More times than not, fitness exercises take place in a gym vacuum. But, for many, the environment creates obstacles that challenge their practiced gym exercises.
For example, tactical training takes place in adverse positions, which are positions that are not optimal for shooting, using equipment, or movement. The ability to work in these positions becomes vital for the person to bridge optimal and adverse positions.
Kettlebells offer a great training tool for those in the tactical and combative community because they reinforce proper form while providing excellent conditioning. Wasted movement means wasted time and few pieces of equipment reinforce efficient movement like the kettlebell.
Kettlebell Position 1: Supine to Seated Presentation
One skill that is important to learn is the ability to move from a supine position, such as shooting at a target behind the shooter, or positioning yourself under and object such as a car or even a sink. One must be able to quickly transition to another situation needing your attention in the opposite direction.
This movement pattern can develop stabilization strength in the shoulders, arms, and core. By introducing weight into this, we can further develop those strengths while developing efficient paths of movement.
Any weight can be used, but beginning at a low weight will reinforce proper mechanics while allowing the user to focus on the exercise and hand placement. You may take a moment to rehearse the exercise a few times and visualize where you will hold the object, where you will breath, and take notice of your range of motion.
Kettlebell Position 2: Supine Extension
Imagine you are holding a wrench, firearm, or a drill and you must extend backward while in the laying position. In the laying, or supine position, take your kettlebell in your hands and hold it to your chest. Place both feet shoulder width with the legs extended at a 45 degree position to gain friction while balancing the upper body weight out for the exercise.
Extend the kettlebell backward, with the arms extended out. You may begin by pressing straight up and then decreasing the angle back over the head. Breathe out through the mouth as you make this movement, when you reach your comfort point, hold this position, finish your exhalation.
Recover through the path you used, curling slightly as your bring the weight back over your body, extending until the shoulders are off the floor. Then, bring the weight back to the chest in your base position.
Kettlebell Position 3: Between the knees extension
From the base position, begin to curl up, holding the kettlebell to the chest. When you have curled up, sit up and extend the weight in front of you. At first, you may need to prop your arms against your inner thigh, tightening into your arms.
To move back to your base position, bring the kettlebell back to your chest and lay back down. Now combine the two patterns into one string of movement exercise.
Making Fitness Practical
Turning fitness into functional fitness is as simple as having an imagination and a job that requires specific movement patterns you must use often. In the first responder community the ability to work quickly, efficiently, and effectively sometimes makes a life changing difference.
Anyone can take their day-to-day life and the things they do in their job and turn them into a mission: to be the best. Fitness means not only physical fitness, but mental fitness and the confidence we are strong enough to do our jobs no matter what they are.