Death by Kettlebells: Flux Motion with ClassPass

Who gets up early on a Sunday morning, already having lost an hour of
precious sleep as the clocks spring forward, and heads to try out a kettlebell
workout for the first time? Me. Guilty!
Inspired by my session at Lomax on Wednesday in which I was asked where I’d
learnt my kettlebell technique (I hadn’t, I’d just watched and copied others at
the gym), I signed up for a kettlebell class at Flux Motion. The studio is on
Fulham Palace Road near Putney Bridge, just a few minutes walk from my flat, so
I had no excuse not to make it to my 9.30am class on Sunday, despite the
downpour and dreary weather.
I arrived at the studio with a few minutes to spare and met two fellow
newbies who were also signed up with classpass. A dimly lit basement room with
a grungy vibe seemed the perfect place to swing some weights around and lined
along the walls were our chosen weapons for the day: the kettlebells. What
initially struck me was their size, each colour was a different weight but they
all seemed the same size, bulky and difficult manoeuvre. Our instructor for the
class was writing our WOD on a whiteboard on the wall, giving the essence of a
crossfit vibe and although I recognised some of the lingo some words were
foreign to me.
We kicked off with a warm up and the newbies were told to choose the baby
pink bells (4kg) to start with (little offended, but I’m glad I listened to the
advice). After a little mobility work and some stretches it was time for the
real fun to begin.
On the wall was a digital clock and armed with our sets of kettlebells we
were given 30 minutes to complete as many rounds of the given exercises as
possible, increasing our weights after each round.
First up, 20 DBL swings (DBL=2 bells, one in each hand!) followed by lunges
using the same weights and then the dreaded cleans. A clean involves swinging
the bell from the ground up in front of your shoulders and resting it on top of
your forearm. Got it? Now try doing that with 2 bells, one in each hand. Ouch.
I swear my forearms were just too small for the big bells! I’ve got the bruises
to prove it!
Next up, burpees. Single legged. 12. On each leg. It was actually relief to
do these, just so I could put the damn kettlebells down! Who knew?!
Then came the jerks with the push press, a quick flick of the wrist to lift
the bell from chest to shoulder and a press above the head. Only one arm at a
time this time thank god! A little respite with some sumo squatting (think sumo
or in my case ballerina?! Toes and knees point out, squat low, no duck bum!)
again holding 2 bells, and finally the LC presses, combining the swing, jerk
and press altogether. Done. Oh, but we have to repeat. And again. I managed 3
rounds, only stopping for water and chalk breaks! Who am I?!
Think you’re done? Think again. Abs section to finish. I should’ve guessed!
Two rounds of toe touches, Russian twists and planks. First for 30 seconds
each, then a whole minute. No rest.
Then we stretch, compare our wounds, wash the chalk off our hands and go
eat our weight in croissants from the Sunday farmers market! Kettlebell workout
complete and I’m already signed up for another class on Tuesday!
I’ll leave you with some tips for newbies entering their first kettlebell class:
* Shoes off (odd, as you wouldn’t want to drop the bell on your foot! but that’s how they roll)
* Chalk up (you’ll get messy but it makes everything a lot easier, and you feel like a gymnast! Just me?)
* Start low (warm up with a light weight and make sure you’re able to increase as you go through the rounds)
* Focus on technique (don’t compromise your form to get through the exercises quicker, it’s not beneficial and you may injure yourself)
* Pace (30 minutes is long, make sure you can complete it without breaks, so start steady and work through it)
* Enjoy! Your workout should be fun and make you want to go back for more!

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