Three topics in today’s post: breathing, parking, and another topic.

Breathing while swinging. If you are doing a short sets with a bell that feels comfortable, then how you breathe doesn’t matter too much, any more than it matters how you breathe when you climb a couple of flights of stairs. Your breathing just happens.

If you’re doing a long set of swings, and/or with a bell that is at the heavier end of what is comfortable for you, then breathing becomes more important. You should be exhaling at the top of the swing, and inhaling as the bell passes between your legs. It helps to count out loud, so that you are breathing out in order to say the number at the top of each swing. Breathe in, swing, ’86’, breathe in, swing, ’87’. Ideally you should breathe out sharply and incompletely, as if coping with a piece of very bad news, like discovering that your kettlebells have been stolen.

Parking the bell is how you place it on the ground after your last swing (number 175!) You just let it go back between your legs, as if preparing for another swing, decelerate it and bring it forward gently in front of you, placing it softly on the ground. Easy to describe in words, a little harder to do, but a crucial part of your kettlebell education. I believe that on some kettlebell courses, not parking the bell safely after a set of swings causes you to be chucked off the course, removed from the building and never allowed to touch a kettlebell again.

The third thing is a little celebration of autumn – cooler weather is perfect for being outdoors with your lovely kettlebell. Palms less sweaty; you don’t overheat as the reps go up; there’s that crisp October feel to the air. Get out of the kitchen and into your back garden. And swing.

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