Marlaena and I were in Seattle last weekend for a workshop with Pavel Tsatsouline who is the founder of the RKC (Russian KettleBell Challenge) and the author of a ton of great training books. The workshop was hosted by the Kettlebility Studio
and covered three of his body weight books - Super Joints, Bullet Proof Abs and the Naked Warrior.
The morning started off with Super Joints
. We spent a few hours going over a ton of different joint mobility exercises, warm-up drills, dynamic and static stretching, contract and relax stretching and various breathing techniques. We spent a lot of time on the hips and were shown various ways to open up and find space in your hip joints so you can get better depth in your squat and deadlift. This part of the workshop was really beneficial for me because I've always had tight hips, tight hamstrings and lower back problems.
After the morning session we took a small break and then moved on to Bullet Proof Abs
. This part of the workshop was also huge for me because a lot of time was spent on power breathing and exhalation and building abdominal pressure in your mid-section to make you more stable and stronger in your lifts. This is something that I've always had difficulty with and I was glad to finally learn how to "breath behind the shield!" After the breathing techniques Pavel showed us a variety of horrendous ab and oblique exercises that made me sore for days!
The last part of the workshop focused on the Naked Warrior
which covers the one arm push-up and the pistol squat. Pavel believes that these are two of the toughest body weight exercises that you can do and if you can master them both, you are well on your way to being a fitness rock star! I was really looking forward to this portion of the workshop because I have been working on my one arm push-up and my pistol squat for the past few months. I picked up a lot of great tips and was able to do my first pistol squat with my left leg (using a kettlebell as a counter weight) and managed to bust off a few one arm push-ups off the floor using each arm. (Marlaena did pistols on both legs but had to stick to normal push-ups!)
Overall the workshop was a great experience. It was awesome to meet Pavel in person and have the opportunity to listen to him explain and demonstrate so many different exercises and drills. I'm happy that I bought and read all three books before hand too because there was so much information to take in. And I'm really glad that Marlaena took a ton of notes because by the end of the day I had already forgotten everything we had worked on that morning!
I'll be filming some of these stretches and hip mobility drills in the next few weeks and will add them to the site in one of the next updates!