Posts tagged kettlebells
Take Pride Tuesday's: Skinny Fat to Lean Machine

Our recent Take Pride Tuesday blogs have begun with a goal and have graduated into making fitness an important factor in striving to be better. Like Mike, many of our clients who strive to be better, join the Iron Lion team. Don’t be overwhelmed by the end results you may see- consider them options during your own journey. Celebrate your successes and keep pushing yourself.

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Feel Good Friday: Recovery 101

Some of the most important work that your body will do occurs during sleep. Think of it like taking your car into the shop. It is crucial maintenance that keeps your body running productively. Muscles are repaired, blood cleaned and circulated, cells renewed. This is definitely not “down time”.  Sleep is literally preparing you for living.  Quality sleep can provide quality of life.

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Take Pride Tuesday: Personal Training gets Semi Personal

 The change from private training to semi private training was initially a concern with varying ambitions, however, individual programming and a strong presence of community at ILP allowed this new team to collaborate and learn something special from the other; something they had not experienced in their previous years of training. Julia says, “It’s not just about personal gains anymore, it is about seeing your partner succeed and own the movements well.”

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Feel Good Friday: Reflections on Group Training - From The Group

Four of the women members at ILP talk about their experience working with each other in the semi-private group with Coach Hayley. To read about the impact they have on each other is priceless. Thank you Laura, Angela, Kat, Heather and Coach Hayley for sharing your experience! You made it a Feel Good Friday!

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Exercise Tip of the Week: Dead-Stop-Swing Technique

Getting the bell off the floor with proper technique during our swings,cleans, presses is going to be crucial as the weights gets heavier. When we don't set-up correctly, we put ourselves in poor position to express our strength (waste energy) and this could lead to poor performance and injury. Check out the video to dial in on your swing form. 

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Take Pride Tuesday : Pauline Transforms

Welcome to the second edition of Take Pride Tuesday’s, as we would like to introduce you to Pauline Kakkos. Pauline is one of our fiercest members within the Lion’s Den and has accomplished so much in such a short period of time.  In sitting down and talking to Pauline it was very clear that this warrior was not aware for what she was about to discover within her inner sphere.  “It started out as a goal to lose weight, and now has become more than that, as I now want to be strong. This has become who I am as a person,” Pauline stated.  

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Stronger Feet for Stronger Deadlifts

Here at Iron Lion, you will hear the trainers cueing you to grip with your feet or to root your feet into the ground. Why are the feet so important? It’s because the feet spread over a surface, grip it and send sensory messages about it to the rest of the muscles, telling them how much strength to apply. Athletes and clients should be able to separate the toes, spread the floor and grip with the big toe, lighting up the muscles of foot and creating an arch of support or neutral foot. One exercise that really helps you feel this foot-body connection is the RDL.

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Take Pride Tuesday's : Rick Transform

The goal of “TAKE PRIDE TUESDAY’S” is to show growth in our fellow team members and share their success stories.  Each week we will focus on a success story within our community to broadcast real life victories to empower you to push yourself to the limit and achieve great strength and command of your physical sphere—after all, strength is not given, it is earned. 

This week we will focus on one of the Den’s co-founders, Ricky Borg. It isn’t always easy as a married, parent of two, to work on his health, but in making the time, Ricky has experienced great results—weighing in at 165 pounds (a loss of 22 pounds) and dropping two pant sizes, Ricky is on the road to a much healthier lifestyle.

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Loaded Carries

Loaded carries are essentially mobile planks. Once a student has mastered the plank and side plank, we add carries into the programming. When a student begins utilizing loaded carries, the weight of the kettlebell or other implement, is an important consideration. I typically use a kettlebell that is one size up from what a student can press, squat, and deadlift with a single leg. Each carry complements a certain exercise more than others. The overhead walk with the press, goblet walk with the squat, and one arm walk with the one leg deadlift. This builds strength endurance and stability before moving onto more dynamic movements.

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Progressions of Glute Medius Stability

The gluteal muscles factor into nearly every strength or powerlifting exercise, and as Devin illustrates, their failure to fire properly results in the muscles of the back compensating, often times leading to lower back pain. Below, I discuss the function of the glute medius/minimus muscles, why they become weak in the first place and how to correctly strengthen the glutealcomplex.

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How to breathe : The Power of Breathing

The ability to breathe efficiently and have control over one’s breath can be the key to unlocking strength, having more energy and managing stress (relaxation). Breathing is the facilitator of all human movement. Yet most people breathe incorrectly, which hinders their performance and can even cause chronic muscle tension and pain. 

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Poise Under Pressure - The Turkish Get-up

The Turkish Get-Up is the epitome of poise-under-pressure. The head, neck, and torso align perfectly to form a harmonious postural relationship. In other words, our bodies are properly stacked during this exercise, allowing us great freedom and an enhanced capacity for global movement. In Michael J. Gelb’s book Body Learning, he wrote of the link between head, neck, and torso: “[The link] increases our store of potential energy, allowing movements to be undertaken in the most economical way possible, so long as the balancing mechanism is not interfered with. And it promotes the best possible functioning of the body’s life-support system (i.e. breathing,circulation, digestion) and of intelligence and emotions”. This is the exact relationship that occurs in a well-executed TGU. The Get-Up is the perfect blend of looseness and tension and encompasses all qualities of fitness, including strength, stability, mobility, flexibility, endurance and hypertrophy.

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I swing to be strong for life

 Just like most of students of the kettlebell, the swing has had a profound effect on me. I was fortunate enough to have been indoctrinated into kettlebell training eight years ago by Jeff Martone. It was the practical application to my study's of Gray Cook and the movement screen (PNF, reciprocal inhibition, irradiation). Jeff also had one point that he hammered home, everything derived off the swing (ex. clean & snatch). What he meant was, learning the swing is a pivotal point in our strength journey, without proficiency in the swing and learning how to hip hinge correctly, all other exercises would lack efficiency.

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The Loaded Stretch - Stretching with a Purpose

 If you look closely at dynamic stretches, you will see they are the unloaded (no weights) version of strength exercises. If we maintain the same form under load, we will achieve optimal resting length. Also, if we think of the stretches as our weight lifting counterpart, we will ingrain that motor pattern. That stretch now has a greater purpose and will more readily transfer over to the squat rack or bench.

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The Dreaded Ankle Sprain

Incurring an ankle sprain is devastating. Not only are athletes or clients unable to perform in events, the compensation pattern adopted can lead to many more problems that do not necessarily trace back to the ankle. With an ankle injury (as with other injuries), the waist muscles opposite to the injury tighten out of the need to both compensate and lighten the load placed on the injured area until the body heals. Even after the injury heals, the compensation pattern can sometimes remains dominant.

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Power with Age

In my last post, I described the need to develop strength before power.  Building a base of strength is critical before implementing power exercises.   Once this base is established, we can implement power exercises that will benefit us athletically as well with daily functional tasks.  We often assume that because power is dynamic in nature, it should be regulated to athletes and Olympic lifters.  Yet, power can play a significant role in helping us within our daily lives.  The truth is, older adults can greatly benefit from power exercises. Power loss occurs at twice the rate of strength losses and is a major performance quality associated with independence, fall prevention and faster recovery following an injury.  Once we understand the power spectrum, we will know what power exercises we can prescribe safely to our older adult students.

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