Official Website of Sarah E. Rippel, BS, CPT, FMS

-AOS: Santa Monica…Redux-

A while back, I wrote a post singing AOS Santa Monica’s praises.  For those of you who didn’t catch that post, you may read it by clicking HERE (will open in separate window).

Anyhow, since things have gotten busier than normal, i’ve been trying to fit in my own workouts…but to be perfectly honest, it’s been tricky some days because i’ve been tired and have had lots of work-related stuff to do from home.  I obviously have a very active job, so i’m fortunate, because I get “mini workouts” throughout the day as I work with my clients.  Also, since the weather has been so nice lately, i’ve been doing more outdoor workouts.

With that being said, i’ve strayed somewhat from focusing on kettlebell training and have been doing some other things.  I’ve been “sprinkling in” kettlebell exercises here and there, but it’s been forever since I went through an entire workout focused on the kettlebell.  My workouts for the past couple of days have consisted of tennis, jogging/sprints (one of my clients loves the fact that i’m faster than her, and it makes her work harder!), and the ETK workbook.  So…today I wanted to have some fun with my kettlebell, because i’ve been missin’ it!  I threw AOS: Santa Monica into my DVD player and went to work with 10 kilos (8 kilo with 2 kilo “kettlebell buddy” attached.)  In the past, i’ve used several different kettlebells for this specific workout, but today I just wanted to keep it simple.

Here’s what I experienced:

  1. I’ve missed Turkish Get-Ups!  5 minutes of TGU singles is the best thing ever!  I really feel they have improved my mobility, and they’ve been a staple in my workouts for a while now.  Great to do them today!
  2. Windmills really feel good.
  3. I hate squat jumps!
  4. My pushup strength has decreased somewhat.
  5. My grip didn’t feel as strong on 1-arm swings. 😦  Either that or it was because the kettlebell I was using is pretty much brand-new, and the handle is smooth.
  6. I heart snatches!  I love how they make my body feel lengthened!  I feel they are invaluable for shoulder mobility and strengthening the posterior chain!
  7. Throughout the workout, I focused on keeping my entire body tense.  Kettlebell movements involve the entire body.  You can’t look at a snatch, for example, and tell me that the emphasis is on the upper body.  Baloney!  The snatch can’t be done without a proper hip snap.  The legs are just as involved as the uppder body, and what ties it all together?  The torso and all the muscles comprising it!  It’s a lot easier to generate force and keep exercises safe when you focus on engaging the entire body!  The body is mean to function as a UNIT.  Think about it – we’re not just a bunch of muscles, bones, and connective tissue.  Our bodies are machines…machines don’t work by flexing a bicep.  Think about a clock.  A clock works by having an orchestrated process of gears, widgets, levers, etc. produce movement of the hands on the dial.  There isn’t just one gear that is responsible for all of it.  Now, think about the body again.  An emphasis on making your biceps as big and strong as possible, at the expense of the rest of your muscles, is just plain ridiculous!  Sorry, didn’t mean to ramble THAT much! 😀
  8. Open-palm presses rock!  I opted for these over bottoms-up presses b/c my grip was fatigued.
  9. It’s a great feeling being DONE with the workout!  Not drained, but relaxed!

I highly recommend you check out AOS: Santa Monica if you are already familiar with kettlebell training.  If you’re not, you should still check out Art of Strength and all the awesome DVDs they’ve produced.  Amazing stuff!  Also, you can purchase a “kettlebell buddy” from AOS.  If you own the First Place kettlebells from Perform Better, you can add the kettlebell buddy to them.  Screw it into the bottom of your kettlebell and viola!  2 more kilos!


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