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Kettlebell for cyclists

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Old 02-11-18, 02:48 AM
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elcruxio
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Kettlebell for cyclists

I was going to post this as a comment on the other cyclist weight training but realized this probably should be its own topic.

"For those who don't have access to a gym or are not interested in getting a cable machine, I would suggest kettlebells combined with some body weight movements, namely a variety of planks, pushups and pullups for better cycling form.

Kettlebells increase strength and mobility and every exercise is a core exercise. Plank variations are pure core exercises and pretty brutal at that. Pushups and pullups are supporting pull/push movements which aid with upper body control and are also core movements at that.

I used to love barbells but since I don't have a set home I got into kettlebells and I'm becoming addicted fast. The trick is to get a heavy enough kettlebell for swings to be useful and fun since the swing is the main most important movement for kettlebells. A too light a bell will feel like cardio (that's not the point) and will ultimately be boring.
I have a 83lbs bell on order right now "

The particular movements I'm doing right now are
Kettlebell
Swing
clean
snatch
highpull
goblet squat or racked squat depending how good I feel

Mainly one should focus on movents which are native to the bell and do rows and such in a more effective way by doing pullups etc.

Added bodyweight exercises are
plank
hollow hold
side planks
pushup
pullup

These are divided into upper body and lower body atm but I think I need to modify to do a bodyweight day and kettlebell day.

The beauty with kettlebells is that they are affordable, small, effective and infinitely variable. There are a ton of different movements and even the most basic moves will give a brutal core workout and strengthen every other part of your body in a practical way.
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Old 02-11-18, 12:55 PM
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I have a barbell and squat stands at home but I also love my kettlebells. My favourite exercise with them is a double clean-press-squat combo and a snatch and renegade row...I like the kettlebell swing too but I prefer a snatch because it's a more advanced exercise and works more muscles.
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Old 02-12-18, 08:25 PM
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Kettlebells give an outstanding workout but proper form is key. Most movements are powered from the hips with bent knees. You could really injure your back if you start a swing from the waist and try to swing it with your arms. That being said a great total body workout.
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Old 02-13-18, 04:39 AM
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It's usually a good idea to go through a course for kettlebells to get the form right. I had my brother to teach me since he's quite experienced with kettlebells. It can be done from youtube videos since the movements themselves are not rocket science, but courses have good tips like if the swing is not working out, it's likely due to a too light a bell. Both me and my brother noticed that it's actually harder to get a proper swing technique going with a too light a bell since it allows you to compensate with muscles which are not supposed to be used in such a way in the swing. A heavy bell quite quickly forces you towards a right technique since it forces you to use the most efficient form. But this should be done in the presence of an instructor or experienced friend to monitor against mistakes
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Old 02-13-18, 07:18 PM
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In my opinion, kettlebell swing is one of the greatest exercises ever invented. It's very functional and has a lot of carryover to almost any activity and it will improve performance in any sport...I would argue that swings are a better posterior chain/hamstrings exercise than deadlifts. A 53 pound kettlebell swing done correctly can generate as much force as a 400 pound deadlift. Deadlifts are hard to recover from and strain your CNS too much if done too often....Kettlebell swings are a lot easier to recover from and can be done more frequently.
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Old 02-14-18, 10:59 AM
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Exercises mentioned above are general exercises, doesn't apply to cyclists alone. General Physical Preparedness.

The formula is the same across human performance. Strength (and endurance) in the full range of motion. One classification of movement patterns could be: squat, hinge, push, pull, loaded carry (ala Dan John).

I suggest for Specific Physical Preparedness "for cyclists" one could look at:

1. What is the time under tension eg: seconds, minutes, hours, days etc.

2. What is the range of motion that is weak and needs to be strengthened eg: hip and knee extension (pedaling), grip (for braking and hard gripping in mtb), back and neck extension (keeping a good posture on the saddle), horizontal pushing (supporting bodyweight on the handlebar), horizontal pulling (pulling up on the handlebar) etc.

Obviously every discipline is different and you should program your training accordingly eg sprinters/downhillers/BMXers need more strength and higher intensity endurance and in different range of motions than randonneurs (or tourists).
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Old 02-15-18, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by hermanchauw View Post
Exercises mentioned above are general exercises, doesn't apply to cyclists alone. General Physical Preparedness.

The formula is the same across human performance. Strength (and endurance) in the full range of motion. One classification of movement patterns could be: squat, hinge, push, pull, loaded carry (ala Dan John).

I suggest for Specific Physical Preparedness "for cyclists" one could look at:

1. What is the time under tension eg: seconds, minutes, hours, days etc.

2. What is the range of motion that is weak and needs to be strengthened eg: hip and knee extension (pedaling), grip (for braking and hard gripping in mtb), back and neck extension (keeping a good posture on the saddle), horizontal pushing (supporting bodyweight on the handlebar), horizontal pulling (pulling up on the handlebar) etc.

Obviously every discipline is different and you should program your training accordingly eg sprinters/downhillers/BMXers need more strength and higher intensity endurance and in different range of motions than randonneurs (or tourists).
Good post. I like the Dan John reference.
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Old 02-16-18, 10:18 PM
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Thanks guys. I tried out kettlebell swings for rehabbing my pulled hammy and that felt just right - great exercise, no pain. I'll sub that in for my stiff-legged deadlifts - less risky. Main risk factor for a pulled ham turns out to be age. 50 swings feels like a good number.
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Old 02-18-18, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Thanks guys. I tried out kettlebell swings for rehabbing my pulled hammy and that felt just right - great exercise, no pain. I'll sub that in for my stiff-legged deadlifts - less risky. Main risk factor for a pulled ham turns out to be age. 50 swings feels like a good number.
When you get rehabbed and stronger try to add more kettlebell moves with the bell you have now and swing a heavier bell. Swinging heavier is great at identifying weak spots and also training those weak spots. Case in point with a 55lbs bell my grip is the thing that gives up first but I get excellent grip training doing it
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Old 02-18-18, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
. Case in point with a 55lbs bell my grip is the thing that gives up first but I get excellent grip training doing it

Do you hold the 55lb bell with two hands or one hand when doing swings ??
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Old 02-18-18, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Do you hold the 55lb bell with two hands or one hand when doing swings ??
Two hands. I use the snatch and clean for side stabilizing exercises and the swing as purely posterior chain
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Old 02-18-18, 09:37 PM
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Be rational about plank time. I think the evidence is growing that long duration planking can cause damage.
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Old 02-19-18, 11:45 AM
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My kettlebell experience

I used to compete with a 24-32 kg(53-70lbs) kettlebells 30 years ago . Now a 40 lbs(18kg) bell is my starting weight and it feels very heavy . If I start to use it consistently it is not heavy enough, but I do not. Should go to a 53 lbs, but I do not use it regularly and 40 lbs is heavy enough to put me out of breath after 10 reps. Kettlebell training during winter month is not enough for me to graduate to a heavier weight.

Doing turkish get ups, windmills , swings , snatches and presses during winter months builds up legs, back, endurance and lungs for cycling in the spring. Also I use squats with a kettlebell to build up my knees before the cycling season. My knees do not hurt any more in spring when I start climbing.

Combine kettlebells with rope jumping 2-3 times a week in the off season keeps me to be somewhat in shape and not loose too much summer fitness. Although I can not do more than 10-20 reps now with each arm with a 40 lbs bell. I used to be able to go over 100 reps with a 53-70 lbs when I was younger
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