Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Turkish Get-Up is not a dance step. And there is no turkey.

For some, bracing for crowds, snatching deals, lifting shopping bags, and balancing their Christmas shopping is enough of a workout on the day after Thanksgiving.  Others brace themselves in an uber-plank, snatch kettlebells, lift their own body weight, and center their balance in a whole new kind of turkey-inspired indulgence.  I would fall into the second category. But you knew that.

On Black Friday I put on my black chucks and headed to Boot Camps to Go to workout with one of my most favoritest trainers, Laurel Blackburn.  I like Laurel because she not only knows her stuff when it comes to human physiology and conditioning, but she is a stickler for the details of form and function, just like me.  You can read more about her in Women's Health and Oxygen magazines, where she's been profiled for her no-nonsense perspective on achieving physical fitness and her popular Boot Camp workouts.  She's super cool.

Anyway, I was glad to finally have some time to learn about kettlebells, the ancient workout that is the new rage among fitness types.  Read my post on Kettlebells: Know Your Pro for the info.  I was not disappointed!  Wow, not only was working with kettlebells seriously tough mentally and physically, I managed to burn off the bowl of Thanksgiving Oatmeal I had devoured on the drive over in no time.  That was pretty sweet.

Kettlebells require serious attention to form and technique, and that is what makes the certification of your instructor so important.  In just the hour that I spent learning some of the basics, I could see how this is the kind of workout that never gets stale: there is always another level of improvement, heavier bells, and more advanced technique.  Working out with kettlebells is about more than just burning calories (which it does, in droves).  It's also a deliberate way to center your focus on one task, which requires you to forget about everything else cluttering your brain.  That was pretty sweet, too.  I learned how to correctly swing the bells, how to do a kettlebell squat, and got reacquainted with the fact that I am so not flexible.  Check me out in my super-fly workout gear! Oh yeah. I'm glamorous.

I think my favorite part of my Black Friday workout, though, was the nap.  What?  Okay, I didn't actually take a nap but I did get to lie down.  When Laurel told me we were going to do the Turkish Get-up I wasn't sure if she was going to give me her Thanksgiving leftovers or teach me a new dance step. It wasn't either of those.  Instead, well, it's easier to show you.  This video is long, but watch it anyway.

Learning this move was interesting, and I've been practicing it at home. It's a full-body exercise and a great way to start the day!

Look, it's a crucial time of year for staying healthy. The average person puts on seven pounds just in December!  If you want to avoid that, shake up the routine: increase intensity, try something new, and challenge yourself to not become a weight gain statistic.  For you locals, Laurel has a Monday, Wednesday, Friday KB class starting up in December - register for it!  If you're not from these parts, find a certified kettlebell instructor near you and give 'em a shot!

Consider it a Christmas gift to yourself. :)


Stacy L said...

Turkish get ups are E-V-I-L, but oh so effective!! I love to hate them. Much like my kettlebell. I love to hate it too! It works me like nothing else I've ever tried. I'm just finishing up a challenge issued to me: 200 kb swings in under 10 minutes every day in November! Today is the last day, woohooo!!! That's 6000 swings!!! I've gained incredible strength and my butt has never looked better, lol!! Glad to see that you've been turned on to the kb too :)

The (not so) Reluctant Athlete said...

Wow, that is really intense. EVERY DAY?! So what is your December challenge?

Stacy L said...

My December challenge is to learn how to stop accepting challenges, lol!!