I am about 2 weeks out from my first powerlifting meet and finally finished with all formal training so I decided to mess around with a few exercises and just have a fun and “light” workout for the day.
I have recently been working with one of my clients with kettlebells and more specifically “bottoms up” drills which really hammer grip strength, wrist and shoulder stability, and just look plain old badass. Ninjas train bottoms up….just sayin’.
First on the list was a bottoms up get-up. Turkish get ups should be a staple in any training program as it really challenges the entire body, especially shoulder stability. This version enhances that since the kettle bell is bottoms up which really works grip and wrist strength as well. Here is my first ever attempt at a 16kg. Spoiler: I nailed it.
I didn’t show my left for one reason. It sucked. I was able to do one but it was not as pretty. Most people have a left/right imbalance due to dominance on one side. Doing unilateral work like this really opens your eyes to which side is slacking. Whelp, looks like I’ll be working my left shoulder to catch up.
The next exercise I rocked was a bottoms up waiter carry. This is another great exercise to really hammer shoulder and core stability. It’s literally like doing a walking side plank. Talk about functional core work.
The last bottoms up drill I went after was a 24kg bottoms up press. Unfortunately I did not film the first one and was not able to get another one since my shoulders were already torched from the other exercises. I know, excuses. Here is a video of my 2okg bottoms up press.
Believe it or not, the hardest exercise of the day came after all the bottoms up drills. I realized the other day that through the past several months I have not had planks anywhere in my programs. I figured what could it hurt to add in a plain-jane Wonderbread plank and let me tell you, I was shaking like a leaf after 30 seconds. Seriously. I was able to hold for over 90 seconds but the whole time it looked like I was having a seizure.
This raises a few thoughts.
- The best core exercise might be the one you have never done or haven’t done in a while. Even if it is as simple as a plank.
- Planks might not transfer into core movement as well as you think. I am able to do plank variations and rotational core exercises to perfection and yet a plank kicked my ass.
- Lifting heavy things does give you a solid core provided your lifting properly but you should still do core specific work. I can deadlift 400+ pounds which requires a core of steel so why does my plank all of a sudden suck?
- In response to number 3, I’m sure it has something to do with the nervous system and putting your body in a different posture/stress. Like I always say, practice makes perfect. Train hard.
All I can say is that it is an hour later and it already feels like tomorrow it will feel like Mike Tyson punched me in the gut. Sweet.
I know I probably shouldn’t have but I decided to go for a finisher today that I saw on my friend Matt Skeffington’s blog that you can check out here. He calls it the “KettleJack Countdown”.
The idea is to begin with 10 swings followed by 10 jumping jacks and then immediately do 9 swings and 9 jumping jacks and go all the way down to 0. Rest, rinse and repeat for 3-5 sets.
I recruited my friend and Fitcorp coworker Jen to join in on the fun and although I didn’t blast “The Final Countdown” by Europe, it was still a pretty badass finisher. Great job Matt.
Thats it. My workouts for the next two weeks will consist of the foam roller, sauna, some light mobility work (warmups) and very light lifts to “grease the grooves”. Peace out.