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.

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”

The New + Kettlebell Arm Bar

“It’s only the new that awakens the mind. That fully engages us with the world. We become anthropologist in a new environment. We transcend the banality and boredom and triviality of the everyday. But when we are engorged by a new experience, we become alive. We feel as children. We gawk. We are enraptured. When we say we want to be happy, what you mean is. I want to continue To explore. To learn. to discover novel lands. We can never stop learning. We can never stop seeking. Happiness lives in the space of novelties.” ~Jason Silva

I am a big fan of Jason Silva and I watched this video on repeat. He is so right on it!

Last week upon scrolling through my Instagram feed, I stopped on a video of a kettlebell move I had never seen! This is rare. I have studied kettlebells for over a decade now. But here it was. And then a day later, I had a friend post a video of the same move, the very day I had intended to try it. Clearly all signs were pointing towards me adding this. The move is a kettlebell arm bar. After watching and rewatching the video multiple times, my mom and I were ready to give it a go. The whole experience. The discovery. The learning. The practice and first attempts. The newness. It literally made me giddy (it doesn’t take much). And then I remembered this Jason Silva video. It is right on.

Think of the last time you did something for the first time. When did you switch up your routine? When did you change your look? When was the last time you decided to learn something new? Try a new skill? Start a new program? When was the last time you had an adventure? When did you forge a new and exciting friendship? When did you take a new route to work? New can be small. All I did was add a new kettlebell move and look what it did for me. Continue reading “The New + Kettlebell Arm Bar”

Why to Kettlebell: Functional Exercise

 

36361_407995979841_2256963_n
My first 80 pound Turkish Get-Up

My love affair began a decade ago. When I was a senior in high school and when my parents still had their fitness business, we began incorporating kettlebells. It was love at first swing. I spent the summer studying Pavlo, an amazing Russian who is master with a bell. I was quickly addicted. Addicted to practicing. I was set on developing my skills. Some of these moves can be complex, I wanted to nail them. Plus I was going to school for exercise science. I am also a naturally strong women. I spent my summers working out with my dad, brother-in-law, college athletes and guys from the gym. Eager to show myself and that I could hang with the guys. That is how we once broke a 90 lbs. bell on a Sunday summer workout. Men and their pride. I spent over 5 years training kettlebells (before I realized I liked the cooking aspect more).

Ten years later, kettlebells are still my weight of choice, even though I no longer teach them. Why? Why do I go back to them repeatedly? There are a multitude of reasons to start a kettlebell practice:  Continue reading “Why to Kettlebell: Functional Exercise”