A kettlebell complex to whip your butt.
One of the things I like most about kettlebell exercises is that they focus on movement, not muscles. There is no isolation as you would have in exercises that focus on individual muscles or muscle groups. A kettlebell complex is even better. While they don’t focus on individual muscles, they’ll strengthen your muscles plenty! Every kettlebell exercise I can think of is total body. They’ll work your entire kinetic chain and involve compound motions, meaning they require you to use multiple joints in each movement. So what’s the difference between a kettlebell exercise that is already a compound movement and a kettlebell complex? A kettlebell complex takes all the good things about a kettlebell exercise and multiplies it, by one, by two, by three, by four… Kind of like LeBron and his titles.
Don’t get ahead of yourself. Build your skills up to complexes.
First and foremost, if you’re not very familiar with and very comfortable with the three primary motions in this complex, don’t try putting them together yet. Always progress intelligently. Self inflicted injury because of impatience doesn’t impress anyone. The three motions you need to be very familiar with are:
- Turkish Get Up
- Swing Snatch
- Swing Switch
Got those three down? Your kettlebell complex, should you choose to accept it.
Turkish Get Up to a Swing Snatch to a Swing Switch to a Swing Snatch on the opposite side to the downward portion of a Turkish Get Up. Fun, right?!
So if all kettlebell exercises are full body and compound, why do a complex?
Even something as brute as kettlebells can teach gracefulness. What is gracefulness? Simply, it’s the ability to coordinate your motions down to the finest detail. Just like any other physical skill, this comes more naturally to some people. But it can be learned. You may never move like Mikhail Baryshnikov, Shawn White or Venus Williams but that doesn’t mean you have to stumble around like Lewis Skolnik. (look it up!) You can teach your body a level of movement sophistication that carries over from your time in the gym to the 23 hours a day you’re not at the gym. Actually, that’s a prime reason to even be at the gym. By training your body to coordinate multiple compound motions sequentially, you’re teaching your brain to have better control over your entire body. It’s not just strength, which you WILL get doing a whole bunch of these. It’s also a refinement of motion.
THAT’S what training is all about!
So get to the grunting from this complex, get your sweat on, build your strength and endurance and also teach your body how to move in a fluid and beautiful way. Let me know how it goes in the comments below.
Kettlebell photo by GiryaGirl (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons