Skogg System Roots

Michael Skogg
Year Released: 2011

Categories: Kettlebell

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Cardiomama did a great review of the Roots routine, so I will only go with my feelings on the workout.

I've just started this program. Roots has a good name since it is truely the roots of this program. I feel that roots 1 is not overly difficult and the program has you do this for a week to "get the hang" of the exercises.

In Roots 1, you do each exercise on the right for 30 seconds, then on the left for 30 seconds then rest for 1 minute. Roots 2 has you do right for 30, left for 30, repeat, then rest. Roots 3 and 4 build on that.

I've performed Roots 1 & 2. It is a fairly tough exercise for working out about 12 minutes. My heart rate is steadily climbing and by the time it gets to High Pull (the 5th exercise) my heart is beating pretty good.

I certainly feel it the next day, but mainly in my core. I'm currently working with a 20 lb. adjustable kettlebell and think it may be time to move up a little. I feel that this is a great workout.

Overall, this is a good workout. But with just 6 exercises, it will likely get a bit boring in the long term. I don't think anyone would be wasting money getting this DVD set.

Instructor Comments:
Michael does a great job on this set. The Skogg 101 is a great introduction to the beginner KB user. Throughout the Roots workout, there are slow motion shots of each exercise. Michael also points out what you should look for in good form. Michael and both of his assistants have great form.



Equipment: kettlebell (two, lighter one for warm-up, moderate-heavy one for work portion)

Set: gym w/ various bells, balls, plyo boxes in the back & side of room w/ grey flooring, white walls & lighting focused on Michael & crew.

Cast: two background exercisers (one female, one male). The cast had good form, I didn't notice any obvious issues.

Music: Full audio (music & cues) or voice only. I really did not notice the music, except during the cool-down (mellow), so I guess it was nothing annoying or overly loud.

There are 4 levels/workouts for this DVD, the 6 exercises (in same order) are performed for each one, but the work increases for each subsequent level (adds a minute to each exercise level, but the rest period stays the same, 1 minute after exercise is completed on both sides). The same warm-up & cool-down is used for each workout. The workouts are chaptered by warm-up, exercises & cool-down. Michael gives great instruction during the workouts & there are different shots of him & the cast w/ tips displayed on the screen.

I have used the Level 1 & 2 workouts, and liked the flow of the workouts, they do go by quickly and are good total body workouts (like the short time frame, switching arms after 30 seconds of work was motivating & the simplicity of just 6 exercises). Michael is a AKC (American Kettlebell Club) certified instructor, and I'm familiar w/ RKC (certified Russian Kettlebell instructor), so I noticed that the form pointers were similar w/ some variances (some helpful & good exposure to other ways of performing an exercise). One could use different size bells for each exercise vs. just one, and could vary the bells used for more strength or cardio focus (so many ways to use the 4 workouts, even shorten rest periods for more challenge).

Warm-up (3:30 min.): cues to use lighter bell, 10 reps per side/direction.

Halo: cues to get entire body into the movement, not just the upper body.

Body circles (slingshot): half circle (bell pass from hand to hand), in back of body w/ bell, then half circle in the front of body, repeat. Cue to look at floor, during exercise, gaze moves from one side to the other & back (for a full rotation w/ trunk).

Figure 8ís (under leg pass): cues to bend knees w/ transfer of bell (donít bend back over to drive movement), both directions.

Workouts: complete as many reps as you can per exercise for given time.

Level 1 (12:20 min): cue to use heavier bell (than in warm-up). There is a round for each exercise, complete reps on one side for 30 seconds (1 min. total per exercise, 6 min. work total), other side per exercise, & then 1 min. rest between the exercises (5 min. rest total), then complete next exercise.

Swings (1-arm)




High Pull


For the next 3 levels: still complete reps on one side for 30 seconds, then other side (still change sides every 30 seconds for each exercise). Same rest, 1 min. between the exercises (5 min. rest total).)

Level 2 (18:30 min.): 2 min. work total per exercise, 12 min. work total

Level 3 (24 min.): 3 min. work total per exercise, 18 min. work total.

Level 4/Warrior (31 min.): 4 min. work total per side, 24 min. work total

Cool-down (9:25 min.)

Diva pose (looks like Hip extensor/abductor stretch w/ front foot flush against the back knee: legs both bent to 90 degrees, one if front/outside of leg in floor, other in back/inside of leg on floor, front foot is right next to back knee): hinge forward over front knee & walk upper body over to center (bent arms rest on floor), hold> same side arm as leg in front is bent & on floor, body leans to the back, opposite arm to front leg reaches overhead to the side (of the front leg) & hold> repeat on other side.

Glute stretch: seated position w/ one leg straight, other has bent knee that crosses over leg> knee is hugged/held into body w/ both arms> Spinal twist: from previous position, rotate upper body to side & rest elbow on knee> repeat on other side.

Chest/arm stretch: seated w/ bent knees,feet on floor, hands in back of body (heel of hand faces back)> move lower body forward & hold (should feel in arms & chest).

Shoulder stretch: Seated w/ 1 leg extended in front of body, the other has a bent knee & is turned out> place one hand in small of back (w/ bent elbows), and place/hook elbow of that arm on inside of bent knee & hold, repeat on other side.

Hip (opener) stretch: lie prone on elbows, abs on floor w/ bent knees (lower leg extended in air), wide stance> bring soles of feet together & bring the lower body back (to the heels, but it stays lifted in air, not seated on heels), the arms straighten & hold> reverse motion, widen stance more, bring feet together and lower body back into the hold.

Forearm stretch: start in tabletop (quadruped position), and rotate hands to place fingertips close to knees> lower butt onto heels & hold> rotate elbows away from body & hold (deeper stretch).

Cat/Cow: rotate elbows outward w/ cat.

Straighten legs, move hands to meet feet & hold Ragdoll> place weight in heels (more hamstring focus)>roll up to standing position, roll shoulders back & open arms.

Instructor Comments:
Michael cues & performs each workout, and does a great job of pushing you (but does not talk your ear off w/ pointless chatter, strictly about the workout & performance or goals). He comes across as very natural/comfortable for his first video series, and is very clear in his instruction w/ excellent form.