Exercise of the Week #1


Today is the first installment of the Exercise of the Week. Each week I am going to highlight a new exercise that I'm playing around with, or an old exercise that I had forgotten about. Sometimes it’ll be a common one that you will see at my gym. I will explain what I like about it, and why I program it in.

Exercise: Bottoms up kettlebell carry

This is one that I have started to bring back recently. I love doing all variations of loaded carries and this is slowly turning into my go to.

I like this exercise because we can get a lot done at once.  First, we are getting a lot of core stability training since we are asymmetrically loaded.  I like to cue people to keep the ribs down and will have the client place his or her hand on their belly to help keep the back out of extension.

By having the bottom of the kettlebell up, we are getting a lot of reflexive training of the rotator cuff and scapula stabilizers.  This can help strengthen the rotator cuff and is a good way to get some upward rotation for people who aren’t quite mobile enough to press overhead yet.

I also think that by creating a lot of external rotation torque in this position it could help improve external rotation of the shoulder. It is also works well as a grip training exercise, you need to squeeze the handle hard.

Who do I like it for?

Everyone! Especially people who have had shoulder problems in the past or limited ranges of motion. It is a great regression of an overhead press and could help people buy some room to get into an overhead shape.

How to do it:

Start light.  Elbow should be right below the shoulder with the kettlebell out in front of you. Don’t carry it too high. Wrist should be straight and directly above your elbow, bottom of the kettlebell will go straight to the ceiling.

Coaching Cues:

Melt the handle like it’s an ice cube. This is a good way to make sure you’re gripping hard. Core stays engaged so you do go into extension (excessive arch). Lastly, make sure that the shoulder is back, and not shrugged forward. Remember to start light the first time, it does not feel good then the KB bangs onto the back of your forearm!