Kettle Bells and Core Strength
As we strive to be the best Kung Fu School in the area, we look for innovative ideas to improve our training and techniques. So we incorporate in to our training Kettle Bells and Core Strength. Exercises and routines are developed in the weekly classes away from the normal Wing Chun curriculum. This way we can focus our time on the individual curriculum and provide the best service to our students. We recognise that although you do not need to be fit an strong to be great at Wing Chun, it helps to have a good core strength. Therefore our training routines do not involve heavy weight training and long sessions down the gym. We use simple exercises and routines that target areas such as the core which will benefit your Wing Chun. If you are not interested in Wing Chun or self defence then you are more than welcome to join us for our Kettle Bell and core strength sessions. All of our Instructors are qualified level 1 kettle bell instructors.
What is a Kettle Bell
All kettle Bells are made up of a ball with a handle attached and most of the handles on Kettle Bells are slightly offset to the main weight so that they are unbalanced and therefore behave differently to a normal weight. Unlike standard weights in a gym, most of the exercises that are performed with a Kettle bell will incorporate the core muscles and targets them in a different way.
There are a lot of cheaper plastic kettle bells on the market, but they are over sized based on the weight and therefore hinders certain exercises. Some of them also have mouldings which can cause discomfort when using them.
Competition Kettle Bells tend to have a very short handle and hinder the correct use when using them for the clean and snatch exercises. they can also put too much pressure on the wrist when using them for pressing exercises. The best kettle bells on the market are the cast iron ones with a good thick handle and a good space in between the handle and the bell. This will help with grip when performing swinging, clean and snatch exercises.
Kettle bells will not only improve your overall fitness and core strength, they will also improve your:
- Weight Distribution
- Power Development
- Body Mobility
What Weight should I use?
Men you should start with at least a 16kg kettle Bell and women should start with a 8kg Kettle Bell. This may should a lot to start with, but the main exercise that you start to do when you begin training in Kettle Bells is the double handed swing and the force used to generate the swing is delivered from the hips so this should not be too much of an issue, however this is a guide and you should use a weight that you comfortable with and can do the exercises correctly. Therefore you may find that you have to go up or down a weight to do certain exercises
Weekly Kettle Bell Classes
So, instead of going to the gym, come and learn how to use a kettle bell correctly to reduce the chance of strain or injury! Develop new routines so that you can train at home. This can fit is as part of an existing exercise or fitness program or just used on its own. This program can also be used to improve your Wing Chun or other Martial Arts training
The Weekly Classes are held every Saturday morning at 10am and everyone is welcome no matter whether you have previous experience with Kettle Bells or you have never used them before. You will learn how to use the Kettle Bells safely and the exercises and routines are broken down so they are easy to learn. You will learn the following exercises: Double Handed Swing, Single Handed Swing, the Clean, the Press, the Snatch and the Turkish Get Up. You will also learn how to put routines together and use other forms of training such as body weight training to help compliment your training
Level 1 Kettle Bell Instructors Course
On the 1st and 2nd of June our instructors attended and passed the level 1 instructors course and are certified to teach single kettle bell exercises. We are now teaching actively in the weekly kettle bell classes and these exercises will be used within the Wing Chun curriculum to improve students fitness and techniques.
Our Instructors will in the future be looking to take the level 2 instructors course.
Kettle Bell Users Course - 8x 1 hour sessions over 8 weeks - 6th April - 25th May 2013
This course was set up to learn how to perform a variety of exercises with a Kettle Bell, that will help to develop core strength which will improve your overall fitness, improve your Wing Chun Kung Fu or other Martial Arts training.
A Kettle bells is a great piece of kit as it can be used in a multitude of different ways to execute a multiple exercises to target different areas of the body.
Normally the cost of a course like this is �35 per hour (totalling �280) however Progressive Wing Chun made this course available to everyone for �85 (8x �10 + �5 booking fee). The course was also delivered by a REPS (register of exercise professionals) accredited trainer.
You can purchase Kettle bells through Progressive Wing Chun.
Below is a break down of what was learnt each week on the course:
Week 1 - 6th April - The Double Handed Swing
Week 1 was an introduction to the kettle bell, what it is, how it can be used and how to handle it safely without the risk of injury, for example picking it up and putting it down. The double handed swing was introduced and was demonstrated correctly and using your hips to start thrust them forward and allow the kettle bell to pull you forward hinging at the waist, at the lowest point again thrust your hips forward drive the kettle bell upwards, snapping your hips and driving through your heels and lock out your legs under tension, as the kettle bell comes back down allow the weight of the kettle bell to pull you forward maintaining a soft bend in the arms and repeat.
The Press Up Challenge was also performed to the song 'Flower' by Moby (Bring Sally Up, Bring Sally Down) a great exercise that works the whole top half of the body along with the core.
Week 2 - 13th April - The Single Handed Swing
Week 2 followed on from what was learnt last week and developing in to the single handed swing. The main points of the single handed swing are balance and holding the kettle bell correctly, i.e. turning your thumb in to you as you unload and hinge at the waist and turning your hand flat at the highest point.
We then moved on to 2 sets of TABABA training 2 rounds of 4 minutes, cosisting of 20 seconds of training followed by 10 seconds rest for the duration of 4 mins i.e. 8 sets. The first set was done using the double handed swing, the second set was done using the single handed swing. A great exercise if you have very little free time and struggle to put in a work out.
once again a great time had by all.
Week 3 - 20th April - Turkish Get Up
Week 3 was all about the Turkish Get Up (TGU) exercise. this was briken down in to subsections so that it could be learn't a little easier. The sub sections consisted of the following:
- Starting from a laying position, press the kettle bell and push your self up on to your hand.
- The next section is where you bring your leg under you body and perform the table.
- The next section is to get to the standing position.
- The last section was to get back to the floor i.e. the Turkish Get up in reverse.
We then had to perfrom the Turkish Get Up from start to finish on both sides. Once we had completed this exercise we then spent the last 10-15mins of the session doing Hindu pressups to the soundtrack 'Roxanne' by Sting. every time the word Roxanne was said, you had to do a Hindu press up.
Week 4 - 27th April - Anciliary Excercises
Week 4 was all about the variety of different anciliary exercises that can be performed with the kettle bells. These included, bi-cep curls, tricep pull ups, rows, presses (lying and standing) etc. We performed these exercises with a partner and then moved on to interval training.
Again working with a partner, we used a skipping rope and a kettle bell. One person used the skipping rope while the other used the kettle bell, the person using the rope was to skip for the duration that the person using the kettle bell took to complete thier exercise, then we swapped over. We performed this exercise for a few rounds using a variety of exercises as listed above.
Week 5 - 4th May - The Clean
Week 5 was about developing and perfecting the clean, in to the rack position. To get the clean correct we worked on taming the arc, i.e. using the arc generated from the single handed swing so it represents and follows the shape of the letter J, from the bootom of the swing the kettle bell is bough up the body in a straight line instead of out in front of you. The clean was broken down in to a single handed swing, a medium high pull and then the clean.
Once the clean had been developed, we then worked on pressing exercises from the rack position. Presses included single presses, double presses, alternate presses, the windmill and two hands anyhow, which involves pressing one kettle bell, squating picking up a second kettle bell and then when standing up pressing this kettle bell while bringing the other kettle bell in to the rack position and then squating and putting the kettle back on the ground.
Again another great session, showing the versitility of the kettle bell, how it can be used and incorporated in to a wide variety of exercises.
A great time had by all.
Week 6 - 11th May - Interval Training
This week was all about interval training and how you could perform an exercise for a short space of time and burn lots of calaries. We discussed the benifits of interval training as it can be used by people that lead busy lives and do not a a lot of spare time for exercise. We also discussed how to get the best from interval training.
One of the most popular methods is TABATA. We then performed an exercise like the double handed swing for 4 minutes, 20 seconds exercise, 10 seconds rest for a total of 8 sets. We then looked in to interval training with a partner. We then performed the Turkish Get Up while our partner skipped for the duration of the time it took for us to complete the exercise. Once we had finished the exericse we skipped for for the duration of the time it took our partner to do the exercise.
A fantastic session showing the versitility of the kettle bell and how it can be incorporated in to small workout sessions and also how other simple training equipment can compliment your training, while increasing your V02 max. Superb session.
Week 7 - 18th May
This week we developed and perfected the snatch movement. First we broke down the movement in to three parts, a lift, a high pull and then a punch. The lift movement is basically a one handed swing, the high pull is where you pull the kettle bell up through your centre a little similar to the clean but the klettle bell is pulled out twoard your shoulder at about head height. The punch is done at the point of a high pull where the kettlebell rotates over your hand and comes to rest. Ocne these three movements were perfeceted we then went on to performing the snatch in its entirety.
To perform the snatch correctly you need to be stood shoulder width apart and core drawn in, the hip snap is performed and the knees locked out. If any of these point are not performed correctly, the snatch will not be correct as your balance will be comprimised. it is important that the moment is fluid in order to generate the correct momentum.
A really good session with one of the hardest exercises.
Week 8 - 25th May
Was all about the kettle bell programming. We were first told about the diffence of exercises that can be done with a kettle bell and given a variety of exercies to perform. We also discussed the difference between a complex and a circuit. A complex is where you perform a variety of exercises with the same piece of equipment without putting it down, i.e. one handed swings, clean and press, round the body passes etc. A circuit is where you perform a variety of exercises which may be body weight or loaded i.e. with a kettle bell and you move from one station and perform that exericse, once its completed you move to the next station.
We were given examples of both a complex and circuit exercises to perform. We then had to create our own complex or circuit with the exercise that we had completed over the last eight weeks.
A great time once again had by all, and thanks to Dan Sullivan for his help and for running the course.