Sunday, June 28, 2009

Top 8 Kettlebell Movements For Fighters!

Above, one of the BEASTS that trains at the Undeground Strength Gym, courtesy of Zach Even-Esh

Kettlebells are all the craze these days, and for good reason. They are an excellent training tool for developing a strong grip, upper back and posterior chain, especially. The problem that I see with most athletes training with them, is that they are trying every new movement under the sun without paying attention the to basics first. Its fine to have a lot of variety in one's training program, but remember what you're trying to accomplish. If you're trying to get in "fight shape" or shred body fat, the most grueling of kettlebell movements are what you need to be doing - there is no way around it! Unfortunately, this leaves only a handful of movements compared to the plethora that you can find else where on the likes of YouTube.

Done for timed sets, complexes, or circuits with hardcore calisthenics, they will be a fine addition to whatever else you're doing now. For building a "bullet proof" body and the type of conditioning needed to dominate opponents in the ring, I recommend most men getting a single 24kg kettlebell and start hacking away with the following movements.

1. Snatches
2. Swings (one handed, two handed, or even with a towel for added grip work)
3. Clean and Presses
4. High Pulls
5. Bent Over Rows
6. Squats (with both hands, or single hand in the "rack" position)
7. Lunges
8. Turkish Get Ups

There are a ton more variations of the them, but these 7 movements are the basics and, in my opinion, should be drilled and used to their maximum benefit before going on and purchasing a heavier bell. Just the snatch and swing alone, done for super high reps or time, are excellent for building lactic acid tolerance. I often will throw in a quick 2-5 minute set at the end of my workouts, where I switch hands every 5-10 reps without putting the sucker down. Everything from my grip to my calves get torched with these short "finishers".

I also love toting my kettlebell around to various outdoor locations, where I'll mix in various movements with pull ups, dips, push ups, sprints and jumps for an awesome total body workout. There's nothing like tossing around a cast iron kettlebell and pumping out natural body weight movements outdoors on a hot, sunny day. Get out of the gym once in awhile this summer, forget about your "routine", and just work hard for 30-45 minutes. I'm convinced this stuff does wonders for the body and soul.

So, go ahead, shell out the dough and get yourself what everyone's been talking about. You will literally never outgrow it, and there are a ton of different ways to kick your own ass!


Max Shank said...

Long Cycle Clean and Jerk is perfect for fighters. The Ultimate Clean and Jerk is a great goal:

Dustin Lebel said...

I remember Scott Sonnon using a lot of long cycle clean and jerks when he was training alberto crane a few years ago (not sure if he still does??)'re right though - great movement with a lot of time under tension and similar energy demand to fighting.

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