Kettleyoga Workshop With David Keohan

Following a day of intense lifting at the previous days Pentathlon, 10 of the competitors and 3 others besides descended on A1 gym in Kettering for David’s Kettleyoga workshop. David conceived the idea for the workshop based on an obvious need, many kettlebell sport athletes lack mobility and flexibility!  The Kettleyoga program was developed specifically to address this and currently consists of a private Facebook group, a PDF manual and the workshops. The poses in the program address both rack and overhead positions, the two positions that us kettlebell sport athletes like to hang around in. 

I myself have many issues with my mobility. The trouble is, I find ways to manage it instead of looking to improve it. I really don’t know how much performance I’m sacrificing simply because I don’t know any different. I am sure many are in the same boat here. How much better could I be if I had a more relaxed rack and could finally get those quads to drop? How much better would I be if I could hold those two 24’s overhead for longer than 30 seconds before becoming a trembling wreck? My double long cycle has always been pegged down at 24 kg simply because of a lack of mobility. Any heavier than this and the shortcomings would start to show. Basically, I could ‘get away with it’ on the 24’s and still put in a good performance of close to 90 reps. Why does going heavier have such a negative impact? It wasn’t down to cardio, my cardio is always on point. Could it be technique? Well, yes, and here’s the thing, technique is largely driven by mobility (or lack off)  I know what positions I am meant to be in, I just can’t get into them.

As soon as I hit the 28’s it all turns to crap! Quads burn in rack, shoulders get a beating in the overhead, cardio gets hammered because I am never relaxed in either position. At 52, I am no longer concerned with using double 28,s but I am concerned with my lack of mobility and how it now relates to my marathon lifting. The weights are lighter but the duration much longer. Double 16’s and double 20’s for 30 minutes require just as much mobility to maximise performance as a heavy 10 minute set, perhaps more so. It was with these thoughts in mind that I found myself getting involved with the Kettleyoga program. To finally have some awareness of what to do do and how to do it. 

 We got underway at 10 am. David gave us a brief overview of his journey up to this point. Turns out he wasn’t always the athletic kid at school but was in fact a bit of an underachiever here having suffered with weight issues in his younger years. I think it’s important that we know this stuff as I am sure most can relate. Kettlebell sport itself is a very young sport in the UK so you can pretty much guarantee that no one has been doing it for much longer than about 6 or 7 years. 

We then moved onto a warm up before going through the poses one by one. This was all done at a nice relaxed pace with plenty of attention being given to each participant. The sequence is well planned out with the opening poses being the easier ones to get into and less extreme in their positioning. 

Everybody it seems, is totally different here. I was frankly, quite astonished at how a couple of the guys could get into some of the more advanced poses.  I am fairly dismal at some and ok with a few others. But I think it’s safe to say, some need more help than others!

At the culmination of this, David put together a fantastic 11 minute sequence with each pose naturally flowing into another. This is a great way to quickly and efficiently get some Kettleyoga practice in each day.

Use this video as a quick one stop solution if you want to cover the general basics of the Kettleyoga program. You can dig deeper into specific problems areas of course but this is very easy to follow and takes minimum time.

One of the key aspects of the program is consistent practice. A little each day is better than random sporadic efforts spread throughout the week.  David was keen to point out that improvements may take their time to show themselves initially but the improvements will come with consistent practice.

Following lunch, we moved onto some Long cycle training. This of course makes total sense as we are here to gain the mobility to perform better at long cycle and jerk. Again, David gave everyone lots of attention with more given to those that needed it most. 

We then moved onto some low ring work training (rings weren’t high enough for anything else) and also some training on the parallettes.

The entire day was enjoyable and David presents in an engaging and entertaining way.  I would certainly recommend the Kettleyoga program and indeed the workshop if you can get along to one. The one to one feedback enables you to make small tweaks in your form to make sure you get the best out of each pose. Feed back on the day can be seen below.

Martin Cox 

Great day with great people. Tried things I never thought I would and got loads to work on!

Mark Birch

Brilliant day with a great bunch. Love a bit of yoga! Loads to learn and practice,I’ll be swinging 32’s in no time  Thanks again David and Del and for all those involved  

Al Nisbet

Great day  Learning lots from the master. No doubt, going to ache tomorrow but really looking forward to putting into pracice all that I’ve learnt.

Tracey Langham 

Who’d have thought you could ache after a few yoga poses!! Great workshop! Thank you 

Jenny Whitcombe

A good day- great yoga and company. Thanks all, especially David Keohan and Del Wilson