Important Kettlebell Safety Tip!

This video talks about the importance of seeking out a qualified kettlebell coach. To learn how to warm up properly and use proper kettlebell technique, purchase the Kettlejitsu Revolution 8 week kettlebell and body weight training program now! Click here! Kettlejitsu Revolution Kj rev banner

 

 

The Kettlebell Clean and Rip Flow: Free workout sample!

Flow type workouts are unique to kettlebell and body weight alone. There is simple no other workout device that allows you to do it. In the Kettle-Jitsu system, flows are a combination of several exercises or movements combined into one seamless compound exercise. When performed correctly, flows challenge your conditioning, focus, timing, coordination and rhythm. The clean and rip kettlebell flow is one of the flows found on my Kettle-Jitsu revolution digital download. Keep in mind that the enclosed video is just a brief sample of the workout. For the workout in its entirety, order your copy of the Kettle-Jitsu Revolution 8 week digital down load.
The workout is as follows,
1 minute clean and rip flow
30 seconds alternating rows
30 seconds alternating high pulls

2 Minute Body weight workout for BJJ

Kettle-Jitsu body weight flows are an excellent source of conditioning for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, fat loss and other combat sports. In my Kettle-JItsu system, I have what I call a body weight long combo.  This means, 2 different compound body weight exercises combined together for an extended period of time.  In my classes we do rounds of 2 or 3 minutes for these long combos. In this workout we are combining what I call a 10 count body builder with a traditional burpee.  In my classes we always do a joint mobility warm up and drill each movement in the body weight flow.  For example. With the 10 count body builders, we drill sprawls for 30 seconds, hindu push ups for 30 seconds and peak outs for 30 seconds. Then we repeat for several sets. That can be left to your discretion. I usually play to the level of the class.  After that we drill each compound body weight exercise for one minute rounds each. This means one minute of burpees and one minute of 10 count bodybuilders. After that you should be thoroughly warm and ready for the long combo.

To perform the this long combo, do the 10 count body builder all the way through followed by to burpees. Then continuously repeat for 2 minutes straight. You will find that this long combo will challenge all of your muscles and your focus simultaneously.  So it is important to stay alert! The beauty of this workout is that you can do it anywhere you please. In your living room, the beach, the park or your dojo! For more workouts like this, check out my dvd Kettle-Jitsu revolution!

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Double Kettlebell grip training for BJJ/MMA

Grip training is a subject I wanted to touch on for some time now. I definitely have some serious opinions on it.  As you already may know, I have been training in martial arts for over 30 years. I am also a competitive Brazilian Jiu JItsu fighter.  I have won and lost many BJJ matches. I have never thought to myself after one of my losses that my grip strength cost me the match.  I also have a lot of friends that train with kettlebells, but also do macebell and clubbell work. Which to me, doesnt make sense. I believe macebells and clubbells are not nearly as efficient as kettlebells. I have even asked my friends why the include those implements as well. They always say, “well its really good for grip strength.”  Which brings me to my next question. “Why does an average person need grip strength?” I honestly dont even think BJJ fighters need extra grip strength.  Isnt the whole point of jiu jitsu to not use strength. If you are dependent on grip strength in you bjj matches your technique must be off.  By training BJJ regularly, you will develop the conditioning needed in your forearms needed in training, If you do extra strength and conditioning, then you should be good to go.

The 2 types of strength and conditioning I do are body weight and kettlebell.  I dont really feel I need anything else.  Although I do not do any extra specific grip training. Every kettlebell workout challenges your grip to an extent. Some more than others. Which brings me to this basic double kettlebell workout that will have your forearms firing off like you just finished a BJJ match in a tournament!  First let me say this is an example and not meant to be an instructional.  Next, before any kettlebell workout I do a good 20 minute body weight and mobility workout. This insures that Im thoroughly warmed up and prevents injury.

The double kettlebell workout consists of 5 different exercises.  1.double dead cleans 2. double overhead presses 3. double swings 4. double rows 5. burpees

What challenges your grip is that fact that you do not put the bells down until the burpees. This workout is put into what I call a pyramid. You want to do 5 reps of each exercise. then move up to 10 reps. Last you go back down the pyramid to 5 reps.  By the time you are working up to 10 you should feel that burn in your forearms! So be careful! Enjoy!

To learn more workouts like this, check out the Kettlejitsu 8 week kettlebell and body weight dvd here!  http://kjrevolution.com/?page_id=19

Animal Style Workout Variations for BJJ

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Animal style movement training seems to be pretty popular nowadays. Its hardly anything new. Animal style training can date back to the monks of the Shaolin temple. They used many different animal movements in their Kung fu.  I first was introduced to animal style workouts back in about 1994 when I Trained at Romero Calvacanti’s(jacare) Master BJJ gym in Atlanta.  Animal movements are one of the standard warm ups used in a lot of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gyms world wide.  Now animal movements have caught on to the mainstream. Since functional training is so popular now, animal style workouts fit right in. They are full body movements that can be performed almost anywhere.  In this video I am doing some variations that I have developed my self. The movements in the video will help with your conditioning, agility, mobility and coordination.  Stay tuned for my upcoming Body Weight 4 BJJ programs! It will contain and encyclopedia of BJJ/MMA specific movements and workouts!. Enjoy! 

To Purchase Joey’s Kettle-Jitsu Revolution 8 week Kettlebell and body weight workout dvd, click here!! http://kjrevolution.com/?page_id=19

Kettlebell S Get Up for BJJ/MMA

The Kettlebell S Get Up

I think anybody who trains with kettlebells knows what a Turkish get up is. It is an amazing full body exercise. I love it and have a very particular way of teaching it. But, at my gym, I teach large groups at once. Most of the time they are vary in fitness levels. Since the TGU contains so many movements, plus the fact that involves holding the bell in an overhead lock out position, it is not always ideal to teach in that type of environment. This is what inspired me to develop the S Get Up.  I wanted to do a get up, that was challenging enough for advanced people, yet easy enough for a novice to learn and enjoy.

Like the Turkish Get up, the S Get up is a compound movement. It contains several movements rolled into one.  Like a lot of my movements, its based off of a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu position. In the SGU your legs are in an S shape that is used in many BJJ techniques.  Ive eliminated the overhead position in this get up to make it safer and easier to learn. Plus, even though it is challenging, I feel that holding a bell in the overhead position has little practicality in BJJ or life in general.

When I teach any routine in my classes, I like to break down each movement and drill each one for 30 second intervals. That way, my students get the feel for it. The same goes for the SGU.  First, I break down each step using body weigh only. Then I put it together in a flow. After drilling the body weight version for several rounds, we apply the kettlebell to it. Start by drilling the lying S press for 30 seconds on each side. Next, drill the S squats for 30 seconds on each side. Same thing with rows and cleans. You can repeat these exercises as much as you like. Then, I put it all together into a 3 minute round. 2 minutes of alternating SGU, 20 seconds of rows and Burpees for the last 30 seconds.

Please remember that you must always warm up thoroughly before rigorous training. My workouts always consist of joint mobility, core warm ups and body weight warm ups before even touching a kettlebell. For an easy to follow kettlebell warm ups and workouts, check out my Kettle-Jitsu 8 week kettlebell and bodyweight workout program! Have fun with the SGU! Oss!

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7 BJJ/MMA Specific Kettlebell Exercises For core/hip strength

 

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7 BJJ/MMA Specific Kettlebell Exercises for core/hip strength

I’ve seen quite a few articles out there on this topic. But I’m not seeing anything new. Swings, snatches and cleans are about the only exercises I see so called kettlebell experts doing. A lot of them are putting the tag “for MMA” behind it. Even though the majority of them haven’t had any experience in that area.  Kettlebells are my single most favorite exercise tool. I have dedicated the last 10 years of my life to kettlebells and body weight training specifically for BJJ/MMA conditioning.   Over this period of time, I have developed new kettlebell movements, released 3 dvds on the subject and administered certifications all over the world with my Kettle-Jitsu system.  I am a first degree World Champion Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black belt and over the last 2 years I’ve competed in 18 BJJ tournaments.  So, I have battle tested my system as well.

After reading numerous articles on core strength for MMA/BJJ, I decided to take a stab at it.  I guess you can call this 7 unconventional BJJ/MMA specific Kettlebell exercises for core strength.  I use the word unconventional, because these aren’t the typical KB exercises you see people doing.  These are exercises I have developed myself and teach to my students regularly.

I love kettlebells because they allow for more natural movements. You can do a lot of sports specific movements with them.  When I design workouts, I think in terms of practicality as well as effectiveness.  I have seen people recently lay 400 lb barbells over their hips to develop hip strength.  Im not saying it doesn’t work, but in terms of practicality, it doesn’t suit me.  I teach large classes, so using a kettlebell allows me to utilize minimal space and still deliver an amazing workout. Here are my top 7 exercises for hip power:

  1. Snake move: In MMA/BJJ you have to know how to fight off of your back period.  Snake move is an essential movement that you have to master if you want to fight off of your back effectively.  Adding a kettlebell to this movement mimics fighting off of your back to a t.
  2. Rocking chair: This is another BJJ bodyweight exercise adapted with a kettlebell.  This is one way to regain the standing position in combat sports. It is also used in numerous transitional techniques in Brazilian jiu jitsu.  It hits your core and hips directly.  I like to add a press to this exercise to hit more muscle groups simultaneously.
  3. Upa: Prounounced oo-pah. This the third BJJ body weight exercise adapted with a kettlebell. Upa is typically used for escaping the mount and as a way to offset your opponents balance. Bridging is a common movement found in the ground fighting.
  4. Turkish presses: Some people refer to this as a quarter get up. But this is a partial movement of an exercise commonly called “standing up in base” in BJJ.  It is another movement that is used almost every time you are fighting off of your back. It has a ton of applications.
  5. Double kettlebell swings: Double kettlebell training means double the power. This swing variations will take your hip and core power to another level.  Mastering swings and the hip hinge will take your sprawls to new heights.
  6. Hopping swings:  This is a swing variation that hits your core differently than traditional swings. It adds explosiveness to it.  Hopping back and forth builds momentum, so your core works harder to stabilize your body. Otherwise, this exercise can throw you off balance big time!
  7. Bridge and sprawl:  In this one, im combining 2 of common movements used in ground fighting.  This exercise also requires coordination, agility and focus into one flowing movement.

I was training a fighter for his UFC debut once. We were using these exercises combined into a circuit and afterwards he said, “Man, I felt like I was in a fight the whole time!” To make a routine like this you will typically need various different training devices. But, with a little creativity, a kettlebell can do it more efficiently. Enjoy!

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3 Minute Total Body Weight Circuit

When developing workouts for my classes and dvd’s, one of the main concepts I use is what I call the “balance principle.” This basically means, I try to hit all of your major muscle groups evenly. So after a Kettle-Jitsu workout, you should never feel like you just got a leg workout, or just a core workout. By combining as many muscle groups into your workouts, you will get that metabolic effect. I use this principle with both body weight and kettlebell training.

For this particular body weight workout, I combine dynamic exercises that hit multiple muscles simultaneously to give the circuit an anaerobic effect. I call this the Lunge/Touch and kick circuit. This is a 3 minute nonstop circuit in which you change exercises every 30 seconds. There are 4 exercises.  1. The lunge/touch and kick 2. Walk out to a push up 3. Mountain climbers 4. Burpees.  In my classes, before any workout, we start off with joint mobility and some light body weight movements. I cant stress enough how important this is. This prepares your body for rigorous training and helps to prevent injuries. We do an ab pyramid, then break down each movement in the circuit for 30 seconds with a 15 second rest in between. To have a better understanding of this formula, check out my Kettle-Jitsu Revolution dvd.  It follows the same aforementioned format.  After this, you should be ready to start the Lung/Touch and kick circuit!

Instructions:  Set your timers to 3 minutes with 30 second intervals.  We rest for 30 seconds in between rounds. I use a ringside mma timer.  These are great because you can set it to ring every 30 seconds. This lets you know when to change exercises.  To perform the circuit, start with lunge/touch and kick(right leg back, kick w left) for 30 seconds, walkout/push up 30 seconds, lunge/touch kick(left leg back, kick w right) for 30 seconds, walkout/push up 30 seconds, mountain climbers for 30 seconds followed by burpees for the final 30 seconds.  Repeat as many times as you like. At my gym SoCal mma, we do 3 rounds and follow it up with our kettlebell workout.

You will feel this circuit everywhere! Enjoy!

How to train around your injuries

How to train while injured

  If you train regularly, there is a pretty good chance you may come across an injury or two.  Regardless of what fitness system you practice or martial art you practice, injuries are a common occurrence.  There are disciplines where you will be more susceptible to injuries. For instance Mixed Martial Arts and Brazilian jiu jitsu are both combat arts.  When you practice fighting, bumps, bruises, strains etc… are going to happen sooner or later. I even know women who have twisted their ankles doing Zumba! So does this mean that you should not exercise when injured? Absolutely not! There are ways to train around your injuries.

A perfect example of this is yours truly. I was training for my 16th Bjj tournament as a brown belt recently.  Then I started to feel some discomfort in my shoulder.  Day by day the pain got worse to the point where any pushing or pulling exercises became very difficult to do.  This was extremely frustrating because I could not do any pressing or rowing movements without feeling pain. Same goes for my Jiu Jitsu training.  Bjj involves constant pushing and pulling.  One of my students a Kinesiology major and therapist diagnosed it as tendonitis. She said basically it has to heal itself and that I should limit movement with my left arm. She also worked on it regularly which helped tremendously.

I could not stop training. So little by little I figured out how to work around it.  Push ups hurt. But doing them slowly from my knees were doable.  I could also do stagger push ups and hindu push ups. Kettlebell presses hurt as well. So, instead of doing over head presses, I substituted them for jerks.  Rowing movements were painful as well. But I realized by changes my rows using a kettlebell with my palm facing inward worked.  As far as my Jiu Jitsu goes, I had to adapt my game a bit and use my right arm more than my left. By keeping my elbow tight to my body while training helped tremendously.  Another important aspect of injuries is how to take care of it after your training. Ice packs are a regular thing for me. Its always good to keep a few in the freezer at all time. Massages and stretching are great as well.

So those are a few ideas on how you can train around your injuries! Being injured does not mean you have to stop working out. Just be mindful of your injuries and learn to find the exercises that you can do.  It worked for me and I ended up winning the gold medal in the IBBJF Las Vegas Open! 10431469_10204386064921242_3909085898004984494_n

Best Kettlebell Exercise for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!

jiu jitsu magazine articletgu sale $17Get the Ultimate TGU on sale now for only $17! ass seen in the latest issue of Jiu JItsu magazine! Click the above banner or this link!Ultimate Turkish Get Up Program download Or, get Save $$$$ and purchase the Kettle-Jitsu Revolution 8 week program and Ultimate TGU together for only $47!!! Click the below banner or this link to save! Kj revolution/Ultimate TGU combo!New web banner package dealTurkish Get Ups are one of the initial exercises that I knew had a direct connection to MMA and Bjj.  The mechanics of the TGU are almost identical to a movement in BJJ called, Standing up in base or the Technical lift. The TGU is the best kettlebell exercise for BJJ for 3 reasons. 1. You work your pushing, pulling, squatting/lunging movements all in one exercise. 2. it has numerous applications in actual BJJ techniques. 3. It works motor skills we are not accustomed to doing in every day life. Therefor it enhances your coordination.  Most traditional Bjj dojos practice this via body weight on a daily basis.  Standing up in base has many applications in jiu jitsu. It has also evolved into a movement necessary for the “scrambling aspect” of Mixed Martial Arts. Scrambling is the art of regaining the standing position in an MMA fight.  If you are not good at scrambling, then you will have a shot career in MMA.  So, drilling the mechanics of Standing up in base is a must. In the enclosed video, I have several variations of the TGU and Brazilian get up and some applications with a partner. Implement these into your mma and kb training and you will experience tremendous gains! Be sure to check out Joey Alvarado’s article on the Turkish Get Up in the latest issue of Jiu Jitsu Magazine!