What does the recent popularity of the kettlebell teach us about training?
For many, this may seem like nothing more than an interesting new tool for us to work out with. In reality though, the kettlebell simply sheds a light on a different approach to working out. By using tools other than dumbbells, you are not in fact cheapening your workouts – you’re actually making them that much richer and more powerful.
The less ‘conventional’ the type of tool you train with, the more you are able to keep your body guessing and the more you are able to keep developing new muscle control, new awareness and new power. The kettlebell’s effectively lies not in the fact that it is a kettlebell but in the fact that it is an unusual shape and size and this forces us to adapt.
So what else might you be able to use to train? Take a look around your home and you should find that practically anything can become a powerful training tool!
How to Turn Your Chair Into a Powerful Training Tool
Take a standard dining table chair for example. This has a shape and size that makes it quite unwieldy and very unbalanced – perfect for the type of training we’re interested in.
A simple way to use this, would be to grab the back of the chair at the top with two hands. Now, hold the chair over your head and proceed to press it. This is a simple shoulder press movement, with the added challenge of the awkward angle and weight that forces you to adapt.
Better yet, you can use this to perform something akin to a tricep extension mixed with a front raise and bicep curl. In this same starting position – legs pointing toward the ceiling and hands gripped onto the top of the backrest, allow the chair to drop down behind your back so that your arms are bent over your shoulders. Now extend using your triceps, so that the chair is back to the starting position. Then lower your elbows and extend your arms, so that they are pointing out straight in front of you.
To bring the chair back, curl it using your biceps and then pull your elbows up so that they are pointing to the ceiling and the chair is behind your back.
This is a highly complex movement that will train the shoulders, the triceps, the lats, the biceps and more, all while requiring forearm strength, balance and control in order to keep the weight steady.
And of course that’s just one potential move. How about swinging the chair around your head in a ‘halo’ motion?
And the chair is just one example. The point we’re making here is that any item in your home can be used for training. And actually, the more unconventional and awkward it looks, the better it’s going to be for your training goals!
Get creative and think outside the box. Your gains will thank you!