Sunday, November 27, 2011

Every Woman Should Know How to Clean

I'm many things but I'm not really an a.m. exerciser but since my exercise schedule is getting complicated, I dragged myself out of bed and headed to Kettlebell 101 because I didn't want more time to elapse between classes. I made it to class in the nick of time.

After the last encounter with kettlebells, I thought my upper body would be sore. Not.

I cannot fully describe how sore my hamstrings were. I took at least two Epsom Salt baths, a yoga class, did self-massage and hamstring-specific stretches but the 'strings remained sore for almost four days...

For today's warm-up, we ran around the small room, rotated our arms while running, shuffled to the side, skipped and ran backwards. I was so happy when we started doing stretches. The stretching portion included but was not limited to a figure eight with our arms; my mind/body connection is so challenged when we're supposed to reverse the figure eight. We did this one stretch where you cross one leg over the other with the feet right next to each other then bend at the waist. Mike was impressed that we could all bend post-Thanksgiving.

After the warm-up, we did swings, one arm swings, the press, catch and lunge, rows, around-the-body with a catch, push-ups etc. After this series, Mike took us three newbies to the side to work on the clean while the bigger group did Turkish Get-Ups et al.

Did you know that you're leaking power if you don't properly rack the kettlebell on your biceps and forearm during the clean? I didn't.

It helped when Mike said that the motion for the clean is like zipping up a jacket. I kept making a popping sound when racking my kettlebell. Mike said it was because I was strong* and kind of flinging the kettlebell (10kg) up but he said it's a lot to learn and we'll just chalk everything up to kettlebell practice.

Things I need to remember:

  • Hand Off Body (During One Arm Swing)

  • It's Not A Squat Stance

  • Squeeze the Butt

  • Thumb Back

  • Don't Try to Control the Kettlebell (During Swings)...

  • I was a mess when I tried to swing and clean. Mike was like don't overthink it. How did he know that I'm prone to overthinking?

    Even though Mike was joking, he is right: every woman should know how to clean.

    *Other people keep telling me that I'm strong. I'm not sure why I need to keep convincing myself. In addition, when I shuffled past the mirror, I noticed that I am more toned even though I've been thinking otherwise.


    1. Minute of Strength has some excellent kettlebell videos.

    2. gingerzingi,

      Thanks. I'm headed in that direction right now...