Kettlebell: I Walk the Line


frostWith today’s yoga, I’ll have completed week 4 of the Skogg Kettlebell System workout regimen.

In some respects it was a good week, in others, not so much.

The prior weekend’s backpacking went well. That is, until mile 5.5 where I rolled my ankle stepping off a log putting the full weight of my pack on it as I stumbled. The final 3.5 miles to camp that day were painful and slow. No permanent damage. It only hurt when I used it. The big bummer, really was that singles tennis started again this week and I had to defer play, waiting for this to heal up. I played some mixed doubles yesterday and proved that I can move aggressively at this point even though it’s not yet fully healed.

With week 4 of the Skogg System, I was introduced to the Ladders routine. Ladders incorporates the same six moves, this time in sequence, on your left side then your right.  You start with one rep of each move, left side, right side, rest, then two reps, rest, three, three, two, and one.

As with any new routine, even though these are all the same moves, adding variety to the sequence messed me up. I couldn’t keep up. I even grazed the inside of my left knee with a swinging kettlebell. That caught my attention. In fairness, I think it’s not entirely my fault. In this DVD, Michael Skogg says during the rest, after completing the first single-rep sequence, that the breaks will get longer as the reps in each sequence increase. Not only is this not the case, as the routine progresses, the promised breaks actually never happen at all. This is a mistake in the production of the Ladders routine. When swinging a kettlebell, it’s highly inconvenient to stop and repeatedly hit pause. So I’ve dealt with this going forward by simply hitting pause after the first sequence and performing the remaining moves on my own at my own pace. I then re-fire the DVD for the cool down stretch.

After Ladders, I looked at the next scheduled sessions and saw that Roots 2 was scheduled three times in a row, followed by Ladders 2. As I was unhappy with my first go at Ladders, I didn’t want my next attempt to be at Level 2. So I replaced one of the Roots 2 workouts with another round of Ladders 1. This was a good decision. It went much better the second time around.

I’m getting stronger. During my last Roots 2 routine, I was using the 16 kg kettlebell for the first 4 moves and the 12er for the final 2. That was very encouraging. Soon, I’ll need to start shopping for a heavier bell.

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