For those that don’t know a Kettle bell is simply a round lump of cast iron with a flat base and a handle. Due to the handle being on the top of the weight the center of gravity is extended resulting in the participant being able to perform a variety of explosive movements such as a swing, snatch and over head press.
This is great for grapples as we need both strong and stable joints. Exercises such as the Swing and clean and press will really test your strength endurance and in doing so both your aerobic and anaerobic system will be stretched and increased.
The Kettle bells signature technique “the Swing” targets your glutes, which is an area of the body that is neglected by most athletes and trainers. The Kettle bell Swing not only strengthens the glutes which will develop a lot more power in the lower body and hips.
Whether you are performing a swing, squat pull or overhead press you will always be using more than one muscle group. This is great for strikers and grapples as we are constantly using more than one muscle when fighting.
Over the last 20 years we have seen so many fitness fads come and go, but the kettle bell has stood the test of time….and that’s because kettle bell training works. Over the years I have found that if I am unfit then my grappling isn’t as smooth or as effective but if I am fit and strong, my grappling becomes way more efficient.
All grapples need to be fit, strong, and agile as well as contain enough mobility in our joints to survive being pushed, pulled and twisted into every direction. Look at a lot of the top ranked grapples around the world and you can see that they all follow some sort of explosive strength and conditioning program which include kettle bell techniques.
Fore more info on Kettle bell Training for Grappling sports check out : Written by Matt D’Aquino, a multiple Australian and Oceania Champion and a 2008 Beijing Judo Olympian.
Often we see people lining up to use the treadmills or Cross trainers while dust gathers on the kettle bells sitting quietly in the corner. They are also a great way to get a heck of a good workout in a short amount of time.
When the kettle bell swings back (due to momentum) drive it upwards using your legs, glutes and hips. Hold a kettle bell in what we call the ‘rack position.’ Keep your abs tight as you perform a squat.
To start out simply bend at the waist and visualize your opponent shooting for a double leg. When they shoot simply place your hands on the ground and arrive your hips into the floor.
Drive up with your legs, shrug your shoulder and pull the kettle bell up to the ‘rack’ position. During this movement the kettle bell will swing up and over your hand and land sitting on the back of your wrist.
Keep your abs tight, slightly bend your knees and begin pressing the kettle bell above your head. Once you reach the top position return the kettle bell back down to your shoulder and repeat for 50 repetition.
Everyone has rolled that guy at training who is super explosive and cuts through your guard with ease. Due to the ballistic nature of kettle bells you will automatically develop explosive power.
Movements such as swings, snatches, cleans and presses all assist in developing explosiveness which in turn will help you throw more people, shoot harder for double legs and easily pass your opponents guard. Gripping the kettle bell handle for more than five minutes will have your forearms screaming for you to stop.
Kettle bell training helps you get functionally strong which will instantly benefit your grappling game. I am sure you have heard many times that everything you do stems form the core region and that its also true for fighters.
Those athletes with weak a core will get expose very quickly and will fall behind in training and overall improvement. Abdominal rotational and anti-rotational strength is important for striking, grappling and in throwing sports like Judo.
Due to the range of movement you go through when using kettle bells your joints are going to get a lot stronger and more stable. Having strong and stable muscles is a great way to avoid injury and be able to fight and train to the best of your ability.
I see recommendations frequently from people as to how best to use them and frankly many are just jumping on what they hope will be a profitable bandwagon, with little real experience or knowledge to offer. That is, they develop the hips, hamstrings, and lower back as well, if not better, than other exercises, including those that use a higher load.
Because you are able to perform many swings during a training session you are able to effectively flush an often troublesome area with blood and allow it to heal or recover. For many athletes, such as runners, whose sport involves horizontal force projection that makes swings a far better choice for training than even an exercise like dead lifts.
While dead lifts are a fantastic exercise for raw strength they can lead to a lack of explosiveness in athletes due to the grinding nature often used in the lift. Secondly, the high loads can be problematic for endurance athletes who likely don’t have the core strength or stiff backs of seasoned lifters.
The addition of incidental grip training is useful both for hand fighting and being part of a system that helps shoulders stay healthy. Kettle bell swings are a great option for those wishing to get some heart rate/ energy systems training yet are unable to perform better variations such as running.
We’ll also cover essential drills to keep the body healthy and supple regardless of sport, as well as three other core kettle bell moves. In this video set, I demonstrate practical breathing techniques that have significantly improved my health and well-being.
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