KettleBell Workout for Climbing and Descending
November 23 — 2020
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Hey there! Do you ever find yourself wanting to make gains off the saddle but unsure where to start? Do you have a hard time doing typical gym workouts because it’s hard to see how they translate to riding? Do they just straight up bore you? Or, are you already lifting weights and working out off the mat, but need some fresh inspiration? This is for you!
Back in college, I played competitive soccer that consumed my life, and as a result, I lifted heavy weights all the time, unsure exactly of why I was doing the movement that I did. After graduating with degrees in Exercise Science and Neuroscience and a certified yoga teacher, I realized the exercises I was doing previously weren't exactly what my body needed to perform better in my sport. Fast forward to now, I’ve spent some time building plans for both myself and others to help specifically improve in different elements of sport. Enjoy, and please reach out with questions!
*note: this workout is intended for individuals with some baseline fitness already. If you are new to kettlebells, I recommend working through each exercise without weights to fully understand the intention of each movement.
Episode 1 Summary:
- Equipment: Mat and Kettle Bell (10-35lb)
- Length: 25 min
- Difficulty Level: Level 2 (out of 4)
- Style: Slower, smooth, and mindful movements
- Focus: Climbing and Descending
- Goals: Strength, Stability, and Endurance
This workout focuses specifically on building strength, stability, and endurance for climbing and descending while riding. Please remember to go at your own pace, listen to your body, and drink plenty of water after you are finished. Be sure to get a solid warm up and cool down as well.
Need a good warm up idea?
3 times through
- 20 air squats
- 20 slow mountain climbers
- 30 sec plank
The following exercises are designed specifically for climbing. When we climb, we are both pushing on the bars and split squatting over the saddle. By focusing on building stability and strength around our shoulder girdle, we can work toward climbing on steep or uneven terrain faster and with more ease. Similarly, by lifting and pushing with our legs in split squat and regular squat positions, we can manipulate our stance while pedaling, and gain stability in an often unstable position.
3 times through
- Lunge rotations (4 each side)
- Around the Worlds (8 total)
- Extra Clean Deadlifts (8 total)
*rest goal: try to rest only 30sec to 1 min after each set, with minimal rest in between each exercise and rep to keep the heart rate high through each set.
Right side: Begin in a low lunge position with right foot forward, holding the kettlebell upside down with both hands. Lean forward and lengthen your left hip flexor, pausing to enjoy the stretch. Center your hips once more by returning to a neutral low lunge (left hip stacked above left knee). Push into the mat with your right foot to lift your body up into a high straight leg lunge. Lower with control back down to the left knee, engage your core, and slowly rotate the kettlebell around your head, being mindful of your low back. Return to neutral position, and repeat exercise for a total of 4 times.
Left side: same as right side, 4 times through.
Lunge rotations target our front leg muscles as we push up into a high lunge, and back down into a low lunge, firing up both our big muscles and smaller stabilizer muscles.
Around the Worlds
Begin in a wide standing stance with the kettlebell in one hand. Perform a kettlebell swing on the right side, swinging the weight through the legs and behind the left leg on the downswing. Grab the kettle bell from the right hand with the left hand on the upswing on the left side and perform a bicep curl. With the kettlebell in the left hand, perform a kettlebell swing on the left side, swinging the weight through the legs and behind the right leg on the downswing. Grab the kettle bell from the left hand with the right hand on the upswing on the left side and perform a bicep curl. Repeat for a total of 8 times total, or 4 times on each side.
Around the World is a full body exercise, targeting the legs, core, and arms. This exercise also takes a fair bit of metal focus as I’m sure you’ll find out if you try! Be sure to keep the naval drawn toward the midline to protect your low back, and do not let momentum do all of the work for you.
Extra Clean Deadlifts
Begin with feet slightly wider than hips (this will vary for everyone because our hips are all different). Point your toes slightly out. Squat down, keeping the should drawn back as you go, and pick up the kettle bell with two hands. Draw the naval in, and lift up with the kettle bell. Squat back down again, moving your grip slightly down the handle of the kettle bell, and perform a kettle bell clean, using your legs and trapezius muscles to clean the kettle bell, before lowering down again into a squat and lifting back up. Repeat exercise for a total of 8 times.
This exercise is a basic push and pull exercise to build strength in our legs, glutes, core, and back to get better at climbing steep pitches or getting through rock gardens.