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Some simple training that has added benefits...
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Andrew :-)
(terra) - F

Locale: Sydney, Australia.
Some simple training that has added benefits... on 08/09/2007 07:44:21 MDT Print View

Since some martial arts injuries early this year I have been implementing different training styles.
One has had considerable improvements on my hiking, running and general well feeling so I want to pass it on - for what its worth.
I have been training in a nearby park with kettlebells but I believe one really beneficial aspect of the training has been walking 1/4 mile to and 1/4 mile from the park with a 35lb kettlebell in each hand. Although there are other components of my training which certainly help with bipedal motivation, I believe this forced "Farmers walk" to and from the park has really tightened up my gait and proprioception. My postural and core muscles seem to maintain a higher tone now and are more 'connected', this leads to more surety in foot placement and stride power. I seem to have more spring in my step during a hike, even at the end of the day. Accurately placing my feet on the uneven path to the park with the active weight of the kettlebells moving around has helped with ankle stabilisation too.
The controlled overloading of my joints for a short distance/time also seems to be helping with the condition of the articular cartilage in my knees as they feel smoother through the full range of motion now.
A final benefit is that the training effect on my trapezius muscles makes the already 'barely-there' packweight become truly 'non-existent'.
If you wish to try this but don't have suitable weights(dumbells / kettlebells etc) then find 2 containers with handles and fill them with water, You might want to start with 10lbs per hand. Then go for a 10 minute walk over mildly uneven terrain.
Keep your body a 'tight' and move in a controlled manner to avoid injury - gradually work up to 1/4 of your bodyweight in each hand.
Take care - good luck.

Andrew :-)
(terra) - F

Locale: Sydney, Australia.
Update... on 09/16/2007 18:29:14 MDT Print View

Have moved up to using 2 x 53lb kettlebells for farmers walks.

Forgot to mention I also have been incorporating one legged 'pistol' squats into my training. Whan walking we spend a lot of time on one leg, so we may as well train on one leg too. Can now one legged pistol squat whilst holding 35lb kettlebell.
The one legged pistol squat also requires a lot of balance response from the stabilisers which I feel is resulting in better ankle stability for me during hiking.

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
hmm kettlebells on 09/16/2007 20:08:47 MDT Print View

There is a friend who is a physician that is addicted to kettlebells. As a favor I went to a seminar he put on to pad the roster. Now I would say I'm in pretty good condition, fairly flexible, relatively strong, and aerobically fit and I got to tell you these things kicked my wazonga. So if anyone reads the 25# and 35# and dismisses this as garbage, keep an open mind and try a 25# kettlebell, go ahead try the farmer walk, then post your results. I would say a little bit of instruction with them could keep an unforseen injury at bay.