Four Mobility Drills to Fix your Performance Killing Feet

We often blame our feet last for performance problems or tension leaks. But as our main connection to the ground, they are the foundation to all movement and the vessels through which we generate power and express our strength. Neglecting them is not an option. Learn four drills by  Master StrongFirst Instructor Karen Smith to […]

Your Multipurpose Strength Tool (aka the Get-up)

“We shape our tools and afterwards our tools shape us.” —Marshall McLuhan Our “tools” could be looked at as our implement (a kettlebell, for example), the exercise we select, our program, or how we use the tool to mold us. Multipurpose tools have become a mainstay in our lives. We “shaped” the multipurpose tool to […]

Make Every Rep Count: Preparing for the TSC

The next Tactical Strength Challenge is on October 27, 2018. Register before August 31, to get your free T-Shirt. In October of 2017, I competed for the first time in the Women’s Elite Division of StrongFirst’s Tactical Strength Challenge (TSC). I was happy with my results—Deadlift 136kg, Pull-up 7, and Snatch 120—but felt I could […]

Every Joint. Every Day. The Elegance of Simple and Sinister

I recently attended a conference and watched a presentation by a highly respected clinician and researcher who specializes in chiropractic and neuro physiology. He works very hard to show the link between movement of the joints and what happens at the brain level. His research dives deep into pain and inflammation, along with keeping joints […]

Get StrongFirst Online: Essential Kettlebell Exercises

“Online education is like a rising tide, it’s going to lift all boats.” Anant Agarwal According to an article in US News and World Reports “a 2015 study showed that 6 million students – a large majority of whom were undergraduates – enrolled in at least one online course in fall 2015.” And if MIT, Harvard […]

How to Row 3000 Miles Across an Ocean with a Barbell

How do you strengthen sport required qualities in the gym and practice the skills it requires in sports-specific sessions when your chosen sport is a 3000 mile ocean row? No, not by rowing machines, ultra marathon runs or sit ups. By training your slow-twitch muscle fiber strength with barbell back squats and seated cable rows. Here’s […]

The Origins of the Dead Swing

Dead Swing. Power Swing. Hike-Swing-Park. “Rif” Swing. Whatever you choose to call it, this single repetition kettlebell swing should be in your training toolbox. It’s equally fantastic as a corrective drill, a teaching tool for a great KB swing start, a method to develop max power for each rep of a swing, and an evil […]

Troubleshooting the Squat: Half-Kneeling Pulses

Interesting thing about the word troubleshooting (I’ll get to the main point soon…promise) in the context of coaching: when you look for synonyms, you need to wade through synonyms for it in the context of damage control, “good offices,” and customer service before you get to “as in adjust.” And “as in adjust” troubleshooting is […]

It’s OK to Struggle

Professional “Learners” We were all professional “learners” at some point. Think about it. Your “job” for the first 18 years or so was to learn. First to learn how to move and walk, and then how to learn in school. This may have continued in sports (learning more movement) or onto advanced degrees (learning more […]

The Repetitions within a Single Repetition

Many years ago when I was a competitive powerlifter and a Westside Barbell student, I hurt my back in training. Pretty badly too. I was in preparation for Masters Nationals and I still wanted to compete (this was before I learned not to be greedy. I was tough but greedy for my strength). I trained for […]