Simple & Sinister : The Day After

Kettlebell swings have to be one of the weirdest exercises I have ever tried. By a long shot.

As soon as I woke up the day after my S&S workout, while not particularly stiff, I felt soreness in my triceps and trapezius muscles. Hamstrings got a severe beating, as expected, and most surprisingly even the insides of my thighs (the adductor group of muscles) got a workout.

V complained that the soles of his feet had just died.

And I couldn’t tell you whether my muscles gave out or my cardiovascular system first, because my heart was pumping hard after just a couple of sets of swings.

This was definitely a WTH moment for us, that a single exercise would do this much and more, all in a span of 15 minutes total.

Compare that to a typical workout session at the gym, where you work on groups of muscles at a time. (Everyone in the know will now share a quiet chuckle at the concept of chest day, leg days, back days :D)

Tim ferriss talks about the humble Kettlebell swing and how it works the entire posterior chain of the body, which you use for pulling, lifting, jumping, running and almost any activity you can think of.

The posterior chain is the group of muscles, connective tissue and fascia, all acting as a single unit, running from the back of your neck all the way down to the heels and the soles of your feet.

The only movement it isn’t used primarily for is pushing motions, like the bench press.

And girls, if you want the perfect butt, you know which exercise to do now. šŸ˜€

As an aside, if you want to know more about Tim Ferriss’ adventures in crafting the perfect female backside, you should go check out his book, The Four Hour Body.

I like to get a couple of sleep cycles (and atleast one) to know how a particular workout has fared and how well my body is recovering. And Pavel Tsatsouline wasn’t wrong when he claimed that S&S will leave enough gas in the tank to be more or less fully functional the rest of the day. I went hiking later in the day, for God’s sake.

Also, the fact remains that if you want want your body to switch to burning fat rather than storing it, you need to get in some high intensity and extremely short duration interval training. And what are kettlebell swings, if not high intensity intervals. And definitely better than doing sprints, as they’re easier on the joints and you only need a space of about 4×6 feet to swing some iron, rather than a 50m track.

Add in some Turkish get ups, and this comes as close to the ideal of the perfect exercise (if there’s such a thing) than almost anything else I can think of.

Of course, as to how well it worked for me, that’ll only become apparent after a couple of months.

I’m also doing thrice weekly sessions of PNF stretching, which leave me a bit sore. My hamstrings are finally getting looser for the first time in years, which is very exciting for me! But this also takes away from my focus on the S&S kettlebell workouts. I hope I’ll have something concrete for you in the coming weeks.

Next in our series, is the history of the kettlebell, both ancient and somewhat more recent.

Did you have an amazing or less-than-amazing experience with kettlebells? Leave a comment below.

Yash Chheda


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