Ah, the ancient kettlebell. Timeless. Elegant. Powerful.
I don’t sell kettlebells. I don’t get paid to endorse kettlebell workouts. My Dad got me started on them and bought me my first three. Then I bought some more. I like them. They’re fun and you can use them anywhere in your house, although I have yet to try them in the bath tub. They seem extremely practical for golf, or for doing kettlebell workouts. I’m not a personal trainer or some sort of fitness professional, so use them at your own risk. Below is my happy kettlebell family (sorry about the foam roller photo bomb, classic):
They range from 10 to 40 lbs and the two different styles provide some versatility. You can perform a lot of traditional gym exercises with them, plus you have the luxury of doing some more athletic and full body exercises such as swings, one arm cleans, and one legged dead lifts. There are a TON of exercises out there, google them.
The golf swing is a very dynamic multidimensional motion requiring balance, coordination, flexibility, and strength throughout your entire body simultaneously. So why shouldn’t your workout routine reflect that? Just sticking to the squat rack is great for people who want to be able to squat more on the squat rack. Is it making their muscles smarter for golf though? Strength can certainly be an advantage, but in golf brute strength has it’s limitations and it makes sense to me to incorporate exercises into your routine that raise the IQ of your muscles for your particular sport.
Both Beth and I have been doing a kettlebell workouts together every second day for a few weeks now and plan to stick with it. We add other exercises into the mix that don’t involve the kettlebells such as squat jumps, 180 degree jumps, supermans, one legged airplane rotations, variations on push ups, usually followed by gasping for air, etc.
Our kettlebell workouts tend to be either explosive and dynamic, geared towards core strength and balance, or both. We try and keep the intensity high with 8 – 10 different exercises in a row and then a 1 minute water break. We’ll repeat this 3 times, sometimes with the same set of exercises, sometimes with a completely different set of exercises to keep our muscles guessing. It usually takes about 20 to 30 mins in the comfort of our living room and I almost always feel like I’ve been hit by a double decker bus afterwards. In a good way.
My approach to fitness is simple.
- Have fun. Make it a hobby and not a chore.
- Change up the routine. Keep it fresh.
- Workout with a partner.
- Something is always better than nothing.
- Ignore fads. If it were quick and easy everyone would have a six pack.
- Be flexible with your routine. If you happen to miss a workout stressing about it won’t help.
Some days it can feel like a grind to get the motivation to workout. Especially if you had a long soul sucking day at the office. Would it really be that bad if I had a nap instead? Or a beer? With anything, I think it’s all about balance.
If you’re not convinced and would rather hit the gym or dead lift the back end of cars, then do it. I think believing in what you’re doing can be just as important than what you’re actually doing. Sometimes being confident in the wrong thing can produce better results than not being confident in the right thing.
I hope that the increased strength, balance and flexibility from my kettlebell workouts will not only improve my game but help keep my body protected from injury after an injury prone 2013 season. Only time will tell.