In 2007 I took a 2-hour course on how to use kettlebells. At this course they took a video of the participants. This video shows, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I had absolutely no access to my glutes whatsoever–let alone a proper hip hinge.
Having now taught thousands of people how to do a kettlebell swing, I understand the importance of being able to access the glutes, especially in the world we live in, where we slowly crush them to death by sitting on them all day.
In Comes the Kettlebell
The kettlebell gives you a huge advantage in solving this problem. Most kettlebell movements (especially the swing) emphasize a hip hinge, and glute-dominant movement.
Some of the main movements I have clients perform with bells are:
The first 5 of these 9 movements are basically glorified glute exercises (especially the first 3 which are also hip hinges).
Not only do they require a proper hip hinge, which will lead to a healthier back and improved jumping ability, but the stretched bottom position will help the glutes fire better as you finish the full extension.
Apart from just looking fantastic in yoga pants, the glutes are the largest muscles in your entire body. This glorious set of muscles is at the very core of almost every athletic movement, from running and jumping to punching and throwing, the glutes are going to drive the power.
If we refer back to the philosophy of “pissing off the neighbors” in Simple Shoulder Solution, we know that having weak glutes can be the cause of knee or low back pain (2 of the most common problem areas, along with the shoulder).
It’s a sad state of affairs where the largest muscle in our body is relegated to being a glorified hemorrhoid pillow.
What can we do to fix this?
1) Mobilize the Hips
2) Do Swings, Squats, Lunges, and Sprints
3) Have an awesome butt and be a better athlete
HOW TO PROGRAM:
In the beginning of your session, Power Work…
3 sets of 8 swings (heavy)
3 sets of 10 bridges
Hip Flexor Stretch for 5 breaths/side
In the middle of your session, Strength Work…
Push-up x 10
Single Leg Deadlift x 5/side
Band walk (more glute activation)
Row x 10
Squat x 5
Side Plank (lateral chain stabiliy, and more glute medius activation) x 30 sec/side
At the end of your session, Power-Endurance…
Repeat 2-4 times:
One-Arm Swing x 10/arm
Plank x 30 sec
There you have it. Utilize the kettlebell for improved performance as well as aesthetics by smartly weaving these movements into your program.
Better GLUTES every day,
ps. Want more? Grab a copy of Kettlebell Essentials