Happy, happy new year to you! I hope this one will be fun and filled with great experiences. I don't have any resolutions for the next year, which is no different from last years.
My approach is simpler: I keep my goals in mind any time and act accordingly, doing what's best in a current situation and conditions. This is not always easy; not every day is awesome. But I believe that taking small steps and being very consistent in doing so will take me farther than huge resolutions that I have no idea how to achieve.
But let's switch gears and talk about warming up for kettlebell workouts. In particular, I'd like to talk about how to warm up the core.
Kettlebell workouts are great full body workouts. There are six basic kettlebell movements: Swing, Squat, Clean, Snatch, Press and Turkish Get Up. Out of the six, the swing is probably the most common. Anyone who has worked out out with kettlebells is probably familiar with the swing.
In the kettlebell swing, you use your legs, arms and core – the whole body. You should never start a kettlebell workout without a proper core warmup, because the movements are vigorous and skipping the warmup may cause a serious injury, especially in the back.
4 Movements for the Core
All of the following movements are
- also great for strengthening the core
- perfect for low-impact workout days or rest days
- great for warming up before any other workout (not just kettlebells)
- easy to do at work to take a break from sitting – you just need a mat and they don't make you pour sweat!
Here are your four exercises:
1.Kneeling to Downward Facing Dog
This exercise warms up lower and upper back and shoulders. Also the calves and hamstrings get a nice stretch.
Begin on your hands and knees, wrists directly under the shoulders. Stretch your elbows and firmly press through the palms. Lift the knees off the floor, press the heels down. Press the floor away and push the hips up. Come back to the starting position and repeat.
2. Bird Dogs
This exercise warms up and strengthens upper and lower back and works on the ab strength.
Begin on your hands and knees, wrists directly under the shoulders. Tuck the abs in, then lift up left arm and right leg. Reach as far as you can with both, then come back to your starting position. Repeat to the other side.
3. Dead Bugs
This exercise is perfect for warming up hip flexors. This is extremely important, because kettlebell movements, especially the swing, requires a lot of hip work. Dead bugs also strengthen the abs and improve coordination.
Lie on the back, arms straightened up and legs in a tabletop position. Extend out left leg, bringing the right arm overhead at the same time. Come back to your starting position, then repeat to the other side.
4. Half Bridges
Just like the dead bugs, also half bridges are excellent for warming up the hip area. It's also a great lower back exercise. If you are doing it for strengthening purposes, feel free to add weights. For example, you can hold a dumbbell on your hips.
Lie on the back, feet on the ground, arms on the sides and extended out. Keeping the knees together, lift the hips off the ground and as you are coming up, squeeze your glutes. Come back to your starting position and repeat.
For preparing your core for kettlebell workout, do 2-3 rounds of 12 reps of each exercise.
Try the exercises out and let me know how you liked them!