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Don't swing your kettlebells without stretching your body

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If you're going to engage in 90-seconds of vigorous kettlebell swings every hour, all day long, every day, even with only a single 12kg kettlebell, then a stretching regimen is essential.

If you're going to engage in 90-seconds of vigorous kettlebell swings every hour, all day long, every day, even with only a single 12kg kettlebell, then a stretching regimen is essential.

I didn't and I am zombie, limping, Frankenstein's monster. From now on, stretching and rigorous use of my foam roller and massage stick. Lesson learned.

I have begun following Don Fitch's deceptively easy Get Fit, Get Fierce with Kettlebell Swings ebook I discovered on Amazon's Kindle Store.  I got some good advice: 90-seconds is longer than you think so use the lightest weight you can in order to swing your kettlebell with perfect form for a minute-and-a-half.

I had been proud that I could swing my new Kettlebells USA 24kg bells pretty well; however, like I said, 90 second's a lot more than the normal 30-second on, 15-second off high intensity interval training (HIIT). So, I started with my lightest bell, my 12kg, a CFF FIT Competition Style kettlebell. So, that's what I did.

I have one of the blue bells at my home and one at my office and have two GYMBOSS Interval Timers, one Classic and one Minimax. They're effectively the same for what I need. I set them up simply: the first interval is 100-seconds, which gives me ten seconds to get to the bell and start swinging, and the second interval is for 60-minutes.

I have the Gymboss set up to repeat 12-times even though the book recommends 8 sets for a total of two minutes.  I started in earnest and really loved it, though after a couple days of doing this and also introducing a 2.25-mile walk to my office and 2.25 mile walk home -- 5.5 mile round trip -- I was crippled.  I am crippled.

Since 90-seconds of 12kg swings every hour over the course of the day seems -- and felt -- really easy I failed to give my 45-year-old body the attention it deserves every day in the form of some post-swing stretches as well as post-walk and end-of-day stretching, including some time with the foam roller and some serious time with the cheap muscle massage roller stick I got at the Richmond Target months ago.  

Every butt and pair of legs needs a roller stick. This is a cheap short one but a real lifesaver even it comes down to it. Could even use s rolling pin, I guess.

What happened to me by forgetting to do this daily devotional to my body, my range-of-motion stretches, and roller and stick massages.

My glutes seized up and pinched my sciatic nerve which gave me a limp, made my toes tingly, and then there were my hamstrings, my calves, and even my tibialis anterior muscles (and all those shin muscles).

Ask everyone around me: I've been clomping around like Frankenstein's monster. It's even worse than that. Apparently, unbeknownst to me,  I have been groaning like a zombie in the shower.

So, I have been trying to make up for lost stretching, really going to town with groin stretches, hamstring stretches, quad stretches, calve stretches, and all the rest.  

I really think I would be so much happier if I had done this all along. Be careful: even of all of your new workouts are easy, simple, or even spread out over the entire day, you still need to warm up and, ultimately, stretch.   I lost a couple-few days being tied up like a mummy and frozen up like a yeti.  

Now, I am only beginning to loosen up, returning to my good old blue boy, my bright green interval timer, and to swing after swing after swing, both two-handed kettlebell swings and one-handed kettlebell swings.  

Wish me luck.

I aspire to move from 12kg bells to 16kg bells in a couple weeks, then move to 20kg bells, and then, in a couple months, hopefully 24kgs bells and then, way down the road, to two pood, 32kg, kettlebells!  

While I am doing this 1:30/60/12 workout every day, I still want to add in Pavel Tsatsouline's Simple & Sinister as I normalize Don Fitch's deceptively difficult workout and find a little extra capacity.

I'm still a little intimidated by the Turkish Get Up (TGE) exercise but I feel like it's my goal and I'll eventually be fit and light enough to add it into the mix. The TGE looks like it's one of the best all-in-one exercises under the sun, save the kettlebell swing, which is A-number-one.


 Gymboss Minimax Interval Timer" class="size-medium wp-image-518 alignleft


Blue 12kg competition kettlebell by CFF FIT


Short roller massage stick from Target


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What ChatGPT Thinks

Stretching is an essential component of any exercise program, including kettlebell workouts. Before starting any kettlebell exercises, it's important to perform a proper warm-up that includes dynamic stretching to prepare your muscles and joints for the workout.

Here are some reasons why stretching is important before swinging kettlebells:

  1. Injury prevention: Stretching helps increase the range of motion in your joints, reducing the risk of injury during exercises such as swings and snatches that require significant mobility and flexibility.

  2. Improved performance: Proper stretching can help increase blood flow to the muscles, improving their ability to contract and perform during the workout.

  3. Enhanced flexibility: Regular stretching can help improve overall flexibility, which can make kettlebell exercises easier and more effective.

  4. Reduced soreness: Stretching after the workout can help reduce soreness and stiffness in the muscles, allowing for a quicker recovery.

When it comes to kettlebell exercises, it's particularly important to stretch the hips, hamstrings, and shoulders, as these areas are heavily engaged during swings, cleans, and snatches.

A proper warm-up should include dynamic stretching, such as leg swings, arm circles, and lunges, to get the blood flowing and warm up the muscles. You can also use a foam roller or massage ball to target specific areas of tightness or soreness before the workout.

In summary, stretching is an essential component of any exercise program, including kettlebell workouts. Proper stretching can help prevent injury, improve performance, enhance flexibility, and reduce soreness. Make sure to include a proper warm-up that includes dynamic stretching before starting your kettlebell exercises.

What Bard Thinks

It is not advisable to swing your kettlebells without stretching your body first. Stretching helps to warm up your muscles and joints, which can help to prevent injuries. It also helps to improve your range of motion, which can make it easier to perform the kettlebell exercises.

Here are some of the benefits of stretching before kettlebell workouts:

  • It helps to warm up your muscles and joints.
  • It improves your range of motion.
  • It helps to prevent injuries.
  • It can help to improve your performance.
  • It can help to reduce muscle soreness.

Here are some of the stretches that you can do before kettlebell workouts:

  • Hamstring stretch
  • Quadriceps stretch
  • Calf stretch
  • Hip flexor stretch
  • Shoulder stretch
  • Chest stretch
  • Back stretch
  • Neck stretch

You should hold each stretch for 30 seconds to 1 minute. You can do these stretches before your kettlebell workouts or as part of a warm-up routine.

It is also important to listen to your body and stop if you experience any pain. If you are new to kettlebell workouts, it is a good idea to start with a light weight and gradually increase the weight as you get stronger. You should also work with a qualified instructor to learn proper form and technique.