Back In The (Kettlebell) Swing Of Things

Last week, I didn’t get much working out down for a number of reasons. One of which was feeling like crap. Another was having workmen in our home to do a number of things. I hate working out with an audience, after all, and when I feel like crap…well.

No excuse, though.

There can’t be any excuses. Not anymore. I’m trying to stay alive in a world where there are a large number of people who want me dead. Yes, some include people who want me dead personally, most likely. Others just want me dead because I didn’t vote for the right candidate or I support the wrong policy. Still others want me dead because I live in the U.S. and am happy to live here.

They won’t delay because I didn’t feel good one week.

That meant it was back into training. No, I didn’t do any DDP Yoga. Not yet, anyway. I’ll probably do some tomorrow for stretching purposes, but I didn’t do it today because I love lifting stuff. Period.

So that put a kettlebell back into my hands.

Today’s workout was vigorous, but it was mostly to get me back into moving with weight again. I expect to be sore tomorrow, which is why I’m considering doing some yoga to stretch the soreness out.

Tomorrow will also put me back into punching the heavy bag. This is a good way to get some cardio, plus it helps you practice hand-to-hand techniques.

I’ll be honest, I only do jabs and right crosses because I know those punches well enough to practice them on my own. I might work on some hooks and uppercuts in the next week or so because striking is important in a fight.


Back to today, it was great getting to do one of my all-time favorite exercises, the kettlebell swing. It’s not an easy exercise, and it’s difficult to screw it up, but I love it.

Describing how to do these is tricky, so here’s a video that goes into it.

For what it’s worth, this is a fantastic conditioning exercise. A study from not all that long ago found the calorie burn from swings to be about that of cross-country skiing uphill, which means this is a tough exercise.

I try to do sets of 15, but mostly because my form goes to crap after that, so I’d rather do more sets with proper form than more reps per set and possibly hurt myself.

One thing to watch out for is your lower back. If you do this correctly, you won’t have any problems at all. If you don’t, however, you’re going to feel it in your lower back.

Or, at least, I always have.

Despite that, I love kettlebell swings and I consider it the quintessential kettlebell exercise.

I also did some lightweight overhead kettlebell presses to test out the shoulder–so far, so good, I might add–and a couple of other exercises like pullup negatives and goblet squats.

This was not a total body workout or anything, since there are a number of muscles that didn’t get worked at all, but it was a start and this was more about getting my body prepared a bit for what’s coming. In particular, to go ahead and get the sore leg thing out of the way now.

Because I know it’s coming.

And it’s going to suck.

A lot.


Anyway, this was a step I needed for a lot of reasons, including a few personal ones. The biggest was getting my body ready for future training. There’s a lot coming down the pipe for me, and my body needs to be turned into a weapon. That can’t work with the junk iron it currently is. It needs to become razor sharp steel.

At least, that’s the thinking.

Author: Tom

Tom is a husband, father, novelist, opinion writer, and former Navy Corpsman currently living in Georgia. He's also someone who has lost almost 60 pounds in a safe, sustainable way, so he knows what he's talking about.

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