by Rod Devreese, Guest Blogger
A Healthier Life: Best Weight Loss Plans & Workout Routines
The quest to lose weight starts with burning calories more than the amount consumed. One effective way of losing weight and burning calories is to perform exercises. The good thing is that there is a variety of workout plans that you can modify according to your interests and goals. A good example of this workout plan is the weight training program, along with cardiovascular fitness program. Here are different workouts that you can follow to realize your dream of losing weight permanently.
Anyone who wants to obtain a healthy heart and overall fitness should perform aerobic activity. For beginners, it is recommended to perform at least 20 to 40 minutes five times a week of aerobics activities that include vigorous walking and jogging. Likewise, you can do kickboxing, dance routines, and classic aerobics.
Another strength training that is perfect for losing weight is the calisthenics. Crunches and sit-ups are good for abdominal muscles. Squats, bridges, and lunges can help in strengthening the lower body.
In order to prevent injury, it is important to make your muscles flexible. Likewise, it promotes good posture and overall fitness. That is why after the workout, it is necessary to gradually cool down the muscles. In addition, before doing vigorous workout, you should perform light activity like walking for 5 to 10 minutes before stretching. Yoga is perfect for promoting both strength and flexibility.
Running is the best workout routine that can burn a large amount of calories. Running on tracks and trails is a good alternative for running in treadmill. However, the good thing about treadmill is that you can work out even if the weather outside is not so good.
Cycling offers low impact of aerobic workout as compared to jumping rope and running. This activity is ideal for those who have knee issues, orthopedic problems, and arthritis. You can use a stationary bike even at your home so that you can do the activity even if the weather is not good.
Interval training is an effective yet simple workout plan that ensures burning calories in just a short time. In performing interval training, you should integrate intense exercise with less intensity exercise. The duration of high-intensity intervals should add according to the level of strength and endurance levels.
This workout can burn calories and eventually lose weight effectively. However, for more effective workout, it is ideal to combine weight training with jumping rope. Jumping two inches above the ground can help in avoiding hip injuries. Likewise, make sure that the rope goes under your feet, and the elbows are close to your body.
As you can see, people who are into dancing are physically fit and good body shape. It is because dancing helps in burning out calories. Start your workout playing slower songs and increase the tempo gradually.
While doing workout programs to lose weight, you should also monitor other aspects such as heart rate, calories burned, and other details to ensure that you are in the right track. Likewise, you should consult first your health care provider to ensure that you are capable of doing workout.
About the Author:
Rod Devreese is a health & fitness enthusiast. He writes on topics such as the best workout routine and bodybuilding exercises. Through AllWorkoutRoutines.com he strives to help everyone achieve their fitness and weight loss goals and provide access to the information and education they need to do to so.
Do you like to workout? So you like helping others work out? Then it's time to consider a career as a Personal Fitness Trainer...and Mueller College can help! Download the FREE Guide to our Personal Fitness Trainer Certification Program!
by Erik Blekeberg - Mueller College Instructor, MA in Kinesiology with emphasis in Sport and Exercise Psychology, NSCA, RKC
I have been seeing an increasing problem in the fitness industry. Weekend certifications workshops.
This is nothing against workshops (which are certification-like in essence). Workshops are great. They are a way to gain new information, meet new people and stay current in the industry. The difference between workshops and certifications is that workshops show you ideas and give you examples about how to apply them, where as certifications tell you how to do everything and that this is the way it SHOULD be done.
To really explain what weekend certifications are and why they are a problem. I need to first give an example:
Sex, long term relationships and one night stands.
Now that I have everyone's attention I will delve into this a bit more. First off, in this example coaching/training clients/teaching (whatever you want to call it) is sex; Long Term Relationships represent long standing certification agencies like NSCA-CSCS or an ACSM-HFS; and One Night Stands are weekend certifications (Crossfit, RKC, Movnat, AKC and even USAWlv1).
I know this example might upset those that believe in waiting till marriage to have sex but, you really need to go with this example to understand what I mean. If I have a girlfriend and start to have sex with her, its not going to be anything great the first few times. We are learning each other, growing and becoming more comfortable with each others bodies. After a while, sex will be either great and the relationship continues or bad and we break it off. Either way, we learned valuable lessons along the road and come out better for it. We are both far more experienced with sex and have learned to experiment to some degree.
If I were to now have a one night stand with the girl I meet at a bar or at a friends house, go to a given location and we have some sex - it might be great, it might not. But, either way, after its over I haven't learned much of anything unless something really bad happened. You don't get better at sex from one night stands, you get better at sex from relationships.
This example carries right over to the fitness world. The certification agencies represent really a wedding ring in the relationship. It shows that you have invested the time, training and dedication to pass the rigorous exam. But you aren't really BETTER for taking it, it was an assessment of your current knowledge and a demonstration of your commitment.
Contrast that with a weekend cert where they pretty much give it to you after the weekend is over. Yes, some do test (USAW gives a written and RKC has a physical, teaching and skill demonstration component) but, they all give a false sense of security. They try to tell the person that they now have some knowledge that elevates them beyond what they were before.
Do they, really? They have some new ideas to tinker with but, true knowledge and skill comes from development.
Again, I am not saying that the weekend certifications are not giving you some great information ... but, remember that you are not suddenly better for having done them. Getting a USAWlv1 certification means you went to go get some new information. It does not mean you KNOW how to do the olympic lifts.
So, spend some time and invest in a methodology of training for more then a month or so.
I know its scary and you don't want to be tied down but, you will be richer for it.
Mueller College Instructor Erik Blekeberg is the coach for the Army & Navy Academy (Carlsbad, CA) Weightlifting team as well as the Strength & Conditioning Coach for their varying sports teams. He has competed in Olympic Weightlifting for 7+ years as a 94kg and 105kg making it to the 2012 USA Weightlifting American Open in Palm Springs, CA; Strongman as a Lightweight (under 231lbs) where he won the title of California's Strongest Man in 2008 for the Lightweight Division, and varying other competitions of strength involving kettlebells, rocks, barbells and anything that can have more weight added on to it.You can find out more about Erik and his practice at www.squatmore.org
Are you thinking of becoming a Personal Fitness Trainer? To find out more about the strength of becoming NSCA-certified, download the FREE guide by clicking on the icon below!
Article by Jacque Ratliff, Personal Fitness Trainer Program Director
Check out the top ten reasons you should become a personal fitness trainer, from none other than Mueller College's PFT Program Director, Jacque Ratliff! (.ed)
10. This profession helps you stay in shape and lead a healthier lifestyle…it just comes with the territory!
9. According to the Department of Labor, Fitness Trainer and Instructor positions will see an increase 24% over the next 8 years.
8. Learning new and interesting ways to achieve your own fitness goals or the goals of your clients will keep you motivated and more money coming into your pocket.
7. Researchers surveyed 115 health fitness professionals, who revealed that an exercise science bachelor's degree or American College of Sports Medicine or the National Strength and Conditioning Association certification were strong predictors of a personal trainer's knowledge.
6. “Research suggests that 50% of persons starting an exercise program will drop out within the first 6 months (Wilson and Brookfield, 2009).” To combat this, “there is a significant relation in a client’s exercise adherence with his/her personal trainer’s leadership style…exercise leaders who are perceived to have a high mastery of exercise favorably influence client exercise adherence.”
5. When you spend time with your friends or family, you will be among the most popular in the room. Everyone will want to know what you do to keep in such great shape…this leads to more clients for you!
4. If you’re interested in training athletes, wouldn’t it be cool to do this for a living!!! (courtesy of our current externship site, Fitness Quest 10)
3. If have a history of weight issues yourself, becoming a personal trainer is a great way to learn how to change your life while also becoming an empathetic role model for your future clients who may also be having their own battle with weight.
2. The fitness industry is an every growing, ever changing one. When you become a personal trainer and graduate from Mueller College, you associate yourself with likeminded individuals who have a passion to influence our community. These individuals will always be linked with Mueller College, and through an attitude of life-long learning, will continue to influence those around them in a positive way.
1. If you could help change someone’s life like this…what’s stopping you?
If you are interested in persuing a Personal Fitness Training career, check out Mueller College's PFT program below!
Post by Jacque Ratliff, Personal Fitness Trainer Program Director
Jacque's IRONMAN UPDATE!
The time comes in every athlete’s training cycle where they just don’t feel up to the task at hand…for me that time is now. I recently signed up for my first full marathon in preparation for my first full Ironman that will both be taking place in 2013.
In October, I visited my family in Kansas and returned home with quite the long term cold/bug. After being out of my regular training routine for about 2 weeks due to traveling and sickness, it has been challenging to get back on track…and then came Thanksgiving! I’m usually very good about not indulging too heavily in the feast that is Thanksgiving, and this year was no exception. What did make this year different, however, was two-fold.
1-After being super diligent with my diet up until Thanksgiving, the new foods (even in moderate portions) that I introduced to my system were not taken well.
2-Because I hosted Thanksgiving dinner in my own home for the first time this year, the result that does not bode well for my nutritional efforts and endurance training is….dun-Dun-DUN-Leftovers! Yes, the attack of the turkey and stuffing hangover is in full force at my house. Along with gravy, rolls, and all the random slices of pie, my husband and I are drowning in the carbohydrate and tryptophan saucers.
What I have come to realize, by no means for the first time, is that when I do veer away from my planned regimen I feel, well, crappy. I have been in the health and fitness industry for at least a full decade now, and it is still so amazing to me how much our daily nutrition and exercise routine effects how we actually feel. Recently, I’ve noticed these not so wonderful side effects of the holiday splurge: groggy feeling during the day, less productive workouts (couldn’t finish my planned long run this weekend), more muscle soreness (probably due to poor recovery techniques), obvious weight gain and bloating, headaches, dry scalp, and achy joints. Now, if you are like ‘most’ Americans, you may be saying “No way, there’s no way all of those things can be caused from a poor diet for a week or two and less physical activity.” Well, unfortunately, this IS exactly what’s causing them. What I find even more disturbing, is the fact that even though I am completely aware that I am feeling like crap, there are your typical Americans that go around feeling like this every day-and they think it’s NORMAL!
If you are one of these ‘typical’ Americans that is feeling the effects of your recent holiday festivities or if you are an athlete like me trying to drag yourself back on track with your training, here are some tips that might help get you through this holiday season:
1. Plan ahead for you holiday dinner parties: Before you go out for your upcoming Christmas parties or New Year’s celebration, have a snack of heart healthy nuts or other fats and protein. This will help to curb your appetite for hours afterward and leave you having maybe only ½ a slice of cheesecake instead of the whole thing!
2. If you consume alcohol, make sure to keep stocked up on water as well. Perhaps alternating a class of H2O on the rocks in between each cocktail. This will help to curb your blood sugar as well as help you to remember the fun you had at your holiday party.
3. Pick your poison: Make sure to mentally prepare yourself for what you might want to splurge on either before or right when you arrive at your destination. Choose one thing to indulge in and make that your one ‘treat’ for the evening.
4. Stay active: whatever your activity of choice, make the time in your holiday schedule to stick to it. If you’re like me and having a little motivational issue, grab a friend and make sure to keep each other accountable with your workouts.
5. TRI something new: As a triathlete myself, I always find it much easier to stay active if I have an event or new race to train for (the past few weeks being the exception). If you are needing a little boost to stay motivated through the holidays, pick an event such as a Triathlon, 5k, or even half marathon that happens toward the beginning of the year. January and February are great race months and if you’ve paid an entry fee, you’ll be more likely to stay committed to your particular event.
I’m ready to jump back on the ‘healthy’ bandwagon…won’t you join me?
To get started, download our Guide to Holiday Health and Weekend Wellness
(Filled with yummy, healthy recipes!)
Post by Karen Brohard, Admissions Rep.
In July of 2008, I left Pleasanton, CA to attend college in San Diego, CA. In December of 2008, I returned to Pleasanton weighing in 61 pounds lighter. Believe it or not, this isn’t a Cinderella story.
I have been a bigger girl my whole life. Starting at a young age, my diet at home wasn’t exactly filled with fruits and veggies. The dinner table was always full and desert was usually expected. I was given lunch money to pick which cheeseburger I wanted at school and both my brother and I knew where mom’s hidden candy and soda stash was in her closet. The most exercise I got was from walking home from school or a city league softball game. This was my life throughout high school and community college.
Then… the acceptance letter came.
My diet was officially my responsibility on the typical college kid budget when I moved down to San Diego State University. As a result, I found myself eating much less food than I was before. What food I did prepare was easy and bland, seeing how the most complicated thing I could cook was an egg (and I even messed that up quite often). Mixing this new diet with exercise from weekly practices left me feeling different. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it from seeing myself in the mirror every single day, but I knew something was different.
Christmas break snuck up on me and it was time to go home to see my family in Northern California. I could see my mother and father reading their respective books and newspapers around the fire as I walked through the front door. They both looked up at me and said nothing. After a good three or four seconds, my mother jumped up to hug me. My physical appearance had changed so much that my own parents had a hard time recognizing me.
Two days later during a normal physical, my doctor informed me I had lost 61 pounds since my last visit in June.
My New Reputation:
The amount of praise, “oohs” and “ahhs” I received during my month home was astounding. Everyone wanted to know what I was doing differently and what my secret was. What crazy new diet was I on? How many crunches do I do a day? Will I work out with them? People who never talked to me much suddenly went out of their way to see what I was up to that weekend. Life back home turned upside down. I was a new person.
Soon the praise, questions, and advice requests turned into rumors of my weight loss pill-popping on top of “an obvious drug addiction.” There’s no way I could have lost all this weight on my own. Surely my gut will be back after I finally eat something for the first time in months.
The Not So Glamorous New Lifestyle:
I became paranoid. I felt as though all eyes were on me and my weight all the time. If I gained even a pound, the criticism would come faster than I could even put the fork down. Every calorie suddenly carried a heavier burden and stressed me out just thinking about it, let alone eating it. Tangerines after practice seemed like anything but an innocent post-workout snack. I didn’t want to eat anymore at all.
Friends in San Diego noticed a change in me. I was self-conscious, never wanted to go to Pizza Bar with the team anymore, and was rarely seen near a kitchen. I would step on the scale multiple times a day at home, questioning if I should drink water at practice that night to maintain my water weight. Just as quickly as I had lost all of the weight, I also lost all of the control over my life. At the suggestion of a friend, I finally sought out help.
What Changed My Life More than the Weight Loss:
Seeing someone to help me work out my weight issues saved my sanity. We were able to get down to the root of my weight obsession, find out what caused it and how to overcome it. Ultimately, I learned that it really didn’t matter what people thought of me. Easier said than done, I know, but when you hit rock bottom you have no choice but to come to terms with this. What is more important to me- an impossibly thin frame or the ability to have a social life and go out into public? Words only have as much power as we give them. Let people say what they want. Words don’t change who I am or what I did to get here. I worked hard, cleaned up my eating habits, and no one can take that away from me.
2 years later, I am happy. After graduating college, I found a weight lifting gym and a new team to continue my exercise. I learned to tune out the rest of the world and their opinions of my physicality. Currently I sit 11 pounds heavier than my all-time low, but I can say that I have never been happier with myself. I have also learned to be gentle when discussing the physical appearance of others. If I notice someone is losing weight, I may say, “Hey, looking good” or “keep up the good work”, but I definitely don’t question how or why they got there unless they want to talk about it. It is their body and their life.
The key message here is to be supportive and aware at the same time of your and other’s fitness goals. Don’t get carried away and don’t allow yourself to define you or others by their fitness goals, either. Life is too short to waste every day in personal turmoil or petty judgments.
Live, laugh, and love, and eat, my friends.
Post by Jacque Ratliff, Personal Fitness Trainer Program Director
With Halloween being TODAY, this health and fitness enthusiast begins to cringe at the thought of all the sugary candy and fat laden treats being handed out for free to our nation’s youth.
This hasn’t always been the case though; before my days of weight lifting, triathlon training, and adding things like wheat germ to my smoothies, I used to indulge heavily in the yearly Halloween candy. My twin brother and I would tag-team houses trying to get the king sized candy bars, cans of pop (yes, I’m from the mid-west), and orange popcorn balls decorated like Jack-o-lanterns. Even though I didn’t know it at the time, my mom was actually helping us out when she made us ration our bags and bags of mini Snickers.
Due to the rising rate of childhood obesity and Type II Diabetes in this same population, holidays like Halloween are a prime time for parents and their children to talk about portion control and how to turn those sugary snacks into healthier alternatives. A recent article in Time Magazine on-line, by Olivia Waxman discusses “5 Tips for a Healthy Halloween”. Waxman states that children can collect between 3500-7000 calories of Halloween candy while Trick-or-Treating. For an average 10 year old child that is about 2 to 4 days worth of calories, or walking for 44 total hours! Yikes!
Here are the 5 tips that Waxman discusses in her article:
Fill up before trick-or-treating: Make sure to have a nice healthy meal before heading out to gather the desserts. This will give you and your children good energy for the night’s festivities and make you less likely to snack on those door-to-door goodies as you go.
Hand out non-sugary foods and toys: My husband swears that I will be that old lady on the block that will be handing out apples and toothbrushes, but for now I’ll be sticking to floss and trailmix J But you can always adjust what you are handing out to your trick-or-treaters. Choosing things like fruit snacks, dried fruit, or decreasing the size of your handouts, will help your neighbor’s kids reduce their chance of a sugar induced coma later in the evening.
Trick-or-Treat and Exercise: Make sure to not to drive the kids from house to house. If your children require a chaperone, take the walk with them. This doesn’t mean you have to dress up like a fairy god mother/father, but it will help you spend precious time with your little goblins and you get to exercise as a family.
Keep your favorite sweets. Hide the rest…: This is what my mom was famous for! She would make us pick out our favorite pieces of candy and put them in one container and she hid everything else!!! I’m sure there are still old popcorn tins full of Reeses and MilkyWays from many Halloweens ago. But, Thanks Mom, for not allowing me to eat everything. She also rationed the amount of candy that we were able to have after school, 5 pieces, that was the limit. Portion control at a young age was a very important lesson to learn and will be helpful as your kids grow into health adults.
…or give it away: We did end up giving a lot of our candy away each year. Shelters, churches, school are always taking up collections for children that may not have had the opportunity to go trick-or-treating.
My 6th and final tip for a Healthy Halloween would be to make sure to have those kiddos (and you too) brush and floss their teeth before they head to bed. This will reduce the instance of cavities for our youth, which according to Waxman, is on the rise for the first time in four decades!
So have a happy Halloween, take the kids trick-or-treating, watch a scary movie or two, but remember, the ‘Candy Man’ cometh…so be sure to chose your sweets carefully ;)
Once in a while, you come across an individual with all the right qualities; optimistic, driven, kind, honest, light-hearted, outgoing, inspiring (and the list goes on). Fortunately for us here at Mueller College, we have many instructors who fit this seemingly impossible profile.
Today we'd like to feature one of our personal fitness trainer instructors and program director who has made Mueller College's fitness trainer program shine. She is none other than Mrs. Jacque Ratliff.
Jacque has been with Mueller College for almost two years. She is a team player in all senses of the word. A graduate of Kansas State University (Go K State!), Jacque is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a Level 1 USA Triathalon Coach. She has been in the fitness industry for 11 years.
Take a look at the video below to meet Jacque and see what Mueller College's Personal Fitness Trainer program is all about- she's truly made it into a spectacular programs.
For more information on our Personal Fitness Training program or to speak to Jacque in more detail, click here:
Post by Dan Roberts, Director of Admissions
As many of you know, one of Mueller College’s core programs currently helps student get certified through the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a Certified Personal Trainer. This certificate is one of the most sought after and respected in the fitness training industry.
One of the most common questions and misconceptions regarding fitness trainers is that they can help their clients with diets and meal plans. This is just not true. Personal Trainers could only talk about food, diets and supplements in the most general of ways.
Just when you thought the Personal Fitness Trainer certificate program here at Mueller College couldn’t get any better …
Beginning with the February 18th, 2013 nutrition course, Mueller College students enrolled in the PFT program will be eligible for the Licensed Primary Sports Nutritionist (LPSN) designation offered through the National Association of Sports Nutrition(NASN) and take the licensing exam. This will give them the ability to give dietary recommendations and meal plans for individuals looking for improvements in their:
- body composition
- athletic performance
- exercise recovery
The NASN-LPSN designation is accepted in 49 out of the 50 states (Ohio requires Registered Dietitian) and in some international countries.
This is a fantastic addition to an already strong program. Normally, in order to be licensed through the National Association of Sports Nutrition the following pre-requisite criteria must be met:
- At least two years experience as a certified health professional directly involved in nutritional counseling, health promotion or healthcare. This includes all regulated health disciplines, such as certified holistic health practitioners, certified personal trainers and certified fitness instructors.
(Click here for other NASN recommended diploma programs)
Now, Mueller College students have the opportunity to not only help their clients with their fitness goals, but now can help them with their nutrition goals too.
Any questions? Feel free to contact our friendly staff about NASN and the PFT program!
Post by Karen Brohard, Admissions Advisor
Australia’s Vogue Magazine made waves last August for doing something the magazine has never done before: Put a “plus size” model on the cover of their magazine.
At 6’2” and a size 16, Robyn Lawley is considered a plus size model.
As sad as this news may be, having anyone who is not a size 0 on the cover of any fashion magazine is a push in the direction of reality. If we as Americans want to live long and healthy lives, we need to realize that starving ourselves to 2% body fat or making ourselves sick after meals still won’t make us look like the girls on many magazines. In fact, those girls don’t even look like that in real life. (Gotta love Photoshop!) The simple truth is that most bodies are not built to fit through a key hole. Why become miserable as we try to force that?
Luckily with the new wave of body type reality slap comes the new wave of attractiveness: strong.
Lean bodies supplemented by muscle are finally surpassing the frail double 0 body type. Not only do athletic inidivudals have more energy and tend to have less (not zero, mind you) body fat, they have a tendency to be happier in general. Eating healthy always makes us feel more energetic, and not only does it feel better to eat healthier, but we feel less guilty eating after a workout.
With weightlifting, strength and conditioning gyms growing at an exponential rate, Americans are looking to lose weight in healthier ways. Men are beginning to rival women in numbers of attendance at yoga classes while women suddenly aren’t afraid that back squats will turn them into Arnold Schwarzenegger. Organic markets like Sprouts, Henry’s and Whole Foods are looking more appealing while the 3 page ingredient list on fast food burgers are finally beginning to steer people away.
With that being said, strap on those gym shoes and pick up something heavy, run a couple of miles, or shoot a basketball with some friends followed by a healthy, nutritious snack or meal. Your mood improves, your body improves, and remember: You look good the way you are. Work out to feel better.
For more information about how to make yourself and others feel better, take a look at the National Strength and Conditioning Association's guide to becoing a personal trainer!
Post by Erik Blekeberg, Personal Fitness Training Instructor
The kettlebell swing is a fantastic exercise. It can be done when other movements are limited. It develops conditioning, improved hip mobility, increased strength and power and can heal up a weak or hurting lower back when properly applied. There are also many variations of the kettlebell swing. The standard swing involves using 2 hands gripping 1 bell and swinging from back between the legs, up to about chest level. You can also do a 1 handed variation. That, honestly, is where I would leave it. If you want to swing overhead, do a snatch. If you want to do a split stance swing, don’t. This may sound strong but, let’s think about the purpose of the exercise.
The swing is designed to load the hip hinge motion (flexion and extension at the hips) and train power. In order to properly produce power you need a system that directs power through the varying lines of the body. Remember that power travels in a straight line and that when you create a bend, power dissipates. The goal of the swing is to drive power from the hips through the ground and force the kettlebell out and up with arms extended out from the chest. To increase the effectiveness of the swing one can then pull the kettlebell back down instead of waiting for gravity to do it for you. This is loading the eccentric portion and termed “accelerated ballistics”.
Why do we perform accelerated ballistics?
Verkhoshansky found that by loading the eccentric portion faster and greater (to a point) we get an increased result in the concentric. Siff also found that using resistance bands on barbells and providing a progressively increasing load on a squat produced greater concentric forces (especially in the later stages of the lift where power and force production normally dissipate).
So, the answer is, we perform these high power activities to increase force generation and thereby train our muscles to produce, and deal with, greater force. This is where we come back to the kettlebell swing. These 2 videos below show the differences in the swing (24kg kettlebell used). The first video shows a swing done with a passive downward portion of the swing. The second, with a forceful downward swing or accelerated ballistic (the RKC terms this overspeed eccentric).
See the difference?
Maximal force is still being applied in the concentric phase but, greater force exists in the second video where there was a loaded eccentric portion. So, why not swing the kettlebell overhead is the next question. The only overhead variation I have ever seen involves 2 hands. If you are swinging overhead with 1-hand then I really question why aren’t you just spearing through and turning it over because the movement you just performed was a kettlebell snatch without a turnover.
Now, if you are using 2 hands to swing the kettlebell overhead, I ask why? Is it wrong to do? Not necessarily, but, it’s really an issue of purpose. Are you doing it because you believe it will work you harder? Remember that the swing is really more about the down then it is the up and you cannot properly engage the latissimus dorsi to extend the humerus and drive the kettlebell back between your legs. This is why stopping at chest level is the ideal height for the swing. The swing as taught by the RKC is not designed to be a sport in itself but, rather designed to aid in sport. It teaches concepts like accelerated ballistics, hip extension, bracing, body coordination while opening up the hips through movement and reciprocal inhibition (when one side turns on, the other must turn off). The latter works by opening up your hips like rusty door hinges; by moving them back and forth you help them move better and quicker, knocking all the old rust off...
To read the rest of "Why Sing Form Matters", visit Erik's blog SQUATMORE.org here: http://www.squatmore.org/2012/07/why-swing-form-matters.html
Erik Blekeberg, M.A, CSCS, is a Personal Fitness Training instructor at Mueller College. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and has done strength coach work for the past 7 years. He is the author of the thriving blog, "Squatting Makes You Better At Life."