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The impact of using Kettlebells

I just came back from a workout.Since I've been rather ill the last fortnight I settled for 12 kgm Kettlebell (KB) singles but I prefer to use 16 kgm when I've not been set back by inactivity.

When I first used KB -- given that most of my activity had been upper body work ( a gym obsession) I was floored for three days. Previously I had tried to utilize a range of exercises to work my lower back and encourage easier squats. In fact the only previous time I'd used KB was as hand weights so I could slide down a wall with my back against it into a squat.

Then my trainer after listening to my concerns about 'getting low' tried me on KB.It was a bit annoying as the kettlebells had been sitting on the side of the gym all the time I'd been there, among the dumbbells.


The first thing I noticed about the KB -- aside from new pains in new places when I first started using them -- was that I was 'aware' of my pelvic area in the same way I was when I had been using Tai Chi and Feldenkrais movement regimes. I thought this was extraordinary given that it takes so long to get to that sense with Tai Chi and with Feldenkrais the 'awareness' is only short lived after each session.

It was because I had been using those disciplines in the past -- 12 years previously -- that I was so keen on 'getting down' once again..

So today I mixed it up and follow my preference in what I want to do. I allways start with rope jumping and try to sustain it through as much of 5 minutes as I can. I'm sixty and overweight with Fibromyalgia and the skipping is challenge which hass given me more dexterity of movement and an exertion 'rush'.

Then I box on the bag for three rounds or work out with focus mitts.

I like to then get to work on the kettlebells. I used to use hand weights but the KB leave them way behind. For the moment I keep to the basic drills so I can focus on my technique and try to get the reps up rather than the weight.

Since I've been reading a little bit on CrossFit I now also try to do pull ups to finish off my session. Thats' my main goal for the year ahead -- 'a' pullup.

At home I vary that a bit but while I try to get the gym three times per week -- at home I am practicing 'tabata squats' with a lot of success now thanks to the KB break through. This week I should be getting my own KB -- probably a 16kgm but I may defer to the 12 kgm. I have to go way across town to get them.

My wife follows a similar program -- she has major posture and tenosynovitis issues ( esp as she is in the last stretch of her doctorate) .

So my main complication is that if I overdo it and stress myself out too much I'm going to be in bed and very stiff and sore. The first few weeks with KB were like that and I think my trainer probably over loaded me -- although I presume I was in for it anyway as it was such a shock to the system. But the marvellous thing was how quickly KB registered with my body -- and until then I'd been going to the gym for 20 months -- building up my strength over that time and consolidating a routine with most of it with weekly trainer sessions.( My trainers are boxers by the way).

If you consider that I began more or less -- initially at home exploring boxing type workouts -- only able to exert myself for 10 minutes, to now being able to handle a full quota of sessions and reps I've come a long way. But you see the more I trained the more 'aware' I became of my body (and my aches and pains) so I could more easily protect myself and advance at a pace I could handle. So my aches and pains are getting less not only because i am 'fitter' but also because I'm more attuned with my bod and can navigate it better without so easily over doing it. That doesn't mean I don't over do it -- just that I've got more chance of controlling my stressors.

How I did this I blogged about here: My exercise journey...so far.

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