When I went to my RKC in June of 2005, I was a jacked
up hot mess.
I was about 6 weeks out from a cortisone shot in my
right hip for a torn labrum and I had chronic issues
in my left shoulder. I had very poor external rotation
in it when I pressed. I couldn’t pack it no matter how
hard I tried.
Admittedly, it did get better as the weekend went on,
but I still cheated my Get Up on my left side – my
shoulder wasn’t really packed – I just made it look
like it was packed. (The benefit of having big traps.)
Over the course of the next 2.5 years, as my body
continued to deteriorate and lock up, single KB work
became a life saver.
Not only was it the only thing I could do –
(Barbell and double KB work acted as “poisons” and
literally shut down my ability to move.)
But single KB work, along with bodyweight work, became
the “tonic” my body needed to heal.
First of all, the single KB work started to correct my
Because I broke my left arm wrestling when I was 16, not
only is my left arm structurally shorter than my right,
being in a cast for almost 3 months locked up my left
I didn’t get any PT so I didn’t know anything about
regaining proper shoulder internal and external rotation.
And when I did know about it, I was in the middle of
trying to be a great Olympic lifter, so I wasn’t about
to let something “little” like lack of range of motion
stop me from putting heavy weight over my head.
So single KB work helps you balance out your side-to-
side asymmetries between the left and right sides of
This is critical because of your gait cycle.
Walking. Running. Sprinting.
If you have side-to-side imbalances, your gait could
and probably is off.
And that leads to more “issues” – pain, injury, tightness,
stiffness, aches, loss of range of motion, etc…
Second, and I didn’t know it at the time, the single
KB work, because it’s uni-lateral, contralateraly load
the body in ways the double KBs can’t.
This contralateral loading increases your reflexive
stability and naturally restores your body’s function,
without you having to engage in hours of correctives
(especially if you use single KBs in conjunction with
This is because your body’s stabilizers – the muscles
used to stabilize joints while the big muscles work
to move whatever it is you want to move – get some
extra love. They work harder.
The more efficient your stabilizers, the more efficient
the rest of the body can and will move.
Increase your reflexive stability and you’ll increase
your body’s ability to gain and express strength.
This may sound new from my lips, since I’m always
“preaching” about the benefits of double KB training,
but I ALWAYS recommend that beginners start with the
single KB exercises and –
That you should and actually need to incorporate
double KB periodically in your KB training.
Of course, in order to really increase your stabilization
strength and your symmetry, you need a fool proof plan
that tells you exactly how to set up your training to
increase both with just ONE kettlebell.
This plan should be focused around:
- Refining your technique
– Practice instead of “working out”
– Aggressively targeting your weak spots
Furthermore, if you really want to make this worthwhile –
Make sure you have access to a great technique instruction
so that you’re not guessing about whether or not your
doing your exercises right –
Or getting all that you can get out of them.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a product that meets this
description – a sort of “Single Kettlebell STRONG!” if
That’s why I highly recommend my very good friend, Chris
Lopez, SFG2’s, “Kettlebell Evolution” program.
If I’d been smart, I’d have made that single KB version
of “Kettlebell STRONG!” shortly after.
Chris writes a mean single KB program designed to get
you stronger AND leaner – incidentally, all in around 30
minutes, 3 times a week.
“Kettlebell Evolution” will take you through the Holidays
and fit into your busy schedule.
P.S. One of the best parts about “Kettlebell Evolution” is
the two different kinds of videos included:
1) Follow along workout videos so you know how to pace
2) Actual full-fledged single KB instructional videos.
Both of which will help you get stronger and leaner this
time of year with less effort than you’d expect because you’ll
know how to do your workouts right and you’ll know how to
do your exercises right.