Tip: Kettlebell Swings and Plank Breathing

Do 20 swings. Without rest, drop into a hard-style plank for 10 deep breaths. Repeat for 5-10 rounds as a workout finisher.

The finisher below was designed to optimize breathing in a stressed state. This is great for fighters, combat athletes, and military personnel. It'll teach your body how to respond in the absence of oxygen so that you can keep your composure and perform at your highest levels. Oh, it'll also burn body fat.

You'll pair an explosive movement with a plank. The kettlebell swing serves as a perfect choice for power, endurance and time-based sets. With proper execution, your heart rate will be elevated and your oxygen demands will increase.

These are paired with planks because abdominal weakness provokes a poor breathing pattern and diaphragm dysfunction. This combination will allow us to train the bracing of the abs while practicing optimal respiration. The plank will demand the respiratory muscles to work simultaneously with the transverse abdominus, external and internal obliques, and rectus abdominis. Instead of holding the plank for time, you'll count each breath in and out as a repetition.

How to Do It

Perform 20 swings and without any rest, drop into a plank position. Perform a hard-style plank for 10 deep breaths. Repeat this for 5 to 10 rounds. To perform the hard-style plank, do the following:

  1. Set up on elbows and toes with a neutral spine. Look down to keep the head and neck in neutral as well.
  2. Contract the quads. Don't just extend your knees. Instead, think of zippering up the quads and pulling the kneecaps up towards the hips.
  3. Posteriorly tilt the pelvis and contract the glutes hard.
  4. Engage the lats by pulling the elbows towards the pelvis. Don't allow the elbows to move. Instead, think of pulling the scapula downwards.
  5. Breathe. Your body will automatically brace in this position. Learn how to breathe behind the abdominal contraction by allowing your rib cage to laterally expand and your belly button to move down and outward.