Kettlebell Series: Tension

When we did our kettlebell training, we were a big fan of the Russian Pavel Tsatsouline. He is amazing and fantastic. I remember summers when I was in high school, reading his books and watching his videos.

A key component that we would first teach before we even showed movements was tension. Being an instructor, we learned we could get a workout just through tension and squeezing. I can kick my butt without even using a weight.

With tension you can use your whole body with one move. Sometimes I would go in and do one heavy move and I was good to go.

Here my beautiful mother, who was queen at teaching, talks about tension.

Next week we’ll explore pressure points and working out barefoot. There is so much to cover and learn before you even touch a weight! But breathing, tension, all of this is important for a good lift. Plus it is all essential for protection and to prevent injury.

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Kettlebell Series 3: The Importance of Breathing

Breathing is kind of an important thing. No? I mean we do need it to live obviously.

It’s an unconscious thing we do, but what if we became more aware of it?

What if we harnessed the power in a breathe?

With years of training people, I have seen it overlooked many times. It kind of drives me nuts to see someone chewing gum and exercising. That should not be happening.

When you go to a yoga class, there is a certain type of breathing taught.

Same with kettlebells and weight training. There is a pattern. Pay attention to breathing.

Pay attention to it when you work out. Throughout your day. A decade ago my cousin Jacki recommended the book, Three Deep Breaths to me.

Focusing is not only good for us physically, but it is spiritually soothing as well.

Thank you to my beautiful momma for partaking in this little video with me. Next week I hope to share another on the Importance of Tension, so stayed tuned. Working out is more than just lifting weights.  Continue reading “Kettlebell Series 3: The Importance of Breathing”

Why to Kettlebell: Series 1

I have had it on my agenda for months to bring you this series!

Baking is my first love (then hiking). But my start was actually in kettlebells. I have lifted weights since I was ten years old, although I started pleading my dad to let me lift when I was about 8, he told me I had to wait until I was ten. I’d peak into our garage where we had a bench press for my sister (who is 7 years older and was in high school at the time). From a very young age I have had a fascination with strength. And I found out I was good at it. I was naturally strong. I enjoyed pushing my body and limitations. Doing more than I thought I was capable of. Granted I think lifting things has more to do with mental strength than actual physical strength. Often we are limited by our own self-inflicted limitations. I have experienced it myself. Multiple times, times where I told myself I wasn’t strong enough, even though truthfully I was beyond capable the whole time.

I set off to college set on studying Exercise Science. Never strayed from the major.

As my parents business began to crumble, I realized I enjoyed baking and cooking more. My mother, though, she was the best trainer I ever had. She has the personality, charisma, encouragement, and knowledge. She has beautiful form and knows her way around a bell. So when I wanted to add some exercise back onto my site and into my life more, I asked my mother to help me out, to do these interview series with me. To share some of what she had learned and experienced.

So here it is, Episode #1 gradually getting into the world of kettlebells. Getting our feet wet and exploring Why to Kettlebell.

 

Exercise & Kettlebells

1779979_10100866517459333_9192196250835438796_nFinally I am adding exercise to this site! It has been in my books for month. For those who may not know me and my personal history, we’ll start there, but my degree is in Exercise Science. Previous to being a gluten-free baker, I was a kettlebell instructor to 10 years. I will be collaborating with my beautiful mother, who is the best kettlebell trainer I have ever met, so look forward to video posts coming soon with her.

Okay, so exercise? For me this can be a slippery slope. I very much feel that we in this country struggle to balance this. Either we do too little or too much. And yes too much exercise has an adverse effect on the body. So how do we balance it? How do we start exercising for us? Not because we ate too much. Or too punish our bodies. Our because we feel obligated too. How can we approach exercise and our bodies with a loving manner?

This is big for me. Check out my blog Monday and you’ll get some insight into my own personal struggle with body image. How can I exercise and eat good to FEEL good? That is more along the lines of my thinking now. How do I feel? Not what does the scale say. I am no longer living for approval or validation based on the numbers on a stupid scale. Those do not reflect me. The beautiful, happy, content, loving person. MORE than the person you see.

Health is important though, but it starts inside. My outlook now is to look at health from a respect perspective. I respect by my body by feeding it certain things. By hiking and walking. By working on sleeping enough, stressing less, and lifting heavy things and remaining flexible so I CAN LIVE. My health helps me accomplish my goals in life. Plus you can not be of service to anyone else if you are not here. We can create and bring on illnesses in our lives. Use health as prevention.

So exercise? I have always  been drawn to the human body and it’s great potential. From drawing sports pictures growing up. To playing sports. I watched my sister lift weights in our garage growing up (she is 7 years older than me). I was intrigued and pleaded with my father to let me lift too. He told me when I was 10 I could. I was hooked right out of the gate. I am very strong naturally, something most wouldn’t suspect as I am so small and smiley. Very assuming, but I have spent my life lifting weights with men, and I have kept up or surpassed many of them.  Continue reading “Exercise & Kettlebells”

Why Walk?

11695771_10101015304159593_1006781885763692706_nIn Wildness is the preservation of the world.” Henry David Thoreau

I love walking. I walk everywhere. I feel like Where’s Waldo. Who can spot the purple-haired girl first? There she is!!!

I live in a community where commuting is, I feel, in it’s infancy. I am a novelty. What are you doing? Can I give you a ride? Is something wrong with your car? Are you sure I can’t give you a lift? Then when I explain that I have chosen to walk, you can imagine the looks. Gasp. Googly eyes. In those moments, I feel like an alien. Really? Why? Once upon walking with my pack in the country I stumbled across an older gentleman offering to give me a lift. When I explained I was practicing walking, he brushed it aside: You’ll grow out of that. Does this seem like a problem to anyone else?

For a walking, Nature lover like myself, you can imagine my excitement when I run across support for my lifestyle choices. I stood at the grocery store and Organic Life magazine stared me down in the aisle. On the side in beautiful white letters, it said: WAYS THAT WALKING CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE. It was in my hands before I actually had time to register what I was doing. My body, my intuition craved what that article had to say.

For years I have found solace in walking. Over time the relationship between my gait and I has blossomed into a full-blown love affair. Growing up, my father pushed an outdoor lifestyle, but as I have found, discovering (re-discovering) things on your own is the most fulfilling sensation. One summer in high school, I began walking the mining hills behind our home in western Indiana. There was something about it. I ached for more. More time in the woods. More connection. More trees. More air. More hills. More climbing. More views from the top. More of that feeling. That feeling of life. That stitch in my side. The increased heart rate. Feeling my lungs work harder, as I climbed and climbed. My legs burning. Sweat dripping. I had to keep going. For I never want this feeling to go. I live for this invigoration. Then I Continue reading “Why Walk?”