Kettlebell Exercises for Arms – Part 1

Posted by on May 8, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

People usually associate kettlebells with explosive movements such as swings, cleans and snatches that target multiple major muscle groups. When it comes to isolating different muscles in the arm, such as the biceps, triceps, and forearm muscles, dumbbells and barbells are usually the equipment of choice. However, kettlebells can be just as effective, if not more so, than dumbbells or barbells for these single joint movements and smaller muscle groups.

Kettlebells are often thought of a tool utilized for conditioning rather than increasing muscle mass. But again, kettlebells can be just as effective as dumbbells and barbells for adding lean muscle. For experienced lifters who have always used dumbbells and barbells, kettlebells offer a new stimulus that can help elicit further gains, as well as increase movement variety. For beginners with limited exposure to weightlifting, kettlebells offer a more engaging workout option than your rote barbell and dumbbell exercises.

The two most well-known muscle groups of the arm are the biceps and triceps, both of which cross the shoulder and elbow joints. The primary actions of the biceps are elbow and shoulder flexion and forearm supination. The main actions of the triceps are elbow and shoulder extension. Two smaller, less well-known muscles cross at the elbow, the brachialis and brachioradialis, which assist in elbow flexion. The forearm muscles are what allow the wrist to flex and extend. Anytime you grip something, all of these muscle groups turn on. Kettlebells, often described as cannonballs with handles, have an offset weight distribution that provides a unique challenge for your grip – and activates all of the arm muscles in a way that barbells and dumbbells do not.

This introductory arm workout includes some compound exercises that focus on both the shoulder and elbow joints, as well as isolated exercises that target just the elbow joint. It is designed to increase strength and endurance in all the muscles of the upper arm and forearm as well as some of the major muscles of the shoulder and upper back.

Workout Instructions

This workout requires only one kettlebell. We recommend women start with a 6-8 kg (13-18 lbs.) kettlebell and men begin with a 10-12 kg (22-26 lbs.) kettlebell. As you gain strength, it is best to increase your weight five pounds at a time. Repetitions 8-10 should be difficult for you to execute. If you don’t feel challenged by the end of the routine, it is time to increase your weight.

Perform three sets of 8-10 reps per exercise using 30-45 seconds of rest between sets.

Overhead Press

Primary Muscles: deltoids, trapezius, triceps

1. Hold the kettlebell at shoulder height in one hand with your elbow tucked in, with the ball of the kettlebell resting on your upper arm and forearm.

2. Press the kettlebell up overhead, extending your arm fully and locking your elbow out in the top position.

3. Lower the kettlebell back down to the start position.

4. Perform the desired number of reps, then repeat on the other side.

Alternating Bent Over Row

Primary Muscles: lats, traps, biceps

1. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart with a kettlebell on the floor between your legs.

2. Bend forward at the waist, maintaining a neutral spine and grab the kettlebell with one hand.

3. Raise the kettlebell up to chest level, drawing your elbow up and back and pulling your shoulder blades together at the top. Maintain a neutral spine.

4. Lower the kettlebell back to the floor, rapidly switch hands and repeat. Alternate sides each rep.

Close Push Up

Primary Muscles: pecs, deltoids, triceps

1. Lay the kettlebell on its side on the floor.

2. Place both hands on the ball of the kettlebell and position your body in the top of a push-up position with your feet wider than shoulder-width for balance.

3. Lower your upper chest down towards the kettlebell, bending at the elbows.

4. Push back up to the top position, maintaining a neutral spine throughout.

Important Note: If the full military style push up is too challenging, modify by placing your knees on the floor. If you find an exercise too difficult, it’s always best to modify to avoid injury.

Biceps Curls

Primary Muscles: biceps, forearms

1. Stand holding a kettlebell by the horns of the handle in both hands with your arms straight.

2. Raise the kettlebell up to your upper chest, bending at the elbows.

3. Hold briefly at the top then lower back to the starting position at the same pace. Ensure the arms straighten out completely to get full range of motion.

Triceps Extension

Primary Muscles: triceps, forearms

1. Stand holding a kettlebell by the horns of the handle in both hands behind your head with your elbows bent.

2. Raise the kettlebell overhead, keeping the elbows tight and extending them fully.

3. Lower the kettlebell back down to the start position, taking care to avoid contact with the back of your head.

Crush Hold

Primary Muscles: biceps, forearms, deltoids

1. Stand, squeezing the ball of a kettlebell in both hands with the handle facing down and your arms straight.

2. Raise the kettlebell up to your midsection, bending at the elbows until they reach a 90-degree position.

3. Hold this position, squeezing the kettlebell for up to 20 seconds (or as long as possible) then slowly lower on a five count and repeat.

For best results perform this arm-specific kettlebell workout once or twice a week in addition to your regular full-body workouts. By utilizing kettlebells in your daily workouts, you will build the strength and stamina to perform daily activities easily. Keep checking our blog for Part 2 of our 10-part kettlebell workouts for arms series.

About Kettlebell Kings

Kettlebell Kings is a premium-quality kettlebell and kettlebell content provider, based in Austin, Texas. You can view our equipment, kettlebell how-to’s, and get expert advice at http://www.kettlebellkings.com and https://blog.kettlebellkings.com

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How to Set Goals for Your Mental Health Recovery

Posted by on May 2, 2018 in workout | 0 comments

Life is a roller coaster ride. You may have ups and downs, happy and sad times, healthy and critical illness at times. But life has to move on. Life without goals is like living an aimless life without any zeal. Health is wealth, but there are times when you feel sick and down. At such point of time, rejuvenating yourself with new positive energy is highly imperative and inevitable. How can you do this? Simple’ you have to set your goals and take vital steps to accomplish them as well with grace. Do not let anything down trod you. You have to move ahead and with greater enthusiasm, no matter how hard your health feels like. It’s time to realize your dreams

Setting goals are significant

It could be a big challenge to set up goals for individuals with mental illness. It truly can be a daunting task, but it is inevitable to set goals if you look forward to fighting your illness. It might look complex to sustain with mental illness. Thus, you need to understand the importance of setting your goals and achieving them in due course of time with the help of your loved ones and may be some professional consoling depending on the individual need and progress.

Aspiring your dreams into reality

Once your goal is set, you start working in that direction so that you overcome your critical illness gracefully. Recovery cannot happen in isolation. You simply along cannot deal with your illness alone.  You may seek counseling from professionals who can help you build skills or continued improvement and counsel you to recover from addiction.

Restore or strengthen your faith and hope

Once you set realistic goals and envision a future that is accomplished with such goals, you need to restore and strengthen your faith and hope. Do not let yourself down or your spirits down come what may. Don’t let yourself carried away by crushing disappointments or failure. Restoring your hope is imperative and can be enhanced by improving your social activity, developing a friendship or meaningful relationships and activating spirituality. You may get inspiration from your peer and thus restore your faith

Make Your Goal reachable

Now, this is very important that you make your goals achievable. Seeking too big goals in life which are nearly impractical and unachievable might only render you with frustration and despair. Small and steady steps can help you towards the desired goal, which is within your means and practically, physically and mentally possible to achieve.

Inscribe a ‘to-do’ list

Make a notebook where you can inscribe or write down your goals. This not only makes your goals more permanent, but the chances of achieving them too also brighten because writing means affirming your goals. You become more committed to your efforts and you are reminded of repeatedly. This helps you stay organized and also progress better in fighting your critical illness.

Take a break from your hectic Work

Stress is the cause of all problems in life. It is essential to take a break from the hectic work schedule so that you can devote your time not only for recreational activity which refreshes your physical health but also indulges into some active spiritual activity which will restore and bring back your peace of mind. Once you are relaxed both mentally and physically, you can return to your goals and dreams with greater zeal and energy. You can have an enhanced and elated mood and motivation

Recognize Interests, wishes, or Aspirations

There could be many things that you want to achieve at one time. But you need to understand that is the most vital. Realize your dreams, wishes, and aspirations. Revise your needs. Your mental health is most important, and thus if you want to get rid of your critical illness, you need to prioritize your goals and work in a correct direction.

Trust Yourself

This is probably the most difficult thing to sustain faith in you. Your self-esteem weakens when your goals seem too far to achieve despite your continued efforts. You may tend to feel low. It is then highly important that you remind yourself, that yes you can do it. You need to engross in more positive patterns, love yourself more, do good things for yourself that make you happy.

Deal With risk

Often it is seen that repeated failure tends to make you less challenging and you do not want to take any risk in life.  It then becomes important for individual fighting with a critical illness to rebuild the faith in him and set his mind strong enough to deal with further risks in life. No pain, no gain, is an old saying. Practice until you enhance your skill levels, raise self-confidence and thus achieve your desired goal.

Author Bio:

Ryan Varela is the CEO of Boost Health Insurance which provides customized and affordable health care plans for thousands of customers across the United States. Ryan has nearly a decade of experience in the health care industry and continues to serve the greater need to educate and deliver access to affordable options to those who need health care the most.

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Seven Exercise Bike Workouts For a Full Body Burn

Posted by on Feb 5, 2018 in biking, Cycling, workout | 0 comments

Exercise bikes are probably the most common piece of equipment in both commercial and home gyms and yet they are also the most likely to be underused.   That’s because most people assume they are good for nothing more than working your legs by putting in one long, boring cycling session after another.  In fact, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Both standard and recumbent exercise bikes can be used to achieve a full body burn with the right type of workout.  

 

Here are seven examples of how you can feel the burn with your exercise bike:

  1. Speed – In order to get the most out of your exercise bike the key is to use interval training, changing up the intensity of your workout rather than just working at one speed throughout.  Your goal is to push hard for a certain amount of time, then wind down to recover and then push again.  Start by warming up at an easy pace for 10 minutes and then do a series of sprints for 6 sec every minute for a 10-minute period, then do a hard sprint for one full minute followed by one full minute at an easy pace.  Finally, allow yourself another 10-minute easy period to warm down.
  2. Burn Fat– To really begin to burn fat you need to increase the amount of time you spend in high-speed sprint mode and also change up the level of resistance.  This can easily be achieved with standard or recumbent exercise bikes.  Just shift between low cadence and high cadence and low resistance and high resistance, doing 5 minutes at low/low, then 5 minutes at high cadence/low resistance and then 5-10 minutes at low cadence/high resistance, then 10-14 minutes of Tabata sprints before another 5 minute warm down at low/low.  
  3. Endurance – In order to truly maximize your full body burn, increase endurance and improve your aerobic energy, you need to exercise in the upper range of your maximum heart rate.  Most standard and recumbent exercise bikes are able to automatically monitor your heart rate to make this goal easier to achieve.  As with the other workouts, you want to vary the time you spend at each level of your MHR, starting with 5 minutes in the 50-60% range and moving up from there until you complete 15-17 minutes at 80-90%.  As always, end with a 5-minute warm down at an easy pace.
  4. Sprints – By alternating a lighter pace with all out sprints at your maximum effort and heart rate you can not only increase the burn but also improve your endurance.  The idea is to start with 10 minutes at an easy pace and then for the next 10 minutes do a six second sprint at the start of each minute.  Then for the next 20 minutes, alternate 1 minute of hard effort with 1 minute of easy effort.  Finish with a 10-minute warm down at an easy pace.  This workout will help you build your power so that you have the strength to push through the bursts at maximum effort.
  5. One Hour Push – The ultimate body-burning workout is staying at your maximum speed and effort for as long as possible.  The eventual goal is one hour, but you shouldn’t try for that right away…you need to build up to it easily so that you don’t overtax your body.  Start with 20 minutes and with every successive session you do, add on five minutes until you work your way up to 40 minutes.  Once you reach this level you can begin trying for the full hour, but remember to vary your speed so that you don’t burn out before you hit the full 60 minutes.
  6. Tabata – This is a great form of interval training that can really get your fat burning process going full blast.  After the usual 10 minute warm up period, do 20 seconds at full speed followed by 10 seconds of rest and repeat 8 times.  It’s a quick session that you can complete during your lunch hour or when you have a short break period but it can still be extremely effective as it increases your metabolism and helps you to burn that fat.
  7. Recovery – While pushing yourself to your limits can help to put fat burning into overdrive, it is also important to allow yourself easier workouts in order to recover from your higher intensity workouts.  All that high intensity work can build up lactic acid and other waste products in the leg muscles and a longer, slower paced session will allow for that waste to be flushed out so that you can recover quicker.  45 minutes of consistent, steady pedaling at an easy pace should be the perfect counterpoint to all that hard work.
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5 Cycling Websites That Will Blow Your Mind

Posted by on Mar 3, 2014 in Bikes, biking, Cycling | 0 comments

Fortunately in today’s digital world, every hobby has at least a few thousand websites dedicated to it. Although we now have a myriad of online publications to choose from, there are many trashy sites that get in the way of finding what you’re looking for.

So where do I look?

Wading through useless websites is a real issue when it comes to mountain biking and cycling – because every guy and their jovial Uncle Tim is a pro. Instead of wasting hours trying to find the perfect sites, take a look at this list of some of the most popular cycling blogs:

  1. Fatcyclist – This website is the blogging baby of a comedic writer who calls himself Fattie. He is by no means fat, but is one of the most hilarious people you’ll ever come across. His articles are informative, accurate and full of self-deprecating witticisms that’ll give you a kick-start on a blue day. 
  2. MTBR – This site contains massive amount information on bikes, workouts and gear reviews. It also offers great forums where you can chat with fellow enthusiasts and get all your questions answered.
  3. Ride – South Africans love their extreme sports and Ride exemplifies the extent of this passion. This site offers ideal training programmes, dietary guides, top product reviews, events updates and even the latest news on all that’s happening in the cycling world. On top of that, it even features impressive videos and interviews with talented individuals.
  4. Pinkbike – This website is very similar to MTBR, but with a lot more style, elegance and personal stories. You’ll get lost for hours on end while you follow a cycling journey all over the globe. Check out all the best cyclists, and see what they can do – live though their trials and tribulations and share their victories.
  1. Bikeradar– Their slogan, ‘The world is for riding’, captures the essence of their ideology. This fun site hosts everything you need to know about cycling, whether you’re an expert or a beginner. It even has content on how you can get your family interested in this activity. There are tons of links to interesting industry news, the best routes in your area, and competitions.

Each of these websites imparts very useful information to both international and South African cyclists.  Whatever your biking needs –advice, new parts, inspiration, training schedules – you won’t be disappointed. At the end of a long day, you can simply spend an evening on a YouTube journey watching your favourite athletes showcase their skills. This is also a quick and easy way to grab some inspiration on the go.

In addition to finding cool videos and new ideas, you can connect with people all over the world:  from the Drakensburg all the way to Canada and Spain. Share your ideas, experiences and difficulties. You can even upload videos and gain a loyal following. Get started tonight and gain some useful knowledge by reading these inspirational websites!

Malini enjoys two things more than anything in life. They are, writing and cycling. When she’s not in the saddle enjoying rides through the country side or writing about it. 

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Are Bicycles replacing Cars on our Roads?

Posted by on Feb 25, 2014 in Bicycle, Bikes, biking | 0 comments

Not so very many years ago, sidewalks and roads were filled with children on their bikes, riding their way to school. Those of us old enough to remember those days remember the pride we took in our bikes, making sure that they were clean and that our precious bells were in tip-top ringing condition. Gradually, those bikes, which were also used by commuters and people running errands, were replaced by buses and cars. The scene changed from one of kids careening about on their bikes to those same children simply standing by the street corner, waiting for a bus. Commuters, too, changed their mode of transportation. Today, however, we are wondering if we are seeing another shift, one that leads us back to the two-wheeled wonders powered by whatever we ate for breakfast.

Government Agendas

government agendas

When little Jane pedaled fiercely down the road to make it to school on time just fifty years ago, she never dreamed that one day, one day in her lifetime, the United States government would be spending millions of dollars to try to encourage children to do exactly what she was doing—riding her bike to school. Even so, it is true. As part of the Federal Highway Department Safe Routes to School program, the federal government is spending millions of dollars both to provide safe routes for kids to bike or walk to school and to encourage kids to get out and use those routes. The return to two-wheels isn’t limited to kids in school. Biking seems to be a growing trend across many walks of life.

Biking Cities

roadside bike

Roadside bike rack at University of Minneapolis

Whether they are doing it for the commuting crowd, students, tourists, or people headed to the mall, many cities across the U.S. and around the world are making it more convenient than ever to leave the four-wheeled vehicles at home and start pedaling the two-wheeled ones. While biking lanes are rather common, a number of cities have gone the extra mile when it comes to accommodating bikes.

  • Fort Mason, CA. A stretch of road in this community certainly encourages bikers. The parking areas have been replaced with a bike lane, complete with cement barricades, ensuring no one mistakenly parks his vehicle in the new bike lane.
  • Japan. Not surprisingly, Japan is a mecca for cyclists, something that never really went away with the car trend. Many cities rent bikes to tourists, and some even have multi-level parking garages dedicated solely to bicycles.
  • Munich. This city offers a fascinating public transportation system, one that contains varying levels of propelling options, with cheaper rates for those that are more environmentally friendly. Renting a bike, for example, would likely cost considerably less than riding the bus with the city’s Mo-Bility system.
  • Minneapolis. Some sources point to Minneapolis as the top city for biking in the U.S. This city has gone the extra mile in increasing on-street cycling lanes and bicycle routes for tourists as well as locals.

With such an emphasis on biking, perhaps our grandchildren will laugh when they hear of all the traffic jams, school bus rides, and commuter buses of today. They’ll be busy pedaling away, protecting our earth while exercising their muscles.

Chris Turberville-Tully enjoys spending time with his wife and sons outdoors, whether biking, taking a run on the beach or an evening drive (yes, he drives a car!) through the countryside. When not enjoying the great outdoors and fresh air, Chris spends his time writing for HR Owen or traveling abroad for business. To date Chris has visited over 80 countries and has no plans to stop just yet. Follow Chris’ travels on G+.

Image credits: 1, 2

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