All the crazy stuff… (conditioning 2011-05-21)

Alright, Chris and Elias came back from their tournaments (they just recently fought in Germany, then in Steinbrunn, Austria, and each of them scored medlas in both tournaments), so we went back to doing our saturday sessions again. Due to a high level of fatigue, we skipped circuit training this time and focused on really implementing new stuff instead.

In the following, I’ll show you some of the cooler exercise – the highlights, if you wish. Just give some of those a try in your next workout, you won’t regret it.

Suspended Reach Side-Plank
Ok, quite frankly, I’ve no idea how this exercise is really called. Regardless how one might call this beauty, it definately rocks the core. The setup is pretty simple, so instead of describing it in theory, I just put up a video. Enjoy!

Single Arm Power Pull
Another great way to work the core is the single arm power pull. I first saw this on the „TRX Essentials / Cardio circuit DVD“ and instantly liked it. Pulling strength and core stability training blend together nicely in this deceptively simple exercise. Watch the video below for details.

Gladiator Press
When it comes to great, unusual exercise, there’s a lot I’ve learned from Dariusz, one of my teachers in Linz. Although I don’t believe he covered it in the kettlebell-workshop I’ve attended, the gladiator press is mentioned in some of my BSPA lecture notes. I’m pretty sure I can tell who put it there – go figure. I’ll warn you up front, though – when attempting the gladiator press, you better start out with a light ‚bell. The 24 was pretty damn heavy for the first try. Again, I’ll spare you some ready and just put up a clip.

Overhead-Squat Mobility Prep
Apart from being a great strength&conditioning tool, the suspension trainer is also a good bet when it comes to improving mobility. Since we’ve decided to switch to overhead squats in our 5×5 routine, I came up with a little mobility exercise for the gleno-humeral joint and the lower back. Truth be told, I was shocked at my lower-back stiffness, but Elias did a good job, so we took a short clip of him working up to a proper squat depth.

Two-hands anyhow to overhead squat
I kind of like the idea of „yoga with a weight“ (I believe Pavel called it something like that in one of his books/tapes… don’t remember where, though). What I mean with that is I like the idea of going through a series of drills where each drill, each position and every transition between positions hold a meaning and will actually make you stronger and fitter. This can actually be achieved quite conveniently with kettlebells. Once we worked our lower-back mobility a bit, we actually progressed to, well, doing overhead squats. Now in the gym, with power racks and weight stands and everything, each exercise tends to be somewhat isolated. The art of putting heavy weights overhead from the ground is often lost in modern-day health clubs. Outdoors, with nothing than a pair of bells, you’ll need to be creative. So, instead of just cheat-curling the weight up, why not do something that actually makes you fitter? Watch the video above and you’ll see what I mean.

Kettlebell/Towel Full Body Halos
Again, I do not really know how this exercise is called. I picked it up at Dariusz‘ kettlebell workshop. This barbarian-style movement will definately aid the core in building up some anti-rotational capabilities. Also, it’s fun to do and looks cool as hell. See below and judge for yourself.

Kettlebell/Towel Swings

Another move straight out of the ‚what the heck‘ category, the towel swing prolongs the load arm, thus increasing the force needed to overcome the kettlebell’s momentum.

Olympic style lifts
Since as martial artists, we all love explosive exercise so much, we did a whole lot of cleans, jerks and snatches in all variations. Here we go.

Catch-Clean To Throw

Now this one’s probably not something you’ll do in the gym – unless the gym owner is really, really liberal when it comes to, well, vandalizing the equipment (and perhaps even trainees). The idea is simple: explosively clean a kettlebell, catch it at the base and throw it as far as you can. This total-body shocker will work some many athletic qualities I can’t even begin to list them all. Hence, I’ll just show you the video. Kids: Don’t do this at home.

Putting The Beast Overhead
Obviously, when it comes to strength, there’s nothing like putting a big chunk of iron overhead. In my case, that big chunk of iron is „the beast“, a 48kg kettlebell. While military-pressing this monster ain’t an option, I can clean & jerk it. I love the clean & jerk, probably even more then the snatch, because not only is it a great tool for developing explosiveness, it also comes pretty clos to what I’d do in real live if trying to put a big weight somewhere (e.g. a suitcase into a luggage rack).

Kettlebell Muay Thai Clinch Chin Up

Coach Nick Tuminello once presented this exercise on his blog, As I’m a big fan f pull-ups and chin-ups in general, I embrace new variations of this all-time classic. You can read up the details on Nick’s blog, I’ll just give you a short clip of Chris clinching with the bell.

So now it’s your turn – go out, lift some heavy stuff and throw it around! Just remember not to get hurt. So long,

take care.

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