First let us get the common sense stuff out of the way ... You should have a pair of clubbells, with the book and video too. Watch, read and practice. When you have a good grasp of the fundamentals, then you can progress up the training hierarchy pyramid to more sport specific training. Train where you will not get hurt, and where others will be out of the way.
So let's begin. Rock climbing, a favorite sport of mine, places some intense demands upon your body, particularly the hands/forearms, shoulders and legs. Great! The clubbell is the perfect answer. The grip challenge placed upon your hands and wrists from the torque of the 'bell is more than enough reason to pick one up and start swinging. It does not, nor should it replace your standard General Physical Preparation or your actual skill training. Campus boards, hang boards and yes, actual climbing still have their place in your regimen.
We'll begin with a series of exercises to build up the strength in your hands, the range of motion in your shoulders and some oomph in your legs, and then work on progressing further into complex movements to really get you going. To start, perform the hardest exercises first. These will vary for everyone, but generally the following order will provide maximal benefits to many. Remember to keep a close eye on form; quality, not quantity is what counts! And please refer to the book and/or video if any of the exercises are not clear.
Shoulder circles without weight as a warm up, keeping the elbow locked and the shoulder packed, 3-5 reps in each of the 6 planes: front/back, right/left, top/bottom.
Armpit casts 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps.
Wrist casts 2-5 sets of 1-3 reps.
Inward Pendulums with a side lunge 5 sets of 10-25 reps. Begin by performing the pendulum, and as the weight passes to outside your body, step out with the same side leg into a lunge, ending the pendulum in order. Reverse the motion using an outward pendulum to end standing upright and holding the 'bell in order.
Keep the rest periods longer during the casts, 2-3 minutes, then you may shorten them on the pendulums to 1-2 minutes between sets. Begin with one arm at a time for each exercise, and work up to both arms at the same time in a few weeks. Slow and steady, especially with the pendulums. Practice these exercises 2-4 times a week, or as your recovery allows. Keep up with your GPP and skills practice as well. These exercises are an adjunct, not a replacement.
We will return to this series in a few weeks to incorporate complex training movements into the mix. Until next time, Enjoy! Besides having vast experience in training people in Yoga, Meditation and Martial arts, Indy Ishaya CST RKC is also the only person currently certified to instruct people in both Circular Strength Training and the Russian Kettlebell Challenge. Residing on a mountainside in Western North Carolina, and possessing a great fondness for travel, he is available for consultation within the neighboring states, from Kentucky to Florida.
Indrananda "Indy" Ishaya
An Intro To Clubbells.
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