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ModernCONDITIONING // Kettlebell Conditioning

 

When you think of strongman, you may be wondering how such a large person moves and works so efficiently. Personally, I could only imagine the programming that lies behind the beast that is. One huge implement that gets overlooked in most facilities that sits in the Strongman’s repertoire is the kettlebell.

 

Those of you unfamiliar with the kettlebell first must understand that there are plenty more available weights than the 10-15lb play toys that you see in aerobics videos or sitting dusty in the corner of your local “Globo Gym”. These bad boys can get pretty damn heavy and pretty damn huge while the idea stays the same. The be-all and end-all is to manipulate the weight using explosive strength and efficient movement whether to conduct skill movements to strengthen the core or speed movements to develop the posterior chain.

 

940x300_ModernPROTEIN_BANNER1

 

Let’s first touch on the speed portion of the kettlebell, since that is where most athletes are familiar. The kettlebell swing, clean and jerk, or snatch are great movement drills to develop speed and efficiency while easily stringing together for complexes or short- term cardio work. These movements can be strung together in complexes for timed, periodized, or max weighted programming such as the following:

 

5 Swings 2 Cleans 1 Jerk

 

With these movements in mind, this can be done on the minute or every other minute to develop efficiency and maintain heart rate to a specific level for long periods, or done for rounds with light weight for sets of time (3 Minutes, as many rounds as possible for 3 sets). Being so posteriorly dominant, this is a great way to efficiently develop your explosive speed, core and spinal strength; as well as your stability through your shoulder girdle.

 

ModernCONDITIONING Kettlebell Conditioning

 

Breaking down movement to movement:

 

  • Start with the kettlebell between the balls of your feet. Begin by placing a little momentum into the bell while keeping your arms acting as Pendulums.
  • Allow your forearms to cradle into your hip crease, then project forward hinging at the hip only while keeping the spine neutral. The bell should only reach eye level and then allow it to swing back down to the hip crease, loading your glute to project into the next swing.
  • From this point, project the bell and “clean” it to your chest, cradling the bell into the forearm against your chest/shoulder. Allow the bell to swing back to repeat.
  • Finally, from the cradled position, dip at the hip and knee to push the bell through a push press where you will dip under to catch into the power jerk position.

 

From typical speed work as above… A kettlebell is also a great modality to develop core, spinal and shoulder strength through skill style movements such as the Turkish-Get-Up. The Turkish Get Up or TGU as we will call it… It’s a great overall developmental movement for the human body fostering all chains from hip to shoulder girdle allowing an efficient and unique way to move through range of motion. Start very light and keep it very simple moving on to heavier weight or more reps. One great way to apply a TGU is within a shoulder dominant programming day as one of your assistance lifts.

 

ModernCONDITIONING Kettlebell Conditioning with Holly Helton

 

From the beginning, the TGU starts at a much compromised position which is where the beauty of the movement comes from…

 

  •  Lying supine (on your back), cradle your kettlebell against your chest and begin with it going into the pressed, straight-armed position.
  • Bend the leg on the same side as the bell and place the opposite arm out at about 45 degrees… this is starting to build your foundation to work through the plank.
  • Keep your eye on the kettlebell… begin moving by pressing your straight- armed shoulder to the sky and shifting your weight first to elbow and then to hand of the opposite arm. Keep the kettlebell arm stacked and taut while stabilizing.
  • Push from the heel of the bent leg and drive your hips in the air and into full hip extension to the “planked” position.
  • Sweep the straight leg back and through to a half kneeling position while continuing to press upwards (remember, don’t take your eyes off of your kettlebell!)
  • Taking the hand off the floor, straighten the body and level your shoulders to a kneeling position, kettlebell hand pressed straight upward and shoulders square.
  • Drive from the front heel, as you would a lunge and stand tall.
  • Last but not least… you get to do it all over again but backwards… Your be-all and end-all being your eyes on that bell!

 

As you can see from above, the kettlebell is fairly versatile utilizing various energy systems, and full body movements. With this in mind, application can range from a general physical preparedness program to a bodybuilder’s morning cardio, to a strongman or a powerlifter’s assistance work to develop a great core, great stability and burn some awesome calories! Throw some TGUs and kettlebell complexes into your weekly program and see the difference not only in your physical abilities but your physique as well!

 

ModernCONDITIONING Kettlebell Conditioning

 

Prepared by Rob Saeva

 

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Disclaimer The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of USPlabs or any employee thereof. Examples used within this article are only examples. USPlabs is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the authors of this article. Content contributors are not employees of USPlabs. Authors may have been remunerated by USPlabs.

 

The information provided in this article, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.

 

 

As you can see from above, the kettlebell is fairly versatile utilizing various energy systems, and full body movements. With this in mind, application can range from a general physical preparedness program to a bodybuilder’s morning cardio, to a strongman or a powerlifter’s assistance work to develop a great core, great stability and burn some awesome calories! Throw some TGUs and kettlebell complexes into your weekly program and see the difference not only in your physical abilities but your physique as well!