Monthly Archives: March 2011

Build Strong Shoulders!

For some reason, many American men obsess over their pecs while treating their shoulders as secondary. If anything, it should be the other way around! Your shoulders not only need to be strong as part of functional fitness, they need to be strong to prevent injury. And I’ve known countless people–men and women–who have managed to seriously injure their shoulders at some point in their lives. This is especially true for martial artists and bench press-obsessed weight lifters.

Step away from the pec deck and work your shoulders! One of the best tools for this purpose is the kettlebell. The distribution of weight is different than that of a dumbbell, and allows more fluidity of motion than a barbell. This helps the shoulders to grow stronger.

Eric Moss over at Dragon Door has a great article on developing powerful shoulders with two key exercises: the Bent Press and the See-Saw Press. Here’s a quick clip of Steve Maxwell doing the Bent Press.

Like many kettlebell moves, the are deceptively challenging. Check our Eric’s article and start building real shoulder strength!

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Wednesday Training, 3.30.11

Jon Hinds would be ashamed of me. When I was training for my certification at Monkey Bar Gym, one of the things stressed to me and all the other trainees was the importance of the Eischens Beginner Yoga Sequence. We drilled it over and over. And for good reason; it’s a great sequence. Alas, over the last few weeks I’ve been lax in my yoga practice.

Today I decided to jump back on the yoga train. I started today’s workout with 10-min of Eischens Yoga. For the actual workout, I did 4 sets of 12 Push-Ups, 5 KB Renegade Rows, and 8 Double KB Jerks. Finished with 10-min of 15/15, alternating between 1-Arm KB High Pulls and 1-Arm KB Snatches. I used 35# kettlebells for all exercises.

Monday Training, 3.28.11

Started off a bit differently today. I warmed-up by going on a 40-min beach walk with my wife. Why not? It was a beautiful day, and if you’re in walking distance to a beach, you should take advantage of it!

For my actual workout, I started with a bunch of easy Pull-Up ladders. Laddered up to 3 on Pull-Ups, 4 on Neutral Grip Chins, and 5 on Chin-Ups. Then it was on to some double kettlebell work with a pair of 35# KBs. I alternated between Seesaw Presses and Bent Presses, doing 4 sets of 5 for each.  And that was it for the day!

Here’s a short video of the KB Seesaw Press:

And here’s a video of the Bent Press:

Friday Training, 3.25.11

Trained with my wife today. Warmed-up with Hindu Push-Ups and Squats, 15/15 for 5-min. Then we did 15/15s for 10-min. She did 1-Arm Clean & Presses with a 17# KB, while I alternated between 1-Arm Clean & Presses and 1-Arm Snatches with a 44# KB.  Next up, Swings, 30/30, for 11-min.  Afterwards, we did some planks for the core, and I did a few ladders of Pull-Ups, Neutral Grip Chins, and Chin-Ups.

New Stripe on My BJJ Blue Belt

Last week Thursday my training partner Jerry and I each earned our 2nd stripes on our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for the Street blue belts. As always it was both fun and challenging.

Here’s a picture of Jerry demonstrating the omoplata.

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s a picture of me demonstrating the triangle choke.

That’s our instructor (and BJJ Black Belt) Burton Richardson looking on.

Wednesday Training, 3.23.11

Trained with my wife today. Warmed-up with Hindu Push-Ups and Squats, 15/15 for 5-min. Then we did 15/15s for 10-min. She did 1-Arm Clean & Presses with a 17# KB, while I did 1-Arm Jerks with a 44# KB.  Next up, Swings, 30/30, for 10-min.  Afterwards, we did some planks for the core. I finished with Alternating Double KB Floor Presses using a pair of 35# KBs, supersetted with Neutral Grip Chins.  Did about 3 sets of 5 each, along with a few BJJ-inspired ab moves.

 

Monday Training, 3.21.11

Another short, classic kettlebell workout with my wife today. Warm-up with Hindu Push-Ups and Squats, 15/15 for 5-min. Then we did 1-Arm Clean & Presses 15/15, for 8-min., followed by Swings, 30/30, for 10-min. I used a 44# KB for all exercises. Afterwards, we did some planks for the core. I finished with a few ladders of Pull-Ups, Neutral Grip Chins, and Chin-Ups.