I think the Forest Theater is so awesome, it makes me feel like I’m in an ancient Roman colosseum or something. Definitely a really cool place to do your exercise. I highly recommend it for anyone in the Chapel Hill area!
Colin had me warm up with various light plyometrics: butt kickers, high knees, then A skips, B skips, and C skips. I have no idea how to explain what these different types of skips are in writing, so here is a helpful video from an extremely chipper young lady explaining how to skip around like an Easter Bunny in proper form.
After warming up, we moved on to hip hinging, first with a stick to check my patterning. This means that I held a stick against my back and my head in order to keep my spine straight as I hinged my hips back. Not as easy as it sounds, but definitely a good practice tool. Then we did Russian kettlebell swings. Not the typical Crossfit swing-the-bell-overhead style, but apparently the more ‘proper’ way to swing a kettlebell. (Colin isn’t anti-Crossfit officially, but there are a few things he doesn’t agree with.) The goal for practicing KB swings this way is to groove good form for solid landings and eccentric loading as well as powerful hip extension for good jumping. Or so I’ve been told.
Next was Turkish Get-Ups, which Colin says are great for developing overall strength and stability. I’ve seen the Turkish Get-Up done before, but I’d never tried it myself. It’s really important to have someone experienced teach you how to do a complicated movement such as this, because I feel like getting the form right is really essential to doing the movement properly. Plus, it’s really great to have someone look at you doing it and tell you whether or not you’re performing the movement correctly, and offer a critical eye to help tweak your body positioning. After a few rounds without weight, we did a couple of reps with a 6kg kettlebell. Not that heavy, but a good weight to practice with, since the dynamics of the movement definitely change when weight is involved.
If you want a review of good Turkish Get-Up form, check out Colin’s helpful video:
Next we did some locomotive skills going over a waist-height wall, starting with two foot punching to waist position, then getting a foot planted and executing a sit-out. Because I am the most clumsy person on earth, I almost bit it a few times… but it was good to practice, because I definitely need to work on agility in that matter.
Then we moved on to hurdle step takeoffs and Colin helped me smooth out the motion into more of a speed vault over the wall. This exercise for me is definitely more of a mind-over-matter thing, because I know I get really nervous jumping over things. I don’t have the best track record with that kind of stuff, and it makes me really nervous. That’s probably a big reason why Colin makes me do it. Stretch my personal boundaries ‘n all that.
Finally, we did a brief intro to jumps and precision landings. Colin talked about the difference between our ideal hip hinge landing and the precision landing, He had me work on getting the balls of my feet to hit the target and then “cannonball” down, keeping the knees from squirting forward too far forward, relaxing into the landing and keeping my eyes locked on our landing target. I was surprisingly nervous about doing it, even though I was jumping onto a piece of wood surrounded by soft sand. No reason to be scared of that whatsoever, but something about ‘precision landing’ just doesn’t sound like one of my skill sets. But, again, this is why Colin is training me!
It was great to have Colin watching my movements and picking out things that I was doing less efficiently (or just plain wrong) and helping me to fix my movements in order to be working the right muscle groups and doing things in the most natural way possible. It’s a pretty cool and different way of working out, that’s for sure. And so much more fun than slogging away on the elliptical machine! (Which Colin has banned me from. For life.)
Next time? Squats and deadlifts!