm doing with it. I use it inside but always face away from the TV :)

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  5. I took a kettlebell class not too long ago...it has a steep learning curve, I think! But it also seems really challenging. Keep it up.

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  6. I am so happy that PT is working out!

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  7. I've been using the kettlebell for a few weeks now but I only do two standard workouts with them and even those freak me out a little bit but I definitely feel the burn. Just focus on making smooth actions, no need to speed through those ones!

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  8. not clear on how this is different/better than dumbbells, so I just use those. I'd punch a hole in my basement ceiling with a full arm-length swing.

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  9. I love kettlebells. Practice with lighter weights until you get comfortable with form! They burn more calories (supposedly) than regular weight training!

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  10. I too love kettlebells, but I never could get the snatch right. (That's what she said?) I was afraid of breaking my wrist though. I never even thought of my face!

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  11. I have the Kettelworx DVDs. I love it but haven't done it in a while. Maybe I should.

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  12. Yet another thing you have tried that I haven't. Some of my very strong ultra friends are all about the kettlebells, so they must have merit. And like you said, if they're making you sore, I guess they're working!

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  13. Uh, this makes it sound scarier than I was expecting. I'm really uncoordinated, so I'm pretty sure I'd be the first to end up with broken bones, windows, walls, etc. But I still want to try!

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  14. I've never used the kettlebell but I do like saying snatch. Snatch snatch snatch! Hee hee.

    Perhaps try your new set in a padded room. With a helmet.

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  15. I did KB for a while last year when I was injured with Posterior Tibial Tendonitis. It's a good workout, but I wasn't clear on how useful it was to me. The personal trainer I worked with on them was a retired professional runner, and he raved about them as supplemental for runners. Thing is -- he was a middle distance runner (miler), and I'm not sure they're as helpful for us long distance peeps.

    I haven't done anything with them since joining CAR. I pretty much know what George would have to say about them, and I really don't want to have to explain to him why I have to take a week off because I whacked myself in the shin with one of them.

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  16. I've been wanting to try kettlebells, but I am afraid I would injure myself because I have no clue what I am doing. Also, this is one of the many weight training related items that I keep saying I want to try but never do because I never manage to do any weights or core work.

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  17. I fell in love with kettlebells in PT for my hip a year or so ago. I do single-leg deadlifts using a kettlebell (you simply pick it up off the ground in front of you, stand up, lean back down, place it on the ground, repeat), and it hugely improved my balance and glute strength. I'll be interested to hear how you make out with it!

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  18. Haha! I have used kettlebells at the gym before but am not totally in love with them. I am kind of awkward with them too and also hit myself, so...yeah. In a class we had to do an exercise where we laid on the floor and had to stand all the way up holding the kettlebell in one hand over our head. It really sucks. And I always whack myself. Haha!

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  19. Haven't used kettle bells yet, it just seems to bring up thoughts of hyperextended joints but I see a lot of people at the gym doing it. Keep us posted..

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  20. I am an HKC Instructor (Hardstyle Kettlebell Certification) and they are a fantastic training tool when used properly. Kettlebells were THE secret training tool of elite Russian athletes for centuries. But if you use them improperly or if your form is off, you'll get hurt.

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  21. I start my first kettlebell class next week....... Sounds like I'm in for a beating!!!!!!

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  22. My brain doesn't work well as it is, I just use regular weights and machines. :)

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