Chicken Soup…I Mean , Coffee For Your Mobility

Alarm buzz’n at 430am means I’ve only got 2hrs before the madness that is a being a fire fighter/ paramedic in a big city begins. It sucks having to force yourself outta bed so early, but this is the life I chose  to lead and I’m happy to live it. It still blows though. I would much rather go by the internal 24 clock nature gave us with the circadian rhythm cycle. ( In a nut shell, our circadian rhythm helps regulate our bodies response to light and dark. Sun rise = get your ass up. Sunset = lights out. )

The golden badges at the station kind of have an issue with their guys showing up 3 hrs late…kind of.

Since my internal clock is a little screwed up when it comes to sleeping/waking, I need that extra jolt of  the natural “espresso” that comes with an early morning training and/or  joint mobility (JM) session.  I had just finished a hard session with the kettlebells the previous day when I came up with the following JM session. It involves doing 3 basic body weighted movements;

(1) Squats

(2) Hindu Push Up to Pumps

(3) Get Up ” High Bridges”.

That’s it! Reps, sets, numbers is completely up to you. You can combine them all into one movement or break it up for reps. Be creative, but stay mobile and strong….especailly after a hard session the day before.

Regardless of what you come up with, you’re going to finish feeling like you can take on a grizzly or a very temperamental bunny. IMHO, they provide a great deal of movement and mobility in pretty much every joint in your body. (no or limited rest will get the blood flowing as well)

Here’s a workout I did the other morning that had me feeling like a warrior all day. I needed to sleep in a bit so I had about 10-12min to get in a session. The only rest I took was the transitions b/t movements. Got the blood moving like a freak’n cheetah!

Descending Morning Mobility Ladder

1( 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 ) of  Squat->Hindu Push Up to Pumps->High Bridges

  • 10 squats, 10 hindupu2pumps, 10 high bridges
  • 9 squats, 9 hindupu2pumps, 9 high bridges
  • 8, squats, 8 hindupu2pumps, 8 high bridges
  • …… get the point.

Give it a shot and let me know what you come up with.


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If It’s Broken, Then Fix It With Swings And Get Ups

The weeks after the RKC cert. in San Jose found me fixing our house up to sell, preparing for a baby, starting my business, and trying to squeeze RKC practice somewhere in there. If life isn’t crazy, it’s boring. During the insanity that is selling and buying a home at the same time, our potential buyers requested that we replace our current HVAC with a brand new one, in which their AC guy, friend, relative, spouse, whatever quoted us a measly $7,000 for the job… replace an entire unit…that hasn’t given us any issues over 6yrs…that is still fully operational….WTF??!!  This reminded me of…me when I got bitten by the “kettlebell-bug” 3 yrs ago. Sure swings and get ups are OK, but man those presses and snatches look freak’n fierce. Now I know that my presses and snatches are only as good as my swings and get ups.

We are so distracted by “shiny and new” that we tend to ignore the basics. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, and definitely don’t pay some whack-job 7 grand to replace a working unit.

If it is broken, in regards to mobility, stability, strength, conditioning, and performance, and a plethora of other things; fix them swings and get ups.

Needless to say, the RKC weekend was the most amazing three days of my physical/mental life.  OK, I’ll admit  I did feel the throat swell a bit when I was asked by Jeff O’Connor, MRKC, to come back as an assistant at a future cert. Yeah, the road doesn’t end at the RKC. Hell, it’s barley the beginning. “Not even the highlights of the Cliff’s notes.” as Jeff would say. Coming back as an assistant means I’ve really got to dissect these movements and take more ownership of them. Plus, I was also threatened with beatings with a 32kg by Jeff and the Iron Tamer if I let my form slip. I’m sure Dustin, Jason, Eric, and a few others (including my wife) would be in line behind them. Ever see that scene from Airplane?

I learned a lot about myself that weekend and if I could do it all over again, I would have gone to San Jose with more swings and gt ups under my belt. Don’t get me wrong. I did  freak’n ton of swings and get ups in the weeks/months/years to prep for the RKC; however, any weakness that came out at the cert. could have been remedied with more swings and get ups. They cure everything. Bad snatches? More swings and get ups. Weak press? More swings and get ups. Hemorrhoids? More swings and get ups. You get the idea.

I rewarded myself  for kick’n ace at the RKC, with a solid program of…well obviously swings and get ups. There are two reasons I am doing this;

  1. Once I get my kettlebell classes up and running, my clients will be spending a lot of time building solid foundations with these 2 pillars of the RKC school of strength. If I plan on being a successful instructor, then I need to know the ends and out of swings and get ups. I can’t expect my clients to grasp the material if I don’t take full ownership of my own technique. I want to set an example of myself by showing them that they CAN reach their goals with minimal time and equipment. All they need to bring to the table is commitment, determination, and mental toughness. Those three alone will get them farther than they imagined.
  2. The RKC cert helped bring out my strengths, but it also showed me where I need to improve. My t-spine and hip mobility suck and we all know that strength with out mobility is an oxymoron. (Jeff, thanks for opening my eyes to that  during my FMS). If my mobility issues are the disease, then FMS drills, Kalos Sthenos, Super Joints and Indian Clubs are the cure. If better snatches, heavier presses, and bigger dead lifts are my goals, then get ups and swings are the roads I’ll take to get there.

This blog will help hold me accountable for my actions. Let it also serve as a window into my world in regards to health, fitness, life, rants, humor, or whatever comes up. Feel free to comment on anything and everything. No censorship here.


Filed under training journal