Here are three workout routines that will have swinging, lifting and pressing kettle bells to take your running to the next level. Just pace yourself here and make sure to pick a relatively light weight because you will be doing a lot of reps with each move.
Swing Begin by holding the kettle bell with both hands using a two-handed, overhand grip, then stand with your feet a bit wider than hip -distance apart, toes pointing slightly outward. Thruster Begin by grabbing two kettelbells, one in each hand, then clean them up to the shoulders by extending the legs.
To perform the thrusters, squat down while the kettle bells are there in your hands, pause for second, then reverse direction and stand up by pressing through the heels, and extending the arms overhead. Make sure to pick a really challenging weight and perform the exercises in a slow and controlled manner.
Hold two kettle bells in front of your shoulder, and assume an athletic stance with feet shoulder-width apart. Please keep your back straight and knee pointed to the same direction the entire time.
Pull the shoulder back, engage your core, then squat down and grab the weight, lift it, then stand upright with chest high (Squeeze your glutes here). Pause for a moment, then squat down and lower the weight to the floor to complete one rep.
The Turkish Get-up Lay face up on the floor while holding a kettle bell in your right hand with the arm fully extended above your chest. To perform the infamous Turkish Get-up, lift the kettle bell to the sky as you roll up onto your left elbow by driving the right foot into the floor.
Then, push yourself up to a standing position, keeping the kettle bell lifted the entire time. Take a deep breath then raise one kettle bell up so it reaches your hip, pause for a count of three, then lower it down.
Start by holding a kettle bell with your right hand, then lift it up overhead while locking the arm and keeping the elbow straight, eyes on the weight the entire time Make sure to engage your core muscles, and keep your legs straight, and kettle bell lifted the entire time.
Russian Twists Sit on the floor with knees bent, and feet about hip-distance apart, and core engaged. Next, hold the weight with both hands at chest level, lean back, lift the legs off the floor, then rotate your torso from right to left, lightly tapping it to the ground with each rep.
If you’re serious about running, getting fit, and staying injury free, then make sure to download my Runners Blueprint Guide! Kettle bell training is an effective, appropriate, and time-efficient way for runners to prevent injury and improve performance.
Keep the muscles of the lifted leg engaged by squeezing the quad and flexing your foot. Ensure back is flat, standing knee is slightly bent, and hips drive back to engage the standing leg’s hamstring and glute.
Drive through the heels and squeeze butt muscles to return to a standing position. Start with the kettle bell about a foot in front of you and feet hip width apart.
Reach forward to grab the kettle bell handle with both hands, keeping back flat and hips up. Pull the kettle bell back between the legs, maintaining hip hinge and chest up.
Drive into the bent leg to propel yourself back to the starting position. Start in a lunge stance with one leg back and the same side arm grasping a kettle bell.
Retract the shoulder blade and pull the kettle bell up until elbow just passes the body. Press the kettle bell overhead, keeping elbow in line with the shoulder the entire way up.
Use an exhalation to create tension and engage abdominal muscles through the challenging portion of the lift. Roll onto the elbow of the arm on the floor, keeping the kettle bell stabilized over the shoulder.
We recommend you read more about receiving a quick, free, dynamic kettle bell workout every week you can click below. She learned how to lift kettle bells at one of the top Kettle bell Sport gyms in the United States, Ice Chamber, which has produced seven female Masters of Sport lifters to date (Brittany is the most recent one).
Running is a tough exercise and although it comes natural when we are kids as we get older it becomes a lot more challenging. Any joint misalignment, muscle imbalances or weaknesses will be magnified as you continue to make impact with the ground over and over and over again.
Now for the bad news, most people have joint misalignment, have muscle weaknesses at the hips and core and carry too much weight. For some people who carry too much weight or have bad alignment or stability issues then yes I recommend you strengthen your body first before hitting the running track.
The single leg dead lift heavily activates the glutes and hamstrings while at the same time teaching good core and hip stability. Also, excessive pronation of the feet (caving of the arch inwards) may not require fancy running shoes with built up arches but rather just a strengthening of the hip stabilizers to improve leg alignment.
Finally, the single leg dead lift will strengthen the Hamstrings which are your body’s natural brakes so excellent for controlling speed while running. Lunges can be performed slowly and therefore more controlled than running so focus can be placed on great technique and keeping the foot, knees and hips in alignment.
The pistol squat is the ultimate single leg strength building exercise. If you maintain good technique and progress the exercise slowly it forces excellent hip stabilization as well as strengthening the quads and hamstrings.
Practice first without any weight by holding onto a Tax or rope or bands secured in front of you. An excellent addition to any kettle bell workout for runners is the Farmers Carry, this exercise will strengthen the core muscles that help stabilize the pelvis as you move forwards.
Holding a kettle bell just in one hand by your side forces the core muscles to work hard to maintain an upright position. A powerful core rotational exercise for runners bird dog with rotation will help link up those natural cross body sling systems that run from the shoulder to opposite leg via the core muscles.
Keep the exercise slow and deliberate performing 10 reps on each side for 3 sets. It is vital during this exercise that the core is engaged and the lower back keep nice and flat to the floor.
In theory, you should be able to perform this same exercise while standing and engaging the core muscles and swinging the leg forwards and backwards. Running is a challenging exercise that requires very good hip and core strength as well as joint alignment and mobility.
In 2014, a large meta-analysis showed that strength training reduces injuries far more effectively than other interventions such as stretching. Strength training has also been shown to increase running economy by about 8% (Jung 2003).
Improving your running economy means that you can go faster for the same energy expenditure. To put that into context, an 8% improvement on a 4-hour marathon time would be around 19 minutes.
So if you’re interested in knocking almost 20 minutes off your marathon time, you might want to consider adding some strength work to your training. In that article, I discuss a ‘bare bones’ routine to get runners who don’t do any strength training going.
I’ve chosen these five exercises to create a whole body workout that would take about 20-30 minutes and could be included 1-2 times a week. With this routine you could benefit from a 5% improvement in running economy and 60% reduction in injury week.
The rear lunge will strengthen the calves, hamstring, glutes, quads, lateral core and shoulder girdle. Be sure to touch the floor, that will make you control the movement so you don’t bang your knee.
If runners were only going to do two exercises, they should be the rear lunge and the single leg dead lift. The half kneeling shoulder press is a great way to get maximum back for your buck with an arm strengthening exercise.
Kettle bell swings are a fantastic way to introduce some plyometric type, fast, power building work into your strength routine. The kettle bell swings target the same muscles as the single leg dead lift but have the added benefit of speed.
Including this faster strengthening work helps build power in your muscles and increased resilience in your hamstring tendons. Structured correctly, you can also use the kettle bell swing to sneak in some high intensity interval training.
Position 2 is standing up straight holding the kettle bell out in front of you at 90 degrees. By far the most complicated and the most fun, a lifetime spent perfecting only the Turkish Get Up would not be wasted.
In contrast to the speed/power work of the kettle bell swing, the Turkish get up is all about slow endurance strength and control. If you come to love the Turkish Get Up and kettle bell swing as much as me, I’d recommend checking out the book Simple & Sinister by Pavel.
A fantastic program to potentially increase your performance by 5% and reduce your injury risk by 60%. If you are having trouble with the technique for the single leg dead lift and the kettle bell swing you are not alone.