The kettlebell arm bar: an excellent way to improve your strength and mobility

*If you want a complete program designed to help you make up to 55% (or more) improvement in your mobility over the next 28-days, check out the 28-day Kettlebell Mobility Challenge starting Monday, September 26th 2022:

-> 28-day Kettlebell Mobility Challenge

The kettlebell arm bar is one of the first exercises I recommend for people looking to improve their shoulder mobility and/or stability.

Some of the benefits of this exercise are:

– improved rib cage mobility
– improved thoracic spine mobility
– loosened up pecs
– loosened up the fascial line between the pecs and the opposite hip
– healthy shoulders!

HOW TO DO IT

Start lying on the ground, with the KB at your side, at shoulder level, in what we call the “cradle” position. (Looks like you at the start of a Turkish get up)

Now pull the KB to the body, roll to the back, and extend the working arm to lock out. (Be sure to pack the shoulder back and down for stability!)

Now, take the same leg as your working arm, and drive it over the top of your body. You’re going to drive that hip towards the ground, as well as bringing the working shoulder towards the ground.

Breath in and then exhale, driving the hip and shoulder towards the ground a little more each time. Do this three to five times progressively.

Be sure to watch the video that shows how to do this exercise too.

Incorporate the movement into your routine and see the change you can create!

– Forest Vance
Master of Science, Human Movement
Certified Kettlebell Instructor
Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist
KettlebellBasics.net

PS – If you want a complete program designed to help you make up to 55% (or more) improvement in your mobility over the next 28-days, check out the 28-day Kettlebell Mobility Challenge starting Monday, September 26th 2022:

-> 28-day Kettlebell Mobility Challenge

The “American” Kettlebell Swing: 3 Reasons to Avoid It

The “American” kettlebell swing has become a popular exercise among Crossfitters and other fitness enthusiasts. However, this version of the swing is actually quite different from the traditional Russian version, and it can actually be quite dangerous. 

Here are three reasons to avoid the American kettlebell swing:

1 – The American kettlebell swing involves swinging the kettlebell all the way overhead, which can place unnecessary stress on the shoulders.

2 – The American kettlebell swing also tends to be quite jerky and uncontrolled, which can lead to injuries.

3 – The American kettlebell swing may target the arms and shoulders more than the legs and hips, and this can actually detract from the effectiveness of the exercise. The point of kettlebell swings is to work specific muscle groups, and by focusing on the wrong areas, you won’t get the full benefits, and you may even be more likely to get injured.

The Russian swing is the way to go if you want to avoid American kettlebell swings. It’s more controlled, which makes it safer. It’s easier on the shoulders. And you’ll target the intended muscle groups better in the legs and hips.

Check out the video tutorials in the 28-day Drop-a-Size KB Challenge (we’re extending registration by one extra day!) for more instruction on how to perform the Russian swing correctly:

-> Russian Kettlebell Video Tutorials (inside the 28-day Drop-a-Size Challenge)

The American kettlebell swing is a movement that should be avoided. I hope this article has helped to educate you on the reasons why. Please to the Russian version of the kettlebell swing instead, and have a great workout today!

– Forest Vance
Master of Science, Human Movement
Kettlebell Expert
Over 40 Training Specialist
KettlebellBasics.net

3 Tips to Improve the Kettlebell Figure 8 to Hold

Sign up for the 28-day Drop a Size Challenge – Starts Monday, August 29th -> 28-day Drop a Size Challenge

The kettlebell figure 8 to hold is a great exercise for the core, the grip, and the whole body! However, a lot of people get it wrong. Here are three tips to help you improve:

1 – Engage Your Core

Keep your core muscles tight, and don’t let your body twist as you do the move.

2 – Pass the Kettlebell Between the Legs

Sometimes people pass the kettlebell outside the legs to start the move. Don’t do this. Instead, pass the kettlebell between the knees, around the back of the body, and back up to the hold position.

3 – Pass the Kettlebell Off Correctly

When you pass the kettlebell from one hand to the other, you want one hand on one side of the horn of the KB, and the other hand on the other side of the KB. This makes for a much smoother transition.

There you have three tips to help you improve your kettlebell figure 8 to hold.

Sign up for the 28-day Drop a Size Challenge – Starts Monday, August 29th -> 28-day Drop a Size Challenge

-Forest Vance
Master of Science, Human Movement
SFG-Certified Kettlebell Instructor
Owner, FVT Personal Training (gym in Sacramento, CA)
Owner, KettlebellBasics.net (online / worldwide)

KB 28-day Drop-a-Size Challenge 2.0 is LIVE

If you are a fan of kettlebells and are over the age of 40, this is for you:

-> KB 28-day Drop-a-Size Challenge 2.0 is LIVE

If you would like to discover how to:

  • Lose up to one full clothes size in 28 days
  • Do it using three or four, 20-30 minute KB workouts per week
  • Adjust your kettlebell workouts so that they work for any age and / or fitness level
  • Look forward to every fun, interesting, dynamic training session that you complete
  • Challenge your body AND take it easy on your joints, all at the same time
  • Learn how to burn up to 1000 calories in a single workout

Sign up to join us for the 28-day KB Drop-a-Size Challenge 2.0 at the link below:

-> KB 28-day Drop-a-Size Challenge 2.0 is LIVE

Hurry! We start Monday, August 29th.

-Forest and the Team at KettlebellBasics.net

How To Do A Kettlebell Turkish Get Up: 7 Steps For Beginners

The first three steps of the Turkish get up ^^

I am starting prep to re-certify for my SFG certification later this year. There are multiple physical requirements one needs to meet to pass, but to start one needs to demonstrate safe and effective form on all the basic kettlebell moves, including the Turkish get up.

The Turkish get up is one of the most beneficial kettlebell exercises around, but it’s also one I find people tend to shy away from. Thing is, it’s amazing for building shoulder stability, strengthening the core, and improving posture… the technique can just be a bit tricky to master. But it’s well worth the time and effort!

What I do is have my online kettlebell clients shoot videos of a couple / few reps of them doing the move, then I give them feedback and have them shoot again for next time etc, until it’s perfected.

What I really helped me when I first learned the exercise was to break it down into these 7 basic steps:

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How To Do A Kettlebell Turkish Get Up: 7 Steps For Beginners

1 – Extend the arm
2 – Bend the knee
3 – Sit up!
4 – Extend the hips (optional)
5 – Sweep the foot
6 – Come to half keeling
7 – Stand up

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This article outlined the steps for doing a kettlebell Turkish Get Up. This is a great exercise for beginners, as it is a total-body workout that helps to improve strength, stability, and mobility. If you want to learn how to do this exercise correctly, apply for personalized one-to-one coaching at the link below:

-> Personalized One-to-One Coaching with Forest

-Forest Vance
KettlebellBasics.net
ForestVanceTraining.com

The Top 3 Kettlebell Mistakes People Over 50 Make

Kettlebell training can be a great way for people over 50 to get in shape, but there are some mistakes that often get made in the early stages of starting out.

In today’s article, we’ll discuss three common kettlebell beginner mistakes so you can avoid them and start seeing results sooner.

Mistake #1 – Bad Form

First and foremost, always use proper form. This includes keeping your core engaged, maintaining a neutral spine, and avoiding excessive swinging.

Check out my Lifetime Kettlebell Fitness program for my full KB Basics Workshop videos where I deep dive into how to all of the basics kettlebell movements safely and effectively -> Lifetime KB Fitness + KB Basics Workshop videos with Forest

Mistake #2 – Going too heavy too soon

Secondly, don’t go too heavy too soon. Start with a weight that is challenging but manageable, and gradually increase the load as you get stronger.

I made this mistake when I started – I thought, I’m pretty strong, I’ll go right to the 53 pound kettlebell! I quickly learned that KBs are VERY different from other types of exercise, and it’s best to start lighter and build up from there so that you can avoid injury and get the best results.

Mistake #3 – Quantity over quality

Finally, focus on quality over quantity. Rather than trying to do as many reps as possible in a short period of time, focus on getting the most out of each and every repetition that you do.

Every single time you lift the kettlebell, you should have a specific purpose and goal in mind for the exercise, the amount of sets and reps you are doing with it, and why you’re doing it the way you are.

This article detailed the top three kettlebell mistakes that people over 50 make and how to avoid them. If you are over 50 and looking to get started with kettlebells, also be sure to check out my new-and-updated-for-2022 new Lifetime KB Fitness program – it’s on sale this week at the link below:

-> the Lifetime KB Fitness Workout – ⬆️ strength, ❌ injuries at any age

Cheers to your success!

-Forest Vance
Master of Science, Human Movement
Certified Kettlebell Instructor
Corrective Exercise Specialist
KettlebellBasics.net

3 Turkish Get Up Alternatives

The Turkish Get Up (TGU) is one of the most popular kettlebell exercises, and for good reason. It’s a total-body movement that trains glutes, hamstrings, quads, and shoulders while improving shoulder stability.

However, this exercise can be challenging for some people to master, especially if they lack shoulder or hip mobility.

In this article, we will explore some alternatives to the TGU that can help you better achieve your fitness goals.

*If you want help in learning the basics of safe and effective kettlebell training in a way that’s customized just for you, apply for one of the remaining spots in my 1:1 kettlebell coaching program at the link below:

-> 1:1 personalized kettlebell coaching with Forest

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3 Turkish Get Up Alternatives

Turkish Get Up Alternative #1 – Overhead Lungehttps://youtu.be/V61RzKZ7mWo

Hold a kettlebell over your head with your right arm.

While holding the weight, lunge forward with the left leg (or backwards for backwards lunges).

Do desired number of reps on one side, then switch; hold the weight with the left arm, and lunge with the right.

Turkish Get Up Alternative #2 – KB Windmill – https://youtu.be/uZUUnrh8ghs

Your feet should be pointed to the side at approximately 45 degrees.

KB is overhead. Arm is locked, shoulder is “packed” – same principles as the Turkish get up.

Poke your hip out to the side. The movement in this exercise is coming from the hip and not the torso.

Let the hand slide down the leg; go to desired range of motion, then stand up, engaging the glutes and core as you do so.

Make sure you tense the glute and engage the core to stand up.

Turkish Get Up Alternative #3 – 1/2 Turkish Get Up – https://youtu.be/D_iT8QJ9RQA

The full Turkish get-up goes from lying on the ground to a standing position with a kettlebell overhead. With the half get up, we’re just practicing the first half of the movement.

Start with the kettlebell right at the shoulder. The hand goes right through the handle of the ‘bell, pull it up to the frame, and rolls to the back.

Punch the kettlebell up towards the ceiling. You want it right above your shoulder. Elbows locked out, shoulders sucked down into the socket. Your shoulders should be nice and stabilized and your lats are engaged. All those muscles that surround the shoulder should be nice and tight.

Right heel, same leg as your arm is up. Your right heel is up towards the right glute and your left leg and hand are out. Drive through the right heel and punch up towards the elbow. Push the right knee out with your belly button up towards the ceiling. Corkscrew with your bottom shoulder towards the floor and come back down.

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The Turkish Get Up is a highly beneficial movement, but sometimes things like injuries, poor flexibility, or plain old lack of coordination / athletic ability can make the exercise a challenge.

Try one (or all) of the alternative moves in today’s article for similar benefits!

If you want help in learning the basics of safe and effective kettlebell training in a way that’s customized just for you, apply for one of the remaining spots in my 1:1 kettlebell coaching program at the link below:

-> 1:1 personalized kettlebell coaching with Forest

-Forest Vance
Kettlebell Expert
Over 40 Training Specialist
KettlebellBasics.net

Sample Personalized Workout: Alan’s Kettlebell Complex

Question:

If I went through YOUR current (or past) kettlebell routine, could you tell me the WHY behind how it’s put together?

For example, could you answer:

– Why (or why not) each exercise is included?
– Why you are doing the specific amount of sets / reps chosen for each move?
– Why each muscle group / movement pattern is getting the amount of total work / volume that it is each week?

If you don’t have a good answer to these questions, it’s not your fault… but I also think this is why my personalized kettlebell workout program shines:

-> https://forestvance.lpages.co/kettlebell-workouts-for-men-and-women-over-40/

Just imagine how much faster progress you could make if I designed a workout plan specifically for you, and you started really paying attention to this kind of detail!

Here’s an example:

– 

Sample Personalized Workout: Alan’s Kettlebell Complex

CLIENT NAME – Alan

AGE – 54

GOALS – Improve kettlebell form / technique; gain strength; lose 18 pounds over next 12 weeks

CURRENT FITNESS PROGRAM – Kettlebell workouts from my “300” KB Challenge program 2-3x per week

PAST WORKOUT HISTORY – Has done several half marathons, weightlifting / bodybulding

INJURIES / LIMITATIONS – Knee issue that prevents high volume / load on heavy knee bending moves like lunges

SAMPLE – KB COMPLEX (this is just one section of a single workout! – Alan’s complete program is FAR more detailed and extensive):

Perform three rounds of the complex below. Rest approx 90 seconds between rounds:

*We’re keeping the rep range moderate (5-10 per exercise) so that we can both preserve / improve muscle strength, while at the same time training at a high enough volume to burn maximum calories

– Snatch x 5 per side (Alan is fairly well versed in kettlebell form, and we’re trying to improve lower body explosiveness and conditioning… also, we put the most difficult / complex KB move at the TOP of the circuit so that we’re fresh and can use the best possible form)
– Clean & Press x 5 per side (here we are simply working on overhead pressing strength, keeping the reps lower so that we can use a reasonably heavy weight)
– 1-Arm Swing x 5 per side (working the hip hinge pattern and also the core with the anti-rotational aspect of one-arm swings)
– Goblet Squat x 5 (working the lower body squat pattern, but keeping the reps fairly low to go easy on Alan’s knee)
– Row x 5 per side (working the upper body pulling pattern that is often neglected but such a key part of balanced development)

I’m still looking for a few more people to join my personalized KB workout program, but we’re down to the last couple of open spots!

Click the link below, watch the video, fill out the interest form, and I’ll get back to you ASAP:

-> https://forestvance.lpages.co/kettlebell-workouts-for-men-and-women-over-40/

– Forest Vance
Kettlebell Expert
Over 40 Training Specialist
KettlebellBasics.net

VIDEO – Kettlebell Mistakes (and how to fix them) – Part 1

Avoid these common kettlebell mistakes to stay safe and get faster results!

My KB Fit Over 40 – Online Personal Training clients typically start with a 12-week program that focuses on three goals:

1 – Learn the basics of safe and effective kettlebell training

2 – Gain strength and lean muscle

3 – Help the client lose up to 12 percent of their current bodyweight over 12 weeks

Mastering the basics of good form is SO key to avoid getting injured AND to make the best possible progress towards your goals!

Today we’ll zero in on one common mistake – gripping the kettlebell in rack position.

I cover three tips in the video below on how to get it right – why there is “no wrist” in KB training; exactly where the handle should be placed in your hand; and how to “become one” with the kettlebell.

If you want my personal help in learning the basics of safe and effective kettlebell training, click here to apply for KB Fit Over 40 -> KB Fit Over 40 – Online Personal Training

Check out the full tutorial on how to properly grip a kettlebell below.

-Forest

Kettlebell One Arm Row (new video)

The Kettlebell One Arm Row is one of the best exercises you can do for your back.. BUT you gotta do it right! Here are three quick tips that should help:

1 – Use your body as the bench

2 – Keep your back flat

3 – Drive the working elbow towards the ceiling

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28-day “Drop-a-Size” Kettlebell Challenge

Sign up now, and you will:

— Drop up to one full clothes size in the next 28 days
— Burn up to 1000+ calories in a single workout
— Get the full personalized nutrition plan AND the support you need to stay accountable
— Get my full HIIT Extreme program AND 12 full-length follow-along kettlebell workouts from the database previously only available to personal training clients – both 100% FREE as bonuses for signing up today

We are going to harness the fat-torching power of KBs, combine them with solid nutrition AND the support you need to succeed. Details and register now at the link in my bio!

-> 28-day “Drop-a-Size” Kettlebell Challenge