Swingin’ Baby


Swingin’ Baby

Fifth Ape Seminar – February 5th! 
Early Bird registration until Jan. 21st!

Durham Indoor Rowing Trials – February 27th! 
Early Bird registration until Jan. 27th!

WOD for Tuesday 011811  – Click Here For Today’s Schedule 
5 reps @55%
5 reps @65%
5 reps @70%
5 reps @80%
Max reps @85%
On the minute for 10 minutes (resting every other minute)

Perform 30 KB Swings (70/52)
Count a penalty for every round you fail to complete 30 reps.  Penalty = 1000m Row  

Post Press Loads and Metcon Penalties to Comments
All %’s for the strength segment of the workout should be based on your 1RM for the lift and are meant to serve as a guide in your training.  You should generally not be failing on any set except maybe your last one of the day.  If you’re unsure about your technique or ability to perform a given set safely at the posted %, then use common sense and good judgement.  When in doubt, live to lift again another day.  All squats should be done below parallel.   

For the Metcon, choose your KB load and between Russian and American Swings wisely.  Don’t get hurt.  For each penalty counted, Row 1000m, but not for time.   

Beginning this Saturday, January 22nd, we will offer an hour long Mobility Workout at 11am.  Questions about stretching, foam rolling, using lacrosse balls?  This is for YOU!   See a more detailed description of the class here

Upcoming Foundations Courses
Starting January 25th – (Tues/Thurs @7pm) – Only 2 spots left!
Starting February 15th – (Tues/Thurs @7pm)
Starting March 8th – (Tues/Thurs @7pm)

Upcoming Events
Fifth Ape Parkour Seminar – Saturday, February 5
Triad Barbell Open — Sat, February 26th, at CF Downtown Winston
Durham Indoor Rowing Trials — Sun, February 27th

Thoughts on the KB Swing from Greg Everett of Catalyst Athletics:
“I want to address the swing in response to an email I got about it. Those of you who pay attention to Strength & Conditioning are familiar with the practice of continuing the KB swing overhead rather than the traditional level. The question I got was basically why do either, and is there any sort of injury risk or similar with the overhead swing?

Most of the time I prefer the traditional swing, and always with individuals new to the exercise. The point of the KB swing is the explosive snap of the hips. You can get other things out of it, but this is the primary goal and if it’s not there, you should probably be doing a different exercise for whatever you’re trying to accomplish.

With a focus on this hip action, the KB will rise to chest or chin height easily with no work from the arms and shoulders. Again, this is the point – you shouldn’t be muscling the bell up with your arms. Clients new to the exercise should only work at this level until they’ve mastered the hip action of the swing. Once that’s done, overhead swings can be considered an option.

The overhead swing should look identical to the traditional swing in the bottom range of motion – that is, the snappy hip action should not disappear. Once it’s completed, you engage the back and shoulders to continue pulling the bell up and back and drive the hips in underneath it.

There are a couple good things about the overhead swing. First, of course, you’re involving more of the body in the movement, so it’s a more complete exercise. Second, the greater height of the bell means you can easily generate more downward momentum going into the next rep; this means the hips and back must absorb more force and therefore and being trained harder (This of course can also be accomplished with a traditional swing by simply making the effort to accelerate the bell down after each rep, or with partner power bombs). Finally, if you’re using the swing as a conditioning exercise, this means more work and consequently more gas necessary.

I have two basic concerns regarding the overhead swing. The first is for the safety of both the swinger and those around him or her. Tired clients tend to get squirrely, especially in an environment in which high volume overhead swinging in a fatigued state is encouraged. I have seen more than a few people lose control of a KB overhead and damn near make an ashtray in the top of their skulls. I have also seen people drop the bells from overhead or nearly overhead and almost take out a neighbor. And I’ve even seen a complete moron drop a KB from overhead onto cement and snap the handle right off (a few of you reading this know exactly who I’m talking about – his profession makes it even more embarrassing.).

My second concern is simply that often people get caught up in the effort to bring the bell overhead and their hip snap disappears. Instead we get a slow, soft hump with a big upper body effort. I’ll say it again – this really defeats the purpose of the swing. And this is why I only like overhead swings for people who are able to do good traditional swings and maintain that hip action when going overhead.

So aside from traumatic head injury or getting sniped by a bouncing KB dropped by someone nearby, I don’t see any injury concerns with the overhead swing.

Ultimately the traditional swing should be the exercise first taught and mastered, and should be the variation used most. It’s an excellent exercise for conditioning the lower back, glutes and hamstrings to volume, improving lower back stamina and stability, and yes, even for cardio conditioning – a series of heavy swings to the chin will get you plenty exhausted without going overhead.

Do both if you want, but do them right, and don’t drop them on your head.”