10 Exercises to warm up your posterior chain for Kettlebell training and BJJ!

¬10 exercises for your Posterior Chain

Warming up in my professional opinion is without a doubt the most important thing you can do before exercising. I realized this about 10 years ago when I first embarked on my Kettlebell journey. We had a certified kettlebell coach teaching a boot camp once a week at my old gym SoCal MMA. The coach was insistent that I use a heavy weight because I wan an MMA fighter and a man. Even though I had zero kettlebell training, I listened to him. After every class, my lower back was killing me! I thought to myself, “I must be doing something wrong.” After a few classes I realized that it wasn’t me, it was the lack of a good, solid warm up!
Our warm up consisted of halos with 16kg bells and swings. Not the ideal warm up when you are about to engage in any type of kettlebell training. I eventually took over the KB boot camp at my gym and made warming up a priority. In the 10 years that I have been training with kettlebells, I have narrowed it down to the 2 areas of the bodies that endure the most injuries. These areas are the lower back, and the shoulders.
The kettlebell swing is an explosive exercise that emphasizes your posterior chain. Your lower back is a crucial part of this chain. If you injure your back, it is extremely painful and uncomfortable. When your lower back is injured, walking, bending over, getting out of bed and just about everything you do will be painful. It is my number one priority that all of my clients stay injury free. If any of my students leave my gym injured, then I failed them as a coach. I can not have that on my conscience.
I know the name Kettle-Jitsu may be misleading. People may assume its just about kettlebell training. But, in my programs, body weight is just as important as kettlebell. In fact, in my classes, it consists of 30 minutes of body weight and 30 minutes of kettlebell. This is the protocol I follow on all of my downloads. The first 30 minutes of body weight training are preparing you to work with the kettlebell in the last 30 minutes of the workout.
In the first 30 minutes of my classes, we focus on warming up our entire body with mobility, isometrics, core exercises, ab training and body weight training. There is a huge emphasis on warming up the posterior chain. That way, when we get to the body weight training, the chances of you getting any type of injury are miniscule.

The enclosed video contains 10 of the exercises we use in every class I teach. I even include these my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes! I urge you to implement these into your daily routine. Since these are body weight exercises, you can do them anywhere! You can even wake up in the morning and do these in your living room before work! Have a look at this video and try them out for yourself!

The kettlebel figure 8 for MMA Striking

¬The Kettlebell Figure 8 for MMA Striking
Close to 10 years ago when I started developing my Kettlejitsu system, I discovered you can mimic fighting movements with a Kettlebell. The rocking chair and snake move are the first exercises that I experimented with. I was astonished at how well they worked together! I became obsessed! So, I wondered, could I utilize striking movements with the kettlebell? The answer is yes! I saw someone do a figure 8 to a hold back then and I though, that looks similar to an uppercut! That’s when I started working on the fighter’s figure 8 and the KB uppercut. It later led to me developing swings and other striking movements from a fighting (staggered) stance.
But first things first. I believe it is easiest to start working on these movements with the basic figure 8 first. Why? Because it is from the same stance most KB exercises utilize. So, you will have a basic, shoulder width stance. I have seen many figure 8 variations. I use a hinging movement with this exercise. I have seen variations where people stay hunched over and just use arm momentum to feed the bell in a figure 8 fashion. I tried this method and really got nothing from it. By utilizing the hinge in the basic figure 8, and since the bell is being fed in between the legs and on the outside of the body, it hits your core in an entirely different manner than a swing.
Couple of tips! I grab the bell by the corner and feed it to my other hand so it can gram the opposite corner of the bell. If you grab the handle by center of the bell, when you feed the bell through your legs, you may accidentally grab your own hand and drop the bell. Also, I suggest using a light bell to practice.
Once you get the hang of the basic figure 8, you can progress to a figure 8 to a hold, bottoms up uppercuts, ballistic uppercuts and the fighters figure 8. Some of these can be found on my Kettle-Jitsu Revolution download.
I definitely recommend adding the Kettlebell figure 8 and its variations to your workouts. They are super fun and add a ton of variety to your training! You do not have to be a combat athlete to enjoy and benefit from them!

Intermittent Fasting: what are the benefits?

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If you have been following my blog for the last couple of years than you may have purchased my KB Strength and conditioning program. On this program I was able to lose 20lbs in 2 months and subsequently win my first world championship at black belt! Intermittent fasting is a key factor in my KB strength program and helped reached my fat loss goals. Now I have talked about how great it is to shed unwanted fat. But, there are a lot of other benefits of intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting is very common practice in the fitness community and amongst people trying to lose weight. There has been a lot of research on the subject the last few years. So now, there is conclusive scientific evidence to support the numerous benefits of intermittent fasting. Some benefits include: 1. insulin levels drop which speeds up fast loss 2. growth hormone levels increase 3. reduces inflammation in the body which can reduce the risk of some diseases 4. It can help prevent cancer 5. May improve your lifespan.
Those are a few benefits of adding intermittent fasting to your everyday routine. There are a few different methods of intermittent fasting as well. Since everyone is different, I recommend finding the fasting method that works for you. To give you an example of a fasting protocol, we will use my daily routine.
Monday morning, I wake up at 4am and make a double shot of espresso and drink a bottle of water. Coffee is a diuretic and will help you get rid of any waste in your body from the previous day. Plus, coffee has natural occurring caffeine which is proven to help fat loss. I teach and train in my 5:30am KB class, teach 6:30am BJJ class then take a power nap. I wake up then it’s another shot of espresso and I teach another class. By that time, it’s about 11am and I have my first meal after that. I follow that routine every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, I wake up and hit the espresso again. On these days I typically go for a hike with my doggy, or just rest depending on how I feel. My first meal is about 1:30pm or 2pm.
Keep in mind that during my fasting period, I drink a lot of water. That, and the coffee keep me feeling full. If you do not like coffee, try tea. Particularly a tea that has some caffeine in it. Green tea is a great substitute.
So basically, I intermittent fast more or less until lunch. Remember, if you want to lose weight, fasting helps reduce your caloric intake. This is necessary for burning that stubborn belly fat.
I hope this gives you all a better understanding of intermittent fasting. It has numerous benefits such as losing weight, helps fight disease and increases your growth hormone levels. If you want to go more in depth of its benefits, there are tons of articles on it on the internet. I recommend experimenting with different protocols to see which works for you.