You can train your mountain muscle in singularity style; all you need is a kettlebell (KB). Implementing the KB offers major bang for your buck. What is a KB? It’s a traditional Russian cast iron weight that looks like a cannonball with a handle. It’s a great tool for fitness and has a great deal of application for sportsmen. The KB goes way back, it first appeared in a Russian dictionary in 1704 (Cherkikh, 1994). Sometimes less is more, and KB’s prove this to be true. KB’s come in “poods,” which is a dated Russian measure of weight, which equals 16kg, or roughly 35 lbs. An average male should start with a 35lb KB and ladies a 20lb. This may sound light but once you start you will soon see how the minimal load can give you maximal results; here’s how.KB delivers well-rounded fitness and could potentially replace your barbells, machines, and cardio equipment. The KB is about power, mobility, and work capacity, and at its most elementary level, KB exercises work a lot of muscles and require you to generate power from the core. The KB swing is one of the basic KB exercises that is performed by generating force from your body’s core: the hips, legs, low back and trunk. I would encourage anyone to master the KB swing first because it is a movement that can be transferred to other movements whether it be in hiking, biking, running, or other KB exercises.
KB’s are weights and the rules of effective weight training apply just the same. Similar to traditional weight training, you need a balanced approach and an emphasis on the basic compound drill. So we are going to focus on learning the KB swing to improve our posterior chain (hamstrings, butt, and lower back), the muscles that pull us up mountains.
Benefits: This move is very taxing of the hips, trunk, and shoulders. Keep your trunk stable and let your hips do the work! You won’t find too many moves that burn as many calories.
Pre-Requisites: General core strength and tracking down a kettlebell or dumbbell.
Movement: Place KB between your feet. Push back with your butt and bend your knees to get into the starting position. Make sure that your back is flat and look straight ahead. Swing the KB between your legs forcefully. Quickly reverse the direction and drive though with your hips taking the KB straight out to chest level. Let the KB swing back between your legs and repeat.
Hint: The KB should be placed between your feet, but then slightly back from center. You should be reaching through your legs to grasp the bell. This places the load on your hamstrings right from the start.
Workout: Perform 30 seconds of maximal KB swings repetitions. Rest 30 seconds and repeat. Work for ten minutes and note your total reps. The time is short, so once technique is mastered, ratchet up the intensity and go for broke.
If you cannot locate a KB, use a dumbbell as a replacement. Note the progression of the movement by the images supporting this article. Integrate this KB workout a few times a week. My favorite way to make this workout come to life for hunters, is to put the KB in your day pack, and hump up the hills. Every five minutes or so stop, take the KB out and perform 20 unbroken repetitions of the KB swing. If you have a hill near your home that takes around an hour to hike, this is a great way to challenge yourself and get those legs and lungs ready for fall.