Open Letter to Celebrity TV Trainers about Kettlebell Workouts - RE: Jillian Michaels on The Biggest Loser
Ok, so Jillian Michaels made the most common first time kettlebell swing mistake.
Jillian used her arms to muscle the kettlebell up, instead of driving from her butt.
This is a super common mistake. In fact, everyone makes this mistake the first time they pick up a kettlebell.
You pull with your arms, and then the next day your back hurts. You go ask an RKC Instructor, and he or she tells you to drive the whole movement from your butt.
Nothing to be embarrassed about.
My issue then is making this mistake on national TV in front of an audience of millions who think you are showing correct form.
How To Get Hurt Using A Kettlebell
There are two simple ways to get hurt doing a swing:
1.) Rounding your back forward while doing a swing. It's putting your spine in a weak position, while swinging a heavy weight. It's bad news.
(that's the mistake Bob Harper made when he having people do dumbbell swingson The Biggest Loser last year).
What to Do Instead: Arch your back like a deadlift or a squat.
2.) Pull with your arms and lower back. Pulling with your arms is going to force you to pull from your lower back, also putting unhealthy stress on the lower back.
(this is the mistake that Jillian made doing kettlebell swings on The Biggest Loser this year. Jackie Warner from Workout made the same mistake)
What to do instead: Drive from your glutes and hamstrings. It takes the load off of your arms and your lower back - similar to a deadlift.
So I found this video of it on YouTube - if it was me I wouldn't have laughed at the end 'cause no one learns anything when they're being laughed at. And clearly Jillian can learn some things about kettlebell movements.
It's just wrong... in every way. All of it. Every single thing she does is wrong. Squatting the kettlebell instead of sitting back, using a light kettlebell (you couldn't use a correctly sized kettlebell and do everything that wrong), all arms... well, lets just focus on not getting hurt for starters.
The two ways to get hurt are the two most common
things people do the first time they do swings.
I don't want to see that on TV, get hurt, and then think that kettlebell swings are dangerous... When in fact what's dangerous is doing them wrong.
I'll Teach You To Do The Kettlebell Swing Correctly
Jillian, Jackie, Bob... celebrity/TV trainers of the world: I just want to you to demonstrate correct form. I know you are trying... You just need to get some instruction on how to do it.
I recommend all celebrity trainers get five sessions with an RKC Certified Instructor.
I'm going to make an offer to any trainer who is on TV: If you fly out to Denver, I'll teach you how for free.
Or maybe you aren't a kettlebell instructor, and you don't want to be. If your producer makes you do a kettlebell segment I can still help you at least demonstrate it correctly on TV.
If you are doing part of the show on kettlebell workouts I'll be your technical adviser.
I just want your audience to see kettlebell movements performed with correct form.
What Not To Do
I'm going to ask that all trainers, not just celebrity trainers, but ALL trainers not teach kettlebell movements if they don't know to do them correctly.
Actually, I'll make the blanket statement: DO NOT TEACH ANYTHING YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO TEACH.
The reality is, knowing how to do a kettlebell swing correctly is only the first step. There is a big gap between knowing how to DO something, and knowing how to TEACH something.
It doesn't matter if you are a celebrity trainer - if you haven't gotten some instruction from an RKC Certified Instructor, you don't know how to do a kettlebell swing.
And if you aren't RKC Certified, you don't know how to teach it.
I've Got A Fever, and the Only Prescription is More Cow Bell
Every time "Don't Fear the Reaper" comes on the radio, someone in the gym runs up, points at the kettlebells and yells: "More cow bell! More cow bell!"
Ultimately, it's really good that kettlebell workouts are going mainstream.
I think it's just at that point where Stability Balls were ten years ago - everyone knew they were cool and trendy, but most people were doing totally ridiculous things with them.
I really appreciate the publicity that comes from big name, celebrity trainers talking about kettlebells.
I think it's awesome now another million people will know what kettlebells are... and not call them "kettle balls" or "cow bells".
Darwin Award Nominated Actress
Kettlebell training is on par with learning a martial art. Except dropping a kettlebell on your head will hurt more than getting hit in the face.
If you aren't ready to get instruction from an RKC, then please at least get the book and DVD Enter the Kettlebell, by RKC Head Instructor Pavel.
Even a quick review of the DVD and you'll have a better idea of how to do the swing than most celebrity trainers.
Into The Future?
Jillian was right about a few things: Kettlebells are a great way to burn fat, lose weight, and to have more fun working out.
Maybe celebrity trainers will get some more information about how to do kettlebell swings correctly.
And then the next time you see kettlebells on The Biggest Loser, or Fit TV, or Workout... then millions of people will learn how to do kettlebell swings with awesome, powerful, safe, effective form.
I'm hoping they all take me up on my offer. Or if not me, then another RKC.
Seeing kettlebells on TV at all is an enormous step forward for the fitness of America.
Seeing them done correctly would be the next level.
Josh Hillis is a Level 2 RKC
Josh Hillis is a Level 2 RKC
Find out how Josh can be your coach at Josh Hills Platinum Coaching Club Josh is the author of the ever-popular fat loss e-book: The Stubborn Seven Pounds If you've already completed The Stubborn Seven Pounds, take it to the next level with one of these two programs:
Find out how Josh can be your coach at Josh Hills Platinum Coaching Club
Josh is the author of the ever-popular fat loss e-book: The Stubborn Seven Pounds
If you've already completed The Stubborn Seven Pounds, take it to the next level with one of these two programs:
"I've seen more results in 6 weeks training with Josh than I saw
in the previous two years working out on my own" -Stephanie Weis
"I've seen more results in 6 weeks training with Josh than I saw in the previous two years working out on my own" -Stephanie Weis