Up & Autumn Kettle Bell Workout

I was inspired to create this particular workout after a serious lifting session with my friend Joe. Our workout that day included some pretty intense KB work and made me realize I’d really been overlooking this regular ‘ol piece of workout equipment. Sure, I’ve swung my fair share of kettlebells but I hadn’t really considered their uses much further than that. My new found appreciation of kettle bells was like discovering an unassuming restaurant that you pass by everyday but never give a second thought…until one day a friend takes you there, the food is amazing, and you’re like “how have I not been here before?!”

IMG_6659

These cannon-ball-with-a-handle-cast-iron-weights really shine when performing power movements such as: snatches, swings, cleans, and jerks (which apparently is what they were designed for in the first place, go figure). But that’s enough of my blabbin’ you’re here for a workout – so give it a run! If you’re not breaking a sweat by the end of the first set then I’m gonna go ahead and say you need to pick up some heavier KB’s…just sayin 😉 It’s always easier to drop weight during a workout, than it is to increase your load part way through…AmIRight?

And if you don’t have access to kettle bells, dumbbells can be used as a stand in! One last thing, don’t laugh at my attempt at a pistol squat (especially with an 18 lb KB)..I’m working at being able to do one someday, but not going to pretend that I can do one just yet…I had to try for you guys 😉 If you’re in the same boat and have access to TRX cables (or resistance band), I like this pistol squat variation.

Photocredit to my friend and amazing photographer Jen! Check her out here!

Up and Autumn Kettlebell workout

 

Double Kettlebell Swing:
☑ place the kettlebell on the ground in front of you with the handles perpendicular your body
☑ your feet a little wider the hip distance apart. Pick the kettle bells up, screw your feet into the ground (imagine your feet are on big dinner plates and you’re turning them into the ground)
☑ Your feet should remain parallel but by doing this you create torque in your hips, knees, and glutes which gives you greater stability, thus an increased ability to generate power!
☑ Next I want you to think about squeezing your butt (yes you’re still just standing there holding the kettle bells and we haven’t started the movement yet) You are just getting organized to be able to execute!
☑ Hinging from your hip (without arching your low back) sit back and snap your hips forward – this should be a dramatic, fast, pulse-like movement and is driven mostly by just how tightly you can squeeze those cheeks. This hip snap will create momentum that drives the kettle bells up. As they descend back down sit back and repeat!

 

Turkish Getup:
☑ Laying on your back, position the kettlebell next to your right shoulder. You want your right foot posted up (think: the side you’re lifting the weight with is the same side your knee is bent). Now, reach across your body with your left hand and grip the handle with both your right and left hands. Glutes should be squeezed and belly should feel tight. Using your left hand, pull the kettlbell toward the center of your body and extend the weight up – keeping your elbow in close to your body and thumb facing toward your head as you press up. Ideally you should lock your elbow out and let your shoulder drop to the back of the socket. Keep your eyes locked on that kettlebell throughout the entire movement!
☑ Drive off the ground with your right leg, think about twisting your body up as you come up onto your left elbow. Ideally you want your elbow directly in line with your shoulder (yeah yeah, I know mine is slightly off). One more thing to think about – as if there isn’t enough already going on – you want to keep your shoulder blades pulled back and your trunk braced!
☑ Sit up and plant your left palm on the ground (again left palm should be aligned with left shoulder) As you transition to bring your hips up – think about getting your armpit forward. Squeezing your glutes and driving your right foot into the ground, lift your hips up!
☑ Left arm and right leg support you as you “needle” or pull your left leg underneath the kettlebell (your center of mass)
☑ Shifting your weight toward the right so that your torso is now vertical – I should have also kept eye contact locked onto that kettlebell – dive your right knee out , pushing off your right left , and stand tall.

Single Arm Kettlebell Snatch
☑Place a kettlebell between your feet. Bend your knees and push your butt back to get in the proper starting position.
☑Immediately reverse the direction and drive through with your hips and knees, accelerating the kettlebell upward. As the kettlebell rises to your shoulder rotate your hand and punch straight up, using momentum to receive the weight locked out overhead.

 

Single arm Overhead Press:
Start with your feet screwed into the ground, knees are soft, glutes squeezed , belly should feel tight (this is a stable athletic position) With the kettlebell in your right hand, keep your elbow in and your palm facing your head. Press the weight up overhead. Lower the weight back down and repeat.

 

Double Kettlebell Front Squats:
Screw your feet into the ground, glutes squeezed, belly tight. Load your hips and hamstrings sitting back. As you do this be sure to keep a flat back, shoulders retracted, vertical shins, and drive your knees out. Squat back and extend your hips back up to starting postion. Repeat.

Pistol Squats:
Again foot screwed into the ground, glutes squeezed to start, belly in tight. Load hip and hammies sitting back driving all your weight into your left foot. Work on building up glute strength to master this move!

 

Can any of you do a pistol squat?? Let me know!

your-trainer-Engrid

Clean & Refreshing Alkaline Kale Salad

If you’re into living a healthy lifestyle chances are you’re also into kale. I’ve been on a kale salad kick recently… I seriously just can’t get enough of this particular dish. I  love experimenting and  discovering new ways to eat this superfood, which is actually how I invented this salad (ok – invented is a bit of a stretch but just go with me here). I was looking for a new salad dressing and came across one that sounded appetizing but I didn’t actually have all the ingredients listed on hand (I always use recipes as suggestions anyway) so I did what any of us would do, threw together my own version. Now, I’m no Julia Child, but I’d go as far to say that I think she’d even be pleased with this result.

clean_refreshing_alakaline_kale_salad

I also love kale in sautés, salads, wraps, soups, chips, smoothies, and juices! I’m a huge fan of how versatile this particular dark leafy green is; from savory marinades and homemade sauces, to sweeter tangier flavors like this salad…you just can’t go wrong!

Regular intake of kale has been shown to stimulate antibody production, boost anti-oxidative capacity, drastically lower bad (LDL) cholesterol, and increase good (HDL) cholesterol!1 Seriously what’s not to love about this food! It belongs to the family  Brassica oleracea, which includes brussels sprouts, collard greens, and cauliflower to name a few!

clean_refreshing_alakaline_kale_salad_1

 

Clean & Refreshing Alkaline Kale Salad Dressing:
2 TBS Pure Lemon Juice
1 TBS Liquid Amino’s
1/2 TBS (OR 1 -2 packet(s) of Organic Stevia *or Honey
1 TBS Nutritional Yeast

 

Kale Salad:
2 Handfuls of Kale (chopped)
blueberries
strawberries
slivered almonds  (or chopped pecans/cashews)
cucumber
radishes
celery
**optional if you don’t have access to fresh strawberries: red grapes (halved)


My actual salad varies with whatever I have on hand! But you need something sweet to balance out the savory and I find that either red grapes or ripe strawberries really do the trick!

I throw all the ingredients into a big zip lock and shake it to distribute the dressing evenly! Top with grilled chicken breast, or your choice of protein, or enjoy all on its own! I like to also add a dollop of pine nut hummus into the mix!

clean_refreshing_alakaline_kale_salad_2
Enjoy!
your-trainer-Engrid

 

 

 

1.  http://nutritionfacts.org/video/smoking-versus-kale-juice/