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Friday, April 22, 2011

Spring Training

Spring Training, the gateway between Winter sports and Summer sports. Most athletes make a change of sport at this time. Weekend-warriors try to reinforce New Year's Resolutions. The Earth is so inspiring, many of us want to improve our skills and establishing new short-term goals in the Spring.

How to make the most of this new annual energy? Here are a few tips:

Decide what you want to focus on and get into it! Not everyone can motivate to do solo exercise, so find your workout group, practice buddy or team mates. Exercising alone can become too serious. All athletes can benefit from having friends around to keep it light. Don't give away your workout time. If it's on your schedule, do it!

Improve your habits at the beginning! If you noticed weaknesses or missing skills last year, make it better this time. Start with the full enchilada and keep all the parts of a complete workout. Warm-up, focus on skills, push your edge during the workout, and stretch out before calling it a day.

Find an advanced trainer or coach! If you are doing a sport year after year, why not take it up a notch. Nothing adds spice like training for competition or certification.

Start at a reasonable pace! Creaky joints and unused muscles will need some time to acclimate to higher levels of activity. Pace yourself and put extra time into cooling down for the first few weeks. Early season injuries put a kink in the joy of Spring, so keep your head, start gently until you hit a good stride.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A note on Practice Partners

I give the words Practice Partners capital letters because, much like someone you would call Mrs. or Sir, they must be given respect. On an athletic team, one missing player will affect the entire game. In kettlebell lifting, the Practice Partner can make all the difference in a safe, efficient workout. Once you find a good lifting Partner you miss them when they're gone!

In the learning phase, Practice Partners can be a mirror for correct form. Proper guidance in those first 100 chair squats will set up long-term patterns, so we rely on our coaches and workout buddies to start on the right foot. Partner corrective exercises depend upon that person.

Once the basics are in hand, Practice Partners are not only our mirrors, but can be our motivation. Take the Kettlebell Fitness group, for example. We can fit 5, maybe 6 people into a class. When we have that many, the energy is palpable. People feed off each other, watch for subtle lifting moves, follow recovery ideas, it's a contagious learning environment. If a group has worked together for even 3 practices, and one person is gone on the 4th practice, everyone wants to know where he/she is. 

In our second season of Kettlebell Fitness and Mountain Club, I'm looking forward to seeing you all in the Open Park Practices and hikes. More participants make it educational and fun!

You are all invited to Scott Carpenter Park this Saturday, the 16th from 10 am to 2 pm for however much kettlebell fun you can endure.

Thanks for practicing with kettlebells!