TRAINING TIPS: SINGLE ARM OVERHEAD KETTLEBELL/ DUMBBELL LUNGE
The Single Arm Overhead Kettlebell/ Dumbbell Lunge is one of the most underrated exercises that should be added to your arsenal. This exercise works the entire posterior chain: feet, ankles, calves, hamstrings, glutes, abductors, erector spinaes, lats, shoulder girdle (traps, rhomboids, pectoralis, deltoids), triceps, forearms, and hands, just to name a few. Not only will your other lifts get stronger, you will start to develop a stronger neurological pathway with your posterior chain.
Why is that important? The form on your lifts will get better, and you will be able to help prevent future imbalance injuries. And in case you didn’t already know, most injuries are caused by an ergonomic imbalance. I believe you are only as strong as your weakest link. For me, that’s the “Great College Ankle Sprain” from playing basketball in running shoes. Because of my weak ankle, my squat, bench, and deadlift form all suffered. You might not notice a difference when lifting 225lb, however when you start to bench, deadlift, and squat 500lb +, you will eventually get hurt. For me that was shoulder pain, pulled hamstrings, strained biceps, plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, and a sharp reoccurring knee pain.
4 weeks after adding the Single Arm Overhead Kettlebell/ Dumbbell Lunge, and a few other posterior chain movements (click here), I have noticed a huge positive difference in my biomechanics and strength, and a decrease in my pain levels.
SINGLE ARM OVERHEAD KETTLEBELL/ DUMBBELL LUNGE
Begin by performing a single arm clean and press, or single arm snatch. Push the weight towards the ceiling in the locked-out position with a slight bend at the elbow. Your forearms should be fully engaged throughout the exercise. After you have your balance, step forward like an ordinary lunge. Stand up and repeat with the opposite leg. I prefer to walk while performing this exercise. If you don’t have enough room to walk, you can substitute with standing in place lunges. Just like with a walking lunge, begin by taking a step forward. However, instead of continuing to move forward, stand up and step back into your starting position. If you are walking, your goal should be 25-50 yards with each arm.
If you want to get stronger, leaner, or have had some pain issues, the Single Arm Overhead Kettlebell/ Dumbbell can help. See below for a few tips.
- Start with a light weight. Strength is important, but activation of the posterior chain should be your priority.
- You can add the Single Arm Overhead Kettlebell/ Dumbbell Lunge to your warm-up or cool-down. It is a good idea to rotate between both to keep your body guessing.
- Breath in as you step forward, and exhale as you stand up.
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