Friday, February 20, 2009

Kettlebell Basics to Improve Running Form and Effeciency

I have been getting back to basics with my kettlebells. My goal over the past week or so has been to do just a few kettlebell exercises each day. I have chosen three exercises to concentrate on. They are the turkish getup, the swing, and the snatch. Check out the Pain Free Kettlebell Method here.

My key daily exercise is the turkish get up. Here is a quick video of someone doing one getup. I am doing about 5 minutes of getups for each side of the body.

This video show different stages of performing the Turkish getup. As you can see it works the whole body as you move from a supine position to a lunge and then a standing position. You have to stabilize throughout the body. It also helps the connection between the shoulder and the hips. As my hips are rotating through the positions I hear little pops and shifts that I hope mean that I am loosening and strengthening the hip area as I do the movements.

The most basic of kettlebell movements is the swing. It trains the hips, legs, back, and core.

Here is a video showing the kettlebell swing.

This is my favorite kettlebell exercise: the kettlebell snatch. This is a very pleasing exercise to do when you get it right. If not you can bang up your wrists quite a bit. I am just the barely the right height for doing this indoors in my house. An inch taller and the kettlebell would bounce off or through the ceiling.

One day I would like to get some kettlebell training. There is a new kettlebell gym in Nashua that I would like to visit and get some expert tips. I have used videos to learn the techniques. Getting a good instructional video is important so that you do the routines properly. Youtube can give you an idea of what to do but it is hard to sift through the good and poor instructions if you don't know what you are doing.

My newest video comes from Sarah Cheatham at Red Star Athletics.
She has sold out of her initial pressing of DVDs but you can sign up to know when she has more produced. She is an excellent instructor and you can learn some Z-Health joint mobility drills in addition to the kettlebell instructions on her DVD.

I also like the Kettlebell Goddess DVD. It is not just for the ladies! It has instruction and routines based on the type of training you choose.

Pavel Tsatsouline's DVDs will give you the basics on how to do the movements with a bit of humor.

I always enjoy exercising that involve endurance and movement. I have not been diligent with strength exercises which is probably one reason I have imbalance problems. The kettlebells are fun because the work on your stamina and movement. They are also a superb way to work on functional strength. I do like using them and think they can be an effective way to improve running form and efficiency.


Sarah said...

I've been battling a mysterious hip injury for about a year and I just wanted to let you know that your blog has been a great resource for me! A few things I found on my own (I'm a big fan of permanent pain cure), but others I might not have discovered without your blog. Your reviews have narrowed down what might be helpful for me. (I just ordered ageless mobility). Eventually I'd like to add in the kettlebell training. Thanks!

Jim Hansen said...

Hi Sarah,
Thanks for letting me know you have found helpful things here. As you are probably finding out, everyone's body and injuries work differently. Fortunately the new ideas and ways that people are finding new techniques is growing and there are a lot of things we can try to get our running form and balance back and we can deal with injuries without giving up! If you find something new that may be helpful to me please let me know. I am always curious about what is out there. You will like Ageless Mobility. It is a very different way of working your body tissues around all the joints in the body. I always feel very good after I use the DVD. Kettlebells are an easy and fun way to do strength training. Good luck with your hip and let me know how things are going for you.