The Kettlebell Crawl
Happy Monday everyone! I hope your new week — starting with my blog/vlog — is going well!
Earlier this year, I shared a couple of infant development exercises — The Bear Walk and Reptilian Crawl — with you. It’s something I don’t share often because, if you perform them with poor technique, you’ll train your body to move incorrectly at a very deep level.
This week’s exercise — The Kettlebell Crawl — is partly inspired by both of these movements (plus the Mammalian Crawl). In fact, the very awesome JP Sears developed this exercise with dumbbells when he worked with me years ago at the CHEK Institute as a CHEK Faculty Member.
The real trick is working into it very carefully, because it’s a lot harder than it looks. It’s a good exercise too as it works your core very solidly.
In my vlog below, I’ll show you how to perform this exercise in a less advanced way (dumbbells) and a more advanced way (kettlebells).
For both exercises, hold onto the handles of each weight, keep your spine parallel to the ground, activate your core and pick up the weights as you crawl. You don’t need to move fast as you’re doing it. Generally, moving backward will be harder than going forward too.
Just remember that the heavier the weights you’re using, the tougher it can be and this exercise can really work your core pretty hard. (Be very careful with using kettlebells, or you can flip them over and possibly break your wrists.)
Make sure you’re not doing this before you do things like squats, lunges, deadlifts or overhead pushing. The last thing you want to do is fry your core before you do functional exercises, or you’ll be buying an orthopedic surgeon a new car…
Being smart means being ready for this exercise too, because it requires pretty good stability in the arms, wrists, shoulders and, generally, your whole body.
It’s better to start with lighter weights so you can build up over time from 20-30 seconds to more than a minute, depending on what you want to accomplish. Don’t move up to heavier weights until you can do three sets with light loads.
For me, a typical set involves crawling about twice as far as you’ll see in my vlog (25-30 feet in one direction, then the other). You may only want to go forward in the beginning and work up to moving backward with dumbbells or kettlebells when you’re stronger.
Again, it would be A VERY GOOD IDEA to review my Bear Crawl and Reptilian Crawl blog/vlog from earlier this year and practice the movements even before you start working with weights too.
If you want to learn more about kettlebells and what they can do for you, consider taking Mastering The Kettlebell, the online course taught by Kettlebell Sport World Champion Mike Salemi. You’ll start with the fundamentals and work your way up to learning the various exercises you can perform (safely) with a kettlebell.
If you want to get a taste for what you’ll be learning, I hope you’ll watch two recent kettlebell circuit workouts I did with Mike at Heaven House. Mike truly does some amazing things with kettlebells!
Love and chi,