Neighborhood Workout: Side Workby Jen Sinkler
Good moods galore. We came to work, and that we did. Steph’s ponytail was extra swingy and she raved about her breakthroughs in Dr. Tee’s course in self-awareness, Emily’s side presses were so lovely they took the breath away, Lori went big-big on the kickstand deadlifts, Damani’s curtsy lunges were coordinated and perfect, and Kirby came by afterwards just to say hi, wearing some of their latest sewing projects.
Afterward, we wandered over to the park with Zoey, where Damani gave an impromptu speech about going for it (anything) and not letting anything stop you.
Let’s get into it.
Instructions: There are four movements involved, but seven stations. For the first three movements, work your nondominant side first, then rest, then move to your more dominant side for the next work period. Set your workout to a ratio of 30:20 work seconds–to–rest seconds (wowee zowee, I know) and complete three to four rounds, resting a little extra as needed. (If you know you’ll need more rest from the get-go, set your timer accordingly. No shame in that game, ever.)
Equipment: Kettlebells (or Dumbbells)
Time: ~25 Minutes
Warm-Up: Full-Body Dynamic Warm-Up
Kettlebell Kickstand Double-Bell Romanian Deadlift
- Stand tall between two kettlebells, feet about hip-width apart.
- Keeping your torso in a neutral position, push your butt back and bend your knees until you can grasp both kettlebell handles
- Tighten your core and stand up with the weights.
- Keeping your feet approximately hip-width distance apart, stagger your feet so that one is positioned comfortably behind you.
- Shift your weight into your front foot, bending the back knee slightly. This is your starting position. (From here, the vast majority of your weight should remain in your front foot throughout the entire movement; think of the back foot simply as a spotter.)
- To initiate the movement, push your hips backward as far as is comfortable, keeping your shoulders higher than your hips and without letting your back round.
- Press through your whole front foot to reverse the movement and stand upright once more. Repeat.
ANOTHER GRIP OPTION:
Emily opted for a single kettlebell held directly in front of her. A perfectly swell option, depending on the weights you have available, and what you’re in the mood for.
Kettlebell Side Press
- Clean a kettlebell to the racked position (more on the clean in my last email).
- With your feet approximately shoulder-width apart (you can experiment with this), turn the toes of both feet away from whichever side you’re holding the kettlebell.
- Next, keeping your shoulder packed down and back and away from your ear, simultaneously rotate at the chest and reach your weighted elbow back toward your sacrum and push backward and sideways through your hips. Keep your face turned upward. This is your starting position for the lift.
- Once you feel sturdy in this base position, press the kettlebell straight up to the sky.
- Next, think about “pulling” the weight straight back down into position. That’s one rep. Repeat.
Emily (shoutout Movement Minneapolis, where we both first delved into side presses) opted for a wider stance and a deeper side bend, and Steph opted for a much straighter back leg than in my demo above. Any and all are cool. As always, see what feels best to you in that moment. <3
Kettlebell Racked Curtsy Lunge
- Clean a kettlebell to the racked position. This is your starting point for the lift.
- Keeping one foot stationary, take a step in a backward diagonal motion with the other. Lower your hips as far as you can control comfortably and make sure to keep your lead knee in line with your foot.
- Return to standing by “pulling” your body up with your front leg, driving through your heel and bringing the back foot forward again.
- Complete all repetitions on one side before moving on to the other.
ANOTHER GRIP OPTION:
If your upper back is feeling taxed from the previous two movements, consider holding the kettlebell (or two kettlebells, pictured here) down by your sides in a suitcase position instead. (I opted for this so I could hammer my hamstrings and glutes by moving more weight.) Or, if you’re into the upper-back action but are short on right-sized bells, work from a goblet position like Emily.
Bodyweight Bear Crawl Hold
- From your hands and knees, rise up onto the balls of your feet and tighten your core. This is your starting position. Your goal is to stay as still as possible throughout the exercise, moving only the two limbs involved during each rep. Unlike a standard bear crawl, you won’t be moving forward.
- Slowly and simultaneously elevate your opposite hand and foot and pause briefly with both off of the ground (or not so briefly, to increase the challenge!).
- If this is too challenging, choose one limb to raise at a time and move through those in a “round the world” pattern.
- Keep alternating sides.