Neighborhood Workout: The Three-Two Sandwichby Jen Sinkler
The couple in the airplane seats in front of me, both redheads, take turns stroking each others locks; he the top of her head, her his beard. Big nuzzlers. I appreciate their affection.
I read recently that the odds of being born a redhead are the same as being born intersex.
I’m en route to Iowa, where I am from. The flatness of the land, the peace and pace and knowing and familiarity, have felt better and better to me in recent years. A form of nuzzling, also.
We all look so good, is Damani’s assessment to Steph when she posts a video of our workout group on her IG Stories. We do. This week was the first time Damani and Kirby moved from kettlebell goblet cleans to single-arm cleans.
The sandwich clean is where I like to start, when I’m teaching. Sometimes from the top down, to ingrain the efficiency of path the bell should take. Reverse engineering.
The sandwich piece just means you hold the handle of the kettlebell with two hands in order to be able to more gently swivel and guide the weight around your forearm into position against the back of your wrist. More control, more ease. Always the goal.
(I’ve linked to this before, but if you want to get into cleans a little more, take a pass through “Fix Your Kettlebell Clean” for some other cues and tactics I hope you will find useful.)
This week’s workout is not a speed demon: Sometimes Lift Weights Faster means Lift Weights Slower, or Lift at a Variety of Paces. The timed rest keeps things clicking along, yes, but feel free to go slower, rest longer. The real goal is autoregulation, and doing what’s best for you on any given day.
I’ve done this workout twice this week, once on Monday with Bernard and Jayand again on Wednesday with our neighborhood workout group. It lasts 30 minutes, but just barely, and is one you can really crawl inside of and work.
The Two-Three Sandwich
Instructions: Three different pairings for your pleasure, with a 1:1 work-to-rest ratio for the second two. As usual, with the unilateral work, count each side as an individual station.
30:20 // Three stations // Four rounds
Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift
(use one or two kettlebells, to up the ante — no need for the weights to be evenly matched, just switch ’em up each round.)
- Start with your feet about a shoulder-and-a-half width apart, feet rotated outward slightly, with a kettlebell between your feet.
- Keeping your chest up, push your butt back and bend your knees so that you can grasp the handle with both hands.
- Holding onto the weight, stand tall.
- Return to the starting position by pushing your butt back and bending your knees until the kettlebell lightly rests on the floor. Do not let go between repetitions unless you are fatigued or need to regrip.
- You can adjust your stance, as long as you can keep your knees tracking over your feet.
- If you can’t reach the kettlebell handle without rounding at the low back, shorten the range of motion by raising the kettlebell on a yoga block, small box or stack of plates.
Kettlebell Side Bend
- Standing tall, hold a single kettlebell at one side, or two kettlebells of varying weights (the imbalance leads to more core activation, a perk for building strength [switch sides each round]).
- Brace your core and bend laterally to one side, lowering the weight toward the outer part of your knee as far as comfortably possible.
- Straighten up and bend to other side by reaching your empty hand toward the other knee. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, then switch sides.
- To avoid bending forward or back, imagine that you are stuck between two panes of glass.
30:30 // Three stations // Three rounds
Kettlebell Clean (Sandwich, Dead Clean, or Swing Clean)
- Place the kettlebell on the floor out in front of you, one hand gripping the handle, butt high in the air and knees bent in an athletic stance.
- Hike the kettlebell up high between your legs, straightening your legs slightly as you do this.
- Quickly extend your hips, using the power of your hips, hamstrings and glutes to “float” the kettlebell up.
- As it rises, keep your upper arms tight to your body and rib cage and bend your elbow to keep the kettlebell close to your body.
- Loosen your grip to rotate your hands so your palm faces inward, allowing the kettlebell to swivel around to the outside of your forearm.
- Quickly rotate your elbow underneath the kettlebell so that your forearm is vertical as the weight comes to rest on your wrist and forearm in the racked position.
- Reverse the movement to lower the kettlebell into the bottom of a swing, regripping as you swing the kettlebell back between your legs once again.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions. When you’re ready to stop, pause at the bottom of the swing portion, gently parking the kettlebell on the floor in front of you. Repeat with the opposite hand.
Bodyweight Tap Plank
- Start in a straight-arm plank position, with your body elevated between your hands and toes. Your feet can be wider than shoulder width to help with stability.
- Raise one hand up to touch your chest. Keep your hips square and belly button facing the floor.
- Return the raised hand to the floor and repeat on the other side. Alternate which hand taps without twisting at the low back or rocking your hips from side to side.
30:30 // 3 rounds // 3 stations
Kettlebell Goblet Squat With Pulse
- Goblet clean a kettlebell to your chest, holding it by the outer handles (the horns) and supporting some of its weight with your forearms and chest.
- Initiate the squat by breaking at your hips backward and bending your knees simultaneously.
- Keeping your torso upright and your knees in line with your toes, lower yourself as far as you are comfortably able. (If it’s not very far, adjust your foot position and try turning your toes slightly outward, but don’t force anything.)
- From your bottom position, return approximately one-third to one-half of the way back up to the standing position.
- Again lower your hips back down as far as you are comfortably able.
- Once you reach the bottom position for a second time, return completely to the starting position and repeat.
Kettlebell Bottom-Loaded Windmill (other options: Top-Loaded or Double Windmill)
- Start by deadlifting a single kettlebell with one hand so that it hangs down in front of you. Turn your palm so that it faces forward. The other hand will remain unloaded until you switch sides.
- Turn both feet so that they are pointing toward the hand holding the kettlebell. If the kettlebell is in your left hand, your right foot should be at about 30 degrees, while your left foot should be about 30 to 45 degrees, depending on comfort.
- Raise your unloaded arm to an overhead position. Look up at your empty hand. Keep looking at it throughout the entire working set.
- With the vast majority of your weight in your right leg (about 90 percent), push your hips back and away, tracking in line with your right foot. Keep your right leg and right arm straight, with your right hand pointed toward the sky.
- As you continue to hinge backward with your hips, keep your left (loaded) arm in close with the inside of your left leg, reaching toward the floor. Depending on your hip mobility, you may be able to descend only slightly; or, conversely, the kettlebell may touch the floor.
- Reverse the movement and return to an upright position. Repeat.