If you are over 50 years old, you’re battling the aging process to protect your body’s muscle. But you must also fight to protect your power. If strength is moving a weight, power is moving the weight fast— and it’s vital as we age because it affects our balance and reflexes.
Among the best ways to do this is with the kettlebell swing. It’s a difficult but worthwhile move for older men. And it’s a move that you should work to learn. It will help you burn through calories, build crucial glute, core, and back strength, and increase your heart rate.
Since a kettlebell swing happens so quickly, every rep challenges your hamstrings and glutes to instantly and powerfully contract, and this teaches your body to produce the power it needs to when it needs to.
Kettlebell swings are not simple. So don’t start trying them right off the bat. First, learn to do Romanian deadlifts. Because this move will help your abs and glutes get up to shape. And given you might have spent so much time sitting down, they probably need to be reawakened.
Once you have done that as a part of your routine, move onto doing 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps with a difficult weight, get a kettlebell that is a third of that weight and learn to swing.
Stand with your feet just a bit wider than your shoulders. Push your butt backward and bend at the waist, lower your torso and extend your arms and grab the bell, tip it to your body, grip it gently, and turn the pits of your elbows forward.
Tighten your core (and keep this tightness), then quickly bring the bell backwards, like you were playing football, letting it go between your legs without letting your core relax (but make sure your back does not round). Push your butt backward as this happens. Then stand up quickly and tighten your butt muscles. Allow your glutes (not your arms) to drive the whole motion.
It’s important to note: Don’t attempt to swing the bell as high as you can. That’s not worth the tear on your aging shoulders. Instead, allow it to go as high as it wants. Then allow its momentum to carry it back down to being another rep.
Over the course of weeks, you will be able to up the difficulty. Start with single reps, to get the motion down, then go up to 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps. During each rep, focus on tightening your glutes as you stand. And understand that you are creating total-body power, one of the most overlooked secrets to longevity and power.
Author: Blake Ambrose