Great Kettlebell Exercises for Building Upper Body Strength

If you’re looking to bulk up and want to focus on building upper body muscle, then I highly recommend you get a kettlebell.

Unlike normal dumbbells, kettlebells allow you a better range of motion, which translates into a tougher workout that challenges a lot of different muscle groups, and not just the isolated muscle an individual exercise might focus on.

Here are a couple of my favorite exercises to include in the mix.

Figure 8

If you want to learn how to do a Figure 8, then your best bet is going to be to start with a light-weight kettlebell and work your way up from there.

To perform this exercise, you’re going to be passing the kettlebell through your legs in a figure 8 motion. This works a series of arm and lower back muscles.

figure 8

Don’t be fooled by it’s appearance, the figure 8 is a very powerful and challenging exercise, and doing it correctly takes practice. It’s best to practice the exercise on a small kettlebell for at least a week, in order to make sure you’re using proper form. That’s the only way to make sure you’re not risking an injury.

Moving too quickly to a heavier weight could result in twisted muscles or simply overworking muscles you aren’t used to using in your weightlifting workouts, which leads to cramping and a need to take a few days off.

Read more on exercise.com.

Clean and Press

Easily the most popular kettlebell workout around, the clean and press is a great way to build arm and upper back strength.

To perform this exercise, start in a squatting position, with your hips bent forward, reaching your arms down to the floor. Begin by lifting the kettlebell by contracting your biceps, and then thrust the kettlebell over your head.

There’s a great step by step guide on how to do this properly in the video below. While the video uses a bar press and not a kettlebell, you can apply the same techniques to using the kettlbell in your workout.

Video couresy of bodybuilding.com.

There are tons more great exercises out there if you’re starting out with a kettlebell, these are two of my favorites and together form a great part of an upper body workout that will build strength and form quickly!

What To Know About Protein Shakes and Crossfit Workouts

With the growth in Crossfit workout programs and Crossfit-styled weight training over the last few years, it has been increasingly common for our members to ask us about how to integrate these types of workouts into their program, and whether or not intense workouts like Crossfit are going to help them meet their goals.

In this post we thought we’d take a look at some of the main questions we hear.

What To Know Before You Start Crossfit Training

crossfit questionsBefore you begin Crossfit, there are a few things you should know about the training regimen.

Crossfit is a brand, but over the last few years it has also become somewhat synonymous with a style of intense workouts that employ a “no pain no gain” philosophy towards weight training.

While there is nothing wrong with the program, we encourage all of our members to sit down with one of our specialists before beginning any strenuous workout regimen. Not every workout routine is right for every person, so be sure to check with a health specialist familiar with your individual case.

Know The Risks

Probably the biggest area for concern when it comes to Crossfit is one of over-working your muscles, which can lead to injuries both in the short or long term. A number of Crossfit athletes have reported injuries that may turn out to be chronic, lifelong injuries preventing them from additional competition.

The most serious cases have developed rhabdomyolysis, which is a complete breakdown of muscle tissue that comes from constant overuse and strain. In severe cases, rhabdo has been known to cause kidney cancer.

Do You Need A Protein Supplement?

protein shakeIn order to prevent injuries, most Crossfit athletes need to take some type of supplementation stack. The right supplement stack can not only prevent injury, but can also make sure that you take full advantage of your workouts, and refuel in a way that cements your progress and makes you a better weight lifter and overall endurance athlete in the long run.

The most common regimens include protein based supplements and protein shakes, which are most commonly taken post-workout.

Read this post at http://crossfitsupplementsguide.com for more information on how to integrate protein shakes into a vigorous workout schedule.

Other Common Questions

In addition to the questions surrounding how to schedule your workout routine and find an approach that’s right for you, along with supplement-related questions, it’s also common for beginners to wonder about the total effects on their physical appearance, and a timeline for getting a shredded look.

While the stereotype of Crossfit is defintely for the buff, muscular physique over a lean look, that is by no means applicable to every single athlete. Sculpting the body you want is part of your initial consultation with Daisuki Health. Read more about our services and schedule an appointment today!

About

Welcome to Daisuki Health!

We are a small health and fitness center located in Palo Alto, California.

palo alto

Our Mission

Our mission is to serve the San Francisco Bay Area community in the achievement of their health and welness goals. We have a team of 4 certified fitness instructors and personal trainers that work both one on one and in small groups to help our clients achieve their goals.

our gym

Our gym is open to members only, and is available primarily for our private group workouts and individual training programs. To request a walk through and learn more about membership options, please contact us at memberships@daisukiwabunny.com in order to learn more!

Our Services

We are proud to offer the following services at Daisuki Health.

  1. Personal Training
  2. Nutritional Coaching
  3. Holistic Health Support

Personal Training

By far our biggest demand and most common packages are for personal training services. We offer customized, one on one programs as well as individually-tailored small-group workouts for our clients.

Our standard package includes a monthly private consultation with 8 small-group classes per month. We will work with you to create a plan and set realistic expectations, and then be there every step of the way as you work towards your goals.

Our individual programs and one on one workouts are available by request, and will take your workout experience to a whole new level, as you will have your own trainer by your side through every workout, making sure you maximize your growth as an athlete.

Email us at memberships@daisukiwabunny.com for more information and pricing.

Nutritional Coaching

In addition to the personal training services, we also offer nutritional coaching for our clients.

We strongly recommend that every client schedule a nutritional coaching session when they begin their training program, as it is extremely important to align dietary considerations with the workout program that’s right for you.

We also recommend that clients schedule a shorter nutritional check-up every 3-4 weeks, to make any adjustments as they proceed through their programs.

Holistic Health Support

Finally, our newest service is holistic health support. We are able to help you through any non-surgical health issues you may have, and our specialists can be a great alternative to seeing a “traditional” doctor.

Contact Jean at holistichealth@daisukiwabunny.com for more information.

 

3 Tips to Increase Your Running Speed

run fasterIf you’re training for any sort of run, it’s important that you work on not just your endurance, but your speed as well.

Most runners focus primarily on completing their runs, but the real athletes always look for ways in which they can improve their own running skills and decrease the time it takes for them to complete a course.

If you’re new to running and looking to up your game, here are a few easy tips you can incorporate into your workouts in order to run fast more quickly, regardless of your experience.

Add Sprints

The first and perhaps the easiest element to add in to your normal running schedule is to place a few extra sprints into your workout.

You can incorporate these either as part of a training run you’ve already scheduled, especially if you add them towards the end of the run, or you can schedule a few runs that are dedicated solely to sprinting, in which you run at full capacity for 30-90 seconds, followed by a walk or light job for 2-3 minutes. Do this ten times and you’re well on your way to having an incredible workout!

Hills Runs

The next step is to take things to the hills. Training for endurance runs will varying terrain is by far the best way to add speed into your workout, even though it doesn’t feel like it at the time.

That’s because running on hills can work your muscles up to 3 times harder than running on a flat surface. The point here is to maintain a slow jog consistently as you work your way up a hill. Then, on your next run when you’re only on a flat surface, the work will feel easier and you’ll be able to coast through it at a fast pace!

Train Farther

Finally, the last tip to improve your speed is to train farther than you need to for a race.

This works especially well if your race is a 5k, 10k, or half marathon, and not an ultra-endurance run like a marathon or 50k.

Training farther means that you will be able to build up more endurance in your body and muscles, so that when you “only” have to run that half marathon, it will feel like a breeze!

If you can combine all three of these into a weekly workout schedule, there’s no doubt you’ll be able to improve your speed in no time! For more tips, check out the video below!