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Here are some others reasons why kettlebells are so amazing! Thank IronBody for this great post!

Originally posted on IronBodyByArtemis:

3493lbs of Kettlebells

As a FitTag Ambassador, in honor of the #FitTag hashtag for the week of September 22, 2014 #Kettlebells, I put together this post. You can follow FitTag on twitter @FitTag, on Instagram @FitTag and on Facebook .

In no particular order, here are 10 reasons why I love kettlebells:

Symmetry

Kettlebells promote symmetry. Since you have to train each side of your body separately when training with kettlebells, each side must build up its own strength and skill to work with a particular kettlebell weight.

For example, I am right side dominant and when I was training for my kung fu black belt, I would do all of my weapons forms with my right side. As a result, I was extremely asymmetrical as my right side was much stronger than my left side.

Now, we will never be perfectly symmetrical, but after working with kettlebells very regularly since receiving my kung fu…

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Kettlebell Quickie

As a water skier,  I try to generate workouts that will transfer well to when I am on the water. One of my favorite exercise is the Kettlebell Swing.  It generates strength and power all at the same time.  Here are some of the benefits of the Swing:

  • Turns a person into a Fat Burning Machine
  • Improves Core Strength
  • Builds a Strong Back
  • Improve Breathing Patterns
  • Produces Power
  • Healthy on the Joints
  • Forces the Glutes to turn on
  • Strengthens the entire body
  • Creates Body awareness
  • Time Effecient

One of my favorite reasons why I love workout with Kettlebells is because it is very time efficient. Here is a video of one my routines.  It is 3 sets of 10 Double Kettlebell Swings then right into 5 Front Squats (video only shows one set).  If you are not familiar with the basics of the Swing I would not recommend you start with doubles.  If you are interested in learning more about the swing please leave your comments.  Enjoy

 

 

Next post I will be working a three basic core exercises that are simple and can be done any where.

Plus I will also be working on a little surprise for all the water skiers as we all enter into off season training.

I have been receiving many questions on how to project your hamstrings when water skiing.   Here are some very basic movements before hitting the water.  The key with these movements are to make sure you meet your body’s current range of motion (ROM).

There is always a progression that we  can work towards.  Do not force your body if it is not ready for the next level.  Just like we all want to cut rope and if we are not ready for the next rope length, it will not be beneficially for our skiing. Same thing with these movements, consistently work at the level you are at and then you will soon be able to move to the next level.  Enjoy!!! Happy Hamstrings make a Happy Skier.

Seated Ankle Circles:

  • Sitting nice and tall with legs straight, start pointing and pulling your toes  (plantar and dorisflexion).
  • Next draw circles one direction then the opposite direction
  • Avoid moving your thighs and hip, this is simply to create good range of motion for your ankles

No Progression with this movement

Benefits: passive stretch for hamstrings, improves ankle range of motion, creates lower body awareness between ankle and hip movements 

Active Leg Stretch:

  • Laying down on your back one foot on the floor other leg is straight up in the air
  • Note: It doe not matter how high your leg gets.  This is where you need to listen to your body.  If  your leg starts to bend when you raise it higher you have gone to far.  Bring it back down to where you feel the stretch but your leg is straight at the same time.  Switch back and forth about 4x.
  • When you find the magic spot for your stretch, begin the “ballerina toes” same movement that you did when sitting.  Continue to switch back and forth 4 x

Progression: Scissors with or without ballerina toes repeat 4x.  If you cannot keep your both legs straight, practice with the one foot on the ground.

Note: This progression may not be for you, at least not yet.  Practice with your foot on the ground and you will soon gain more flexibility with your hamstrings to be able to progress to straight legs.

Benefits:  Hip mobility and ankle mobility, hamstring stretch, and core stability. 

Single Leg RDL

  • As you lower your chest down kick through your heal creating a straight line from your head to heal
  • The stable leg will slightly bend, making your glutes activacte
  • Repeat 3-4 sets of 6-12 reps on each leg alternating back and forth

Progression: Raising the active leg to hip height as you return to standing position

Benefits: strengthens gluteus and hamstring , improves balance, core stability, and increase hip range of motion

Next week  I will be posting a Kettlebell routine I do when days are to busy for me to get up the lake.  It is quick, simple and challenging all at the same time.

Please leave your comments below of other exercises you would like to see in future post.  Thanks

Coming out of the Closet

Many have asked if I am straight, bi, and/or lesbian. This post is not to answer these types of questions. But I am coming out of the closest to set the record straight about my opinion about CrossFit.

 

When I first entered exercise as a professional, I was eager to become part of the CrossFit movement. Yet over a year of doing CrossFit style workouts my body became very broken. As a result of this, I was totally turned off from the Crossfit community. Like a high school student feels being benched the entire season, I felt I was the outcast for physically not being able to keep up with my teammates. Jealous I was not part of the team, I banded CrossFit. Then I find out the gym I am working at is opening a CrossFit “box.”

 

As CrossFit continues to grow, I have been challenged professionally about this growth. Like any type of exercise whether it be CrossFit, Zumba, Martial Arts etc, without the proper coaching there is always going the be the risk of injuries.

 

There is a lot contrast about if CrossFit is healthy or not. When the real question is how are the participants being coached. If you want to perfect a skill through Crossfitt, or kettlebells, it will take time and diligence. We can’t just jump into these classes knowing exactly how to do all the lifts and expect no injuries. It takes time and proper coaching. Even as a coach, I still seek coaching to perfect my kettlebell swings and the water skiing abilities.

 

I have the privilege to work with an amazing team of experts these past three years. They have challenge themselves to continue to expand their knowledge and coaching skills, while at the same time pushes each other to new physical limits. I have learned so much working with them both with coaching and reaching my personal physical goals.

 

With the new CrossFit Bel-Red opening up, I trust all the coaches will take the correct safety precautions. I know this team of CrossFit Coaches will make a huge difference in this community and will start changing the poor reputation CrossFit has to a safe and effect type of exercise. They have changed my opinion of it and I am excited to see the impact this “Box” will have through our community.

 

CrossFit has an amazing community, let this community grow to support all types of movement, exercise, and sports. Even though the high school student may not have the chance to play on the court they are still supporting their team by being there. We all can support one another. Not everyone can physically do CrossFit, more power to you if you can, I may be little jealous. Let us support our differences and remember the main goal: improving each other life through health and exercise.

 

CrossFitt may not be for everyone but movement is for everyone. Find something you enjoy and go “live with passion!”

I will leave you with one last comment. I am not a cross-fitter but I am open to learn from them. I am not bi and/or lesbian but open to dating not a boy but a man.

Letting Go Letting God

These past months of rehab God has been doing more work on my heart through this process. As I start getting back on the water,  I wanted to share this part of my journey with everyone.  Enjoy the read and please comment with your own stories of how God works through your life.  Thank you

 

Excited for the unknown future, I was about to graduate from college. I had the mindset I was going to conquer the world with my degree in Exercise Science. During the fall quarter, I decided I would not apply to Physical Therapy School, but instead I applied to Coble Ski School. It had always been a dream to compete in water skiing, but I never had the opportunity to learn to water ski the course. The thought of being able to be an instructor at Coble Ski School was beyond my imagination. It was uncertain if I had the job or not. Yet, I was still excited for what God had planed for me and continued to trust Him.

 

To my surprise, I received a call that spring from April Coble informing me she wanted me to work at her facility. Shocked the dream was soon becoming a reality; I was beyond excited and nervous all at the same time. For I was unsure what the future would look like after ski school (because we all know how much ski school instructors make), but I was content knowing I was in God’s hands.

 

After a fantasy summer at Coble’s, I was thrilled with the progress I was able to make skiing the course. Difficult to leave, I found my courage to enter the “real world” as I trusted in God’s plan for me.

 

Having complete faith God would direct me, I moved to Seattle in hopes for the perfect job allowing me to ski. Again God provided me a job as a Personal Trainer. I was thrilled to share my passion for exercise and help others towards a healthier lifestyle. As a result of working as a trainer, I was able to set my own hours and was able to still water ski during the summer.

 

Astonished of the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and all the amazing water ski lakes, I was captivated by God’s beauty. I felt so blessed to be living both dreams as a trainer and as a water skier while enjoying His wonderful creation.

 

It was my first summer competing in water skiing and I was determined to qualify for regionals and nationals. Surprising myself, I was soon competing in regionals and shortly after I qualified for nationals. After competing at nationals, I had the sweet taste of victory, but could not taste the prideful poison inside of it. Just like the poisonous apple instantly took over Snow White’s body, the prideful poison instantly took over my mind. After reaching my goals for the season, I started to think it was my because of my strength and determination I was able to accomplish my goals. I started to let pride take over me and it blinded me from God’s work.

 

With water ski season coming to an end, I turned my focus towards my workouts. Like a kid in a candy store I was eating up all these delicious new exercise routines I was learning from my career. I started to have some pain in my back and like a kid with a cavity I ignored the pain and continued with my lifts. Pushing through the pain, I did not want to give up my strength. Soon the pain became so unbearable it forced me to see a doctor.

 

Stunned that I was prescribed to take a week off of work and rest, my world started to slip through my hands. Scared for the future, I let anxiety attack my thoughts. Fear flooded my mind, fear of not being able to water ski, fear for my career, fear for my health and fear for my life. The pain was becoming too great for the doctors treatments and the only thing I could do was rest. The pain was increasing and it felt as if I was in a corset. As my fear increased the corset would tighten making it a challenge to take a full breath. Finding myself saturated by my tears I cried out to God, “Why?”

 

Hoping for answer, God slowly started to reveal Himself to me through people I had never met. It wasn’t until I was told abide in Him. I thought to my self, “What does that mean and how is that suppose to help me with this pain?”

 

John 15:5 was the verse I found the meaning of abide in Him. It says, “ I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him he will bear fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” This verse pulled back my blinding pride. I started to see how I relied on my own strength for everything. I found all my identities in my strengths: personal trainer, water skier, athlete, and strong female, independent the list goes one.

 

Rereading this message over and over, I slowly realized how blinded I was by my selfish pride. God had to strip all my identities away for me to realize I am nothing without Him in my life. He slowly allowed me to take these identities to the cross. As I tearfully disrobed my identities piece by piece, I started clothes myself day and night with “If a man remains in me and I in him he will bear fruit” ringing in my head.

 

Still finding myself saturated with tears, this time I was calling out for God’s strength. Naked and ashamed for my ignorant prideful sin, God clothed me with His mercy and grace. Despite my sin, I was surround by His love and my eyes were open to His works. I saw how it is only because God’s provision for me that allowed me to live my dreams

 

Captivated by His presence, I started to see how He had placed these passions for health and water-skiing in my heart. It is through these passions I am able to glorify Him and give Him praise. Through His blessings I was able to return to work and continue to enjoy His beautiful creation while water skiing. IMG_0089

 

God continues to use both my career and my water ski journey to deepen my faith. He lovely reveals Himself to me through clients, water ski buddies, creation, and even water ski competitions. I am challenged daily to rely on His strength, as I become the person He created me to be.

 

Ironically, God saved me through an injury. As I write this two years post, I find myself again in the same scenario. Instead of being scared of being out of work unable to water ski, and exercise, I am excited for the unknown future knowing God is in control. I continue to trust God for I know His plans are much better than mine and have a powerful purpose.

 

We may never understand the “Why” at the moment but God will slowly reveal Himself to those who are willing to “Let Go” and “Let God.”

 

 

 

I know for myself I have developed many different shoulder problems and the more I talk to other skier many have suffered rotator cuff surgeries and/or bicep tears. This sport demands us to have incredible range of motion and strong shoulders at the same time. The amount of torque that our bodies go through while holding not the most natural position.  We start to develop a lot of asymmetries and a lock up T-spine (mid-back). Resulting in a hypo-mobile lower back and causing chronic back pain.  Here are some exercises I have discovered from working with my Physical Therapist Christopher Johnson to help address these issues.

 

Most of these exercises are performed in a ½ kneeling position but all can be performed in full kneeling position (aka tall kneeling) standing or split stance. I recommend working from the ground up with ½ kneel or full kneel then to standing positions.  Click on the link below for the video.

 

Egyptian

  • Reach the same arm as leg that is down, palm up, back arm palm facing down
  • Looking at your palm, rotate and look at back while hand switching positions
  • If you were to think of doing the splits with your upper body this would be it
  • Repeat 5 “ish”reps and 1-2 sets

 

Benefits: Shoulder stretch,  and T-spine rotation, (increase your reach for the going around the buoys)

 

Halo

  • Using a small Kettlebell, grab on the horns (side handles) have it bottom up
  • Lift your left hand to the right side of your head, then to the back of your head so that the kettlebell is bottoms down. Let the right hand follow “naturally”
  • Allow the Kettlebell to trace a Halo around your head; trace it one direction then the opposite direction right after.
  • Repeat 3 “ish” reps 1-2 set; one direction then the opposite equals one rep

 

Benefits: T-spine mobility, Core activation, corrects any asymmetries

 

Bottom Up Single Arm Rotation

  • Start with Kettlebell in the same hand as leg that is down. Make sure you have a good balance of the bell first
  • Rotate and reach as far as you can without loosing balance while opening up shoulder
  • Repeat 3 “ish” reps 1-2 set

 

Benefits: T-spine rotation, Core activation, grip strength, shoulder mobility and strength 

 

 

Enjoy and let me know how it helps with your skiing

Ski you later

 

 

 

Many of you as water skiers have dealt with some type of injury and understand how the pain impacts you physically and mentally. Unfortunately, I can relate. Two years ago I dealt with a back/rib injury. For my back and rib to heal, I was prescribed to take a week off of work and have no physical strain on the body.

Almost two years to the date, I was prescribed to take time off from work again (this time three weeks) for a condition called Osteitis Pubis. Devastated to be in the same situation again, mentally I had to tell myself it is for the best, but my body struggled. Being a personal trainer, I am constantly moving. My body started craving movement. The first week of sitting on my “ice diaper” at night I would have night mares of exercising.  These were night mares! For theses dream were failing the Kettlebell Snatch text, and falling every time I would water ski.  As you could see my mind was freaking out without being able to move. This is when I started to feel like a “fish out of water.”

Desperate to get back into my normal routine, I did everything I thought would help speed the recover process. I did Pulse Electric Magnetic Field (PEMF), Chiropractor, Physical Therapy, Rolfing massage and Shiatsu massage. Having difficulty walking without pain, I decided to only do one of these treatments at a time. I was able to go Healing Foundations in Post Falls, ID for the PEMF treatments. PEMF helps decrease the inflammation and help with the increase of cells growth. After a full week of these treatments, I was able to walk with less pain.

Excited to be making progress, I soon started Physical Therapy. After the first time working with Christopher Johnson, a Physical Therapist at Olympic PT in Bellevue, I wanted to skip out of the office I felt so good. Instead of focusing on the location of the pain, he focused on the possible cause.   He noticed how my ankles have limited range of motion (ROM) and my hips were compensating for it. Understanding the kinetic chain, I completely recognize if one joint does not have the right ROM then another joint will start compensating.

He has taught me how to use the VooDoo Floss Band to help increase my ankle mobility. With the focus being my ankles, I am happy to say the pain has decreased and I have been able to return to some form of exercises (oh and the night mares have also decreased).

Through this experience I realize it is my responsibility to recover being smart with my progressions.  Knowing it will be slow progression and but it will be a healthy progression. Even though it has been extremely difficult being out of work and lack of any physical outlet, I am excited what I have been learning about the human body through this injury, how it relates to water skiing.

Besides learning more about the human body, I have learned the importance of empathy towards one another. There are many of us who have dealt with pain some more visible than others.  With being a trainer I always try to show empathy toward my clients. Having experience with chronic pain, my hope is to help others just like Chris has helped me. I see the value of one’s health and the joy it brings to others.

If you are a water skier who has dealt with injury after injury, or someone who deals with chronic pain, I will be posting some of the simple movement patterns that have helped me to recover.

With it already it being “water ski season,” I had been talking to Chris about my sport and how to stay bullet proof. Stay tuned for more post about the importance of shoulders for water skiing. See the amazing mobility and strengthening exercises I have learned from Chris Johnson!

 

 

 

 

SeahawksparadeIt has been a crazy week with the big win for the Seattle Seahawks. As I was watching the Seahawk’s victorious win, I felt like I was part of the win simply because I consider my home Seattle.  Having a home team win one of the biggest games in our culture, it created this pride within me. I started to be proud to be from Seattle, proud to be part of the 12th man, proud to be part of something big.

With the team’s return, the majority of the city shut down to celebrate with a parade welcoming our team home.  Having this new pride for our team and my new home, I wanted to be part of this big celebration. My co-worker and I were  able to escape the gym and adventure to downtown Seattle.  Like the millions of salmon swimming back their nesting home, every 12th man was making their way to the heart of the city.  Joining the millions my co-worker and I felt like we were swimming ups stream just to find a way to get close to the parade.  With our determination and creativity, we were able to make it and joined thousands creating the 12th man.

Being down there was an incredible experience. It was amazing to be part of the crowd, and how we all had one soul purpose, to celebrate the Seahawks and their amazing season.  Everyone waited patiently upon the team’s arrival and as I waited it hit me.  The 12th man creates a community of people coming together service a purpose, supporting our hawks.  The 12th man is more than just a cheering squad it being part of something that is big, with a big purpose.

We all want to be part of something bigger and better.  The exciting part there is something bigger and better than the 12th man just listen to what our Seahawks say what is it.

Competitions

Being a competitor, I love the challenge of any type of competition. The mental focus of syncing the mind and body to work together in the “zone” can be challenging at times. It is only time the mind and body are able preform at its best. This is what every athlete strives for, being in the zone at the present moment.

Planning water ski competitions schedule for 2014, I start to wonder how do I practice the zone during the off season? I find it extremely hard to practice this when I am not even out on the water yet. Though at the same time I see the mental challenge it creates and I am up for the task. As a water skier, I am always looking ways for improvement.  I am consistently competing against myself and  determined to progress to next level. Every time I am out on the water I treat as if I was at a competition, striving for my best.

Just like making my practice part of my competition, each day we all have the opportunity to make it a “game day.” What every you may be training for, approach each day with the mental tactic of  a competition. On any competition day we all have this mental approach of winning, transition this to everyday by attacking each workout routine or practice set with a winning mentality.  Even though it is not a true competition, your are competing against your old yourself striving for a new part of you. We can’t win every competition and not every day is going to be a fantastic thrilling day, but each day we will be seeking ways to improve ourselves. Make every day a “game day” and enjoy the present moment.

Game Day

It has been two full weeks of 2014 and I am still puzzled of what to post for the new year.  Reading other articles about tips for a successful new year , I was hoping for some type of inspiration. Yet as I start to think about all the goals I have for the new year I begin to feel this huge black cloud of anxiety start to follow me.  As I look back on the entire year of 2013 and everything accomplished this black cloud becomes darker and the pressure builds as I wonder of the unknown of 2014.

Last year was an amazing year and I have to admit I was not ready to let it go.  It was full of learning through incredible certifications, full of victory and defeat with water skiing, and full of meeting passionate people.  I was blessed to have so many opportunities throughout my career and water skiing.  The unknown can be scary or exciting and I am reminded you have the freedom to choose between the two.

Wanting 2014 to just as good or even better than 2013, I realize I only have the present moment.  It is the minutes, the days, the weeks, the months  and everything done in between that makes up a year. Hoping to accomplish many goals for 2014,  I am focused on my goals by dedicating each day as a stepping stone towards them.  With the simplistic approach of one day at a time, the dark cloud of anxiety vanishes,  I am able to have clarity and focus at the end goals.

Commit to 2014, commit to each day, commit to your goals.

How are you living 2014?

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

Leon Brown

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