Kettlebells For Cardio Without Machines

‘Cardio’ – unfortunately – is a necessary part of your fat loss program.  But let’s face it – it gets really boring running on the treadmill or hopping on the stationary bike every day.  Especially in these winter months if you’re not fortunate enough to live out here in California (or somewhere else warm) and you have to stay inside most of the time for your aerobic activity.

Here’s a new video for you that shows you how to use your own body weight and kettlebells for a quick, intense and effective cardio workout – without having to use any of those lame machines:

P.S. If you’re looking for more intense, effective, and efficient body weight and kettlebell workouts like this one, don’t forget:  My new Kettlebell Basics Swing Manual kick off special is still good until Midnight tonight. It’ll teach you everything you need to know about how to do the kettlebell Swing – and includes a 12 week workout to take you from kettlebell ‘newb’ to ninja Swing master!  Click the link below for details:

The Kettlebell Basics Swing Manual

Kettlebell Basics Swing Manual Special is LIVE! 2 Day Blowout Sale!

Special announcement today:

I’m excited to announce that the Kettlebell Basics Swing Manual two-day special is now LIVE!

My brand new program teaches you everything you need to know about using the HardStyle Kettlebell Swing for rapid fat loss and extreme conditioning – it’s got super detailed info on how to do the Swing, fixes to common problems, a 12 week Swing workout plan to take you from kettlebell ‘newb’ to a ninja Swing master, and much more!  It also includes a rapid fat loss meal planning guide, my Secrets of Functional Flexibility guide, and ‘Kick A@@ Travel Workouts’ as a special bonus.

And, for the next two days (until Tuesday night at 11:59 pm PST), you’ll get three additional free bonuses with your order – click the link below for more info:

Kettlebell Swings For Fat Loss

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Thanksgiving Kettlebell and Body Weight Smoker

I’m not going to lie: I like to eat a good Thanksgiving meal.  I plan ahead, get my diet dialed for the rest of the week – and enjoy myself on Thanksgiving Day.

However, an extra workout on Thanksgiving morning never hurts to get yourself going (and to feel a little less guilty 🙂 ) Here’s a quick kettlebell and body weight circuit you can do before Thursday’s big meal (or any other time of year when you want to burn some calories and fire up your metabolism):

  • Start with a dynamic warm up/joint mobility/technique work for 5 minutes.
  • Do five sets of 20 kettlebell Swings. Pick a weight that challenges you, but don’t go to failure. Rest about 30 seconds between each set.
  • Follow the Swings with a circuit of 15 Push Ups, 15 Walking Lunges, and max rep Pull Ups. Complete this body weight circuit three times as fast as possible.
  • Static stretch for about 5 minutes to finish.

Happy Thanksgiving to you!!

P.S. By the way, this is a (abbreviated) sample workout from my new Kettlebell Basics Swing Manual:

bookAnd it’s almost available to the public! I’ll cover the ins and outs and all the technique details of the HardStyle kettlebell Swing, common Swing mistakes and how to fix them, a complete 12 week workout plan (using just Swings and basic body weight moves) to take you from a total kettlebell ‘newb’ to a master of the Swing, and much more. Make sure to sign up for the Kettlebell Basics newsletter if you haven’t already to get special notice as soon as it’s done!  Just drop your name and email into the box at the upper right of the page –

D.A.R.C. Swing Technique Tips

Kettlebell Swings are the foundation of the RKC system – and they’re one of the best exercises that exists for power, explosiveness, flexibility and extreme conditioning.  But in all honesty, a steady diet of two hand Swings and not much else can get, well, a little boring.

The good news is that there are actually quite a few variations of the standard two hand Kettlebell Swing.  The D.A.R.C. Swing is a one hand variation where you switch hands at the top of the movement between each repetition.  Here’s a short video clip from the Sacramento Kettlebells For Fat Loss workshop I held last weekend at my personal training gym that covers a few tips on how to refine the exercise:

Here’s a recap of what I cover in the video:

1. You need to have the one hand Swing down cold before you try the Hand-to-Hand Swing.  Everything in kettlebell training starts with the Swing – and the two hand version is the #1 exercise you should be looking to master.  The logical progression is the two hand Swing, the one hand Swing, and then the hand-to-hand Swing.

If you don’t have the one hand Swing down before attempting the hand-to-hand version, you commonly end up too focused on switching hands and your form gets all jacked up – you lose your hip snap, ab brace, you end up swinging the ‘bell to close to the ground, etc.

2. As you learn the movement, keep the ‘off’ hand (the one you’re about to switch to) up and ready to switch. This makes it easier to ‘pluck’ the kettlebell out of the air when you let go with one hand and grab with the other.

In conclusion, the D.A.R.C. Swing is a great kettlebell Swing variation that you should be including in your workouts if you’re not already.  It’ll help you mix things up and give you a new way to challenge yourself while still working on and mastering the most fundamental of kettlebell exericses, the Swing.  I hope you find this quick video helpful in refining your technique – and keep training hard!

P.S. I have a ‘mini-product’ coming in the next week or two that’s all about – guess what? – the Swing.  The thing is, there are a lot of resources out there that tell you how to do the basic movement, but leave out a lot of the details – and the true benefits of the move are in refining and mastering the subtilties. It’ll go over in a ton of detail exactly how to do the exercise, fixes to all the common technique problems, workouts to get you in phenomenal shape using only the Swing and a handful of other exercises, and a lot more. So stay tuned!

P.S. Have you signed up for my weekly newsletter yet? You’ll get my beginner’s guide to kettlebell training FREE when you sign up – just enter your name and best email into the box at the upper right of the page!

5 Christmas Gift Ideas For Kettlebell Aficionados

Since you’re reading this blog, you’re more than likely a kettlebell aficionado yourself – and odds are you have one or more folks on your Christmas list that might want some kettlebell-related gear, too.  Here are five gift ideas to get you thinking:

1. Vibram Five Fingers

These crazy-looking shoes are all the rage in the kettlebell community; they’re the closest thing you’ll get to bare feet without losing your shoes all together.   Learn more by clicking the link below:

Vibram Five Fingers KSO – Men’s

2. In-person Kettlebell Instruction

As I’ve mentioned numberous times on this blog, no amount of instructional articles, videos, books, or DVD’s can replace in-person instruction when it comes to kettlebell training. Look up your local RKC and purchase some training sessions as a gift to get your kettlebell aficionado going on the right foot – or to perfect their technique.

3. Kettlebell Certification

If your kettlebell-lover is training religously with kettlebells and wants to take things to the next level, getting their kettlebell certification is the logical next step.

There’s the one-day, less-prep-required-but-still-tough HKC:

HKC (HardStyle Kettlebell Certified) Instructor Workshops

And the three-day, 10-hours-per-day-ultimate-challenge RKC:

RKC Certification

4. Kettlebell Instructional Courses – Books, DVD’s, etc.

Any training program gets stale after four to six weeks and stops working. So whether you’re looking to learn how to use kettlebells for the first time or if you’re a seasoned vet and looking for a new challenge, kettlebell books, DVD’s and instructional courses are always a good bet.

Two of the best:

Enter The Kettlebell! Strength Secret of The Soviet Supermen

And of course, my Quick Start Guide 🙂 A great last-minute gift, by the way, because it’s delivered instantly: Quick Start Guide

5. Kettlebells

This one’s a no-brainer 🙂  But even if one already has kettlebells to train with, odds are they could use a heavier ‘bell, two of the same weight, etc.

Save 30 Percent on Kettlebells

So there you have five Christmas gift ideas for the kettlebell lover in your life. Give them what they really want this year – and don’t be like me and wait ’till the last minute to do your Christmas shopping 🙂

Lower Back Pain During The Kettlebell Swing – Causes And Fixes

The Kettlebell Swing is one of the best exercises in the world for whole-body conditioning.  However, it’s also very technical – there are a whole lot more moving parts to the Swing than, say, a Bicep Curl.

One of the most common problems folks get when learning the Swing (especially those that are self-instructed) is lower back pain. And this is very bad – because the Kettlebell Swing isn’t an exercise for your lower back!  In fact, if you’re doing it right, you shouldn’t feel it in your back at all.  So if you’re experiencing lower back pain during the Swing, here are two reasons why it might be happening – and two drills to help correct your form:

1. Rounding the back/ not creasing at the hip

There should be a totally, completely straight line from your hip to your shoulder during the Swing – like this:

Don’t be afraid to let your body come forward; just don’t confuse a straight back with a flat back. In my experience, when people think ’straight’, they think their body has to be straight up and down.

The fix:

Stand in front of a heavy bag. Do a Sumo Deadlift and ‘punch’ the bag with your butt as you decend into the movement and the kettlebell gets closer to the floor. You should feel the hamstrings load up during the movement and should feel nothing in the lower back.  Once you’ve ‘grooved’ this movement, do a few Swings – and try to get the same feeling and patterning in the lower body.

2. Swinging the ‘bell too low to the ground

Another common mistake during the Swing is when you ‘hike pass’ the weight back, you end up with the weight too close to the ground.  This is a sure-fire way to cause lower back pain with the Kettlebell Swing.

The fix:

The kettlebell should be close and tight to the body as you do your Swings – imagine you’re hike passing a football.  Another visual that helps is to try and get the bottom of the ‘bell to face the wall behind you.

So there you have two common causes of lower back pain during the Kettlebell Swing – and two drills to perfect your form.  Keep training hard!

Additional Kettlebell Swing Resources:

Lifetime Kettlebell Fitness – Learn how to do kettlebell swings (and the other KB basics) from the “ground up” – great beginner’s resource

The Kettlebell Basics Swing Manual – Complete 12 week workout plan to take you from KB newb to HardStyle swing master