Sunday, May 3, 2009

But wait! There's more!

If you order within the next 30 minutes we'll throw in a bonus DVD, KettleBallet Abs, absolutely free, as our gift to you just for ordering. So don't delay! Order now!

Okay, no. But I did do a supplemental workout, and there was a kettlebell involved, and I suppose my abs got worked along with everything else. And in a way there was a ballet connection, because I was trying very hard to maintain the right balance of tension and relaxation during the swings and that's actually very much like what has to happen in ballet. That concept of the lock is integral to astanga yoga as well, and probably to lots of other body disciplines. But I still don't think a fusion workout combining kettlebells and ballet, yoga, or anything else is a very good idea. For one thing, in ballet and yoga the weight needs to be centered forward over the balls of the feet, whereas when you train with kettlebells it needs to be back in the heels. You can't do kettlebells en pointe or even on half-toe, not that it would occur to any normal person even to try.

Anyway, to get back to the workout, it was a simple little thing involving getups and swings. I'm really trying to get back to basics and work on technique instead of worrying about what weight I'm using. That's hard for me, because using "girl weights" makes me feel like a wuss. But I don't want to be stupid about my training. Actually, I do, but I'm not going to be.

So, 3 rounds of the following:

3 TGU right, left
30 swings
2 TGU right, left
20 swings
1 TGU right, left
10 swings

I did it all with my 8 kg kettlebell and really tried to concentrate on pushing down through the heels, locking out at the knees, maximally contracting the glutes and abs, and pulling the lats down hard during the swings. I think I've got it but won't really feel confident until I get a thumbs-up on my form from someone who actually knows something about kettlebells.

I do, however, know this: do not do anything kettlebell in your running shoes. Just don't. I mean there are more inappropriate things you could train in. Pointe shoes. Stilettos. Pink marabou mules. Lucite stripper heels. All would be even worse than running shoes because of the angle at which they put your foot, but the basic problem is the same: you can't push down through the heel, and therefore you can't maximally contract the glutes to generate power at the hips. If that happens, you're probably going to end up trying to muscle the weight up, which will result in a failed lift at best, an injury at worst, unless of course you're using a teeny tiny 5 or 10 lb kettlebell, in which case frankly you might as well be doing the workout in your Zsa Zsa shoes because at least then you'll be having fun.