Friday, 3 May 2013
Kettlebells for triathletes part 2
Hope fully by now you will have read and digested some of part 1 and why kettlebell training should be an integral part of your strength and conditioning for endurance events.
In part 2 we will cover selection of a kettlebell and weight, and cover further exercises which will aid you in your strength training.
When choosing a KB it comes down to an individual’s choice and much has been written covering this subject.
The KB should fit comfortably in the hand and easy to grip, with the handle being smooth, the horns rounded not angular and the distance from the bell to the handle around 6cm’s.
I personally use KB’s provided by optimal life fitness or Jordan’s as these fit the above criteria and are averagely priced. Whether you want cast iron, solid, rubber, vinyl dipped is entirely your choice.
Weight wise it is widely recognised that female’s starting out should use between an 8kg – 12kg KB and med 16kg-20kg KB. Again this is down to experience with KB’s and current fitness levels.
The main point to remember is that the KB will work your body as an entire unit and not isolate muscle groups (unless used for this purpose) so starting with the above suggested weights until the technique is mastered is sound advice. Please don’t purchase any of the so called fitness belles which range from about 2.5kg to 7kg as you will quickly find that these are of no use to you in any capacity apart from a doorstop.
These can be used as part of your training and are widely used by athletes with Kb’s.
The basic’s are
One arm row
And are utilised the same way as a normal dumbbell, beware though that the KB does hang as dead weight and is harder to control compared to a balanced Dumbbell. We will add some more isolation exercises later.
Once you have mastered the basic Kb techniques, you can look to progress onto other exercises; one thing that I as a coach and KB user advocate is the turn method of swinging.
Many people use the standard version (American) which places a lot of pressure onto the front deltoid and users/athletes tend to try and lift rather than swing the KB.
The thumb method basically is turning your thumb to the rear (thumb to bum) as the Kb swings through your legs. This method allows for better control and utilises the rotator cuff muscles, triceps and deltoids to be incorporated more and ensures that the athlete “snaps out” from the hips utilising the PKC (posterior kinetic chain) and ensures the bell swings rather than being lifted.
Most Kb movements start from the swing and can be completed using one or two Kb’s below is some of the basic exercises.
1. Double handed swing
2. Single hand swing
3. Alternate hand swing
4. The clean (rack)
5. The High Pull
6. The swing snatch
7. Military Press
8. See Saws.
9. Front Squat
10. Conventional dead lift
These exercises must be practiced and perfected before moving onto additional exercises, I have tried to include what I feel are the better versions for triathletes, and have tried many and varied versions with Team T.O.D over the past year.
1. Arrowhead swing (double swing to overheard)
2. Saxon side bends
3. Diagonal snatch
4. Reaching Lunge (front, side, rear)
5. Stair Squat
6. One arm Scot’s press (squat press)
8. Turkish get up (lunge style)
9. Split jerk
10. Push Press
The above list is not exhaustive either are the different types or amounts of KB exercises out there,
However the above and the exercises listed in this blog are as I said what I as a coach and triathletes from Team T.O.D who have used the KB’s as an integral part of there training consider to be the better ones.
If there are any out there we have missed or are considered to be better than those listed please let me know and I will try them out.
Conventional exercises have briefly been covered but we will add some more to the list which can be beneficial to your strength programme and should e incorporate as part of it and not used as stand alone exercises.
1. Bench press
2. Calf raise
3. Thumbs up press up
4. The Fly
5. Straight arm pull over
6. Bent arm pull over
7. Front arm raise
8. Jowett tricep kickback
9. Side press
10. Bent press
When it comes down to sets and reps for any of the exercises listed, this again is down to specifics and what the outcome of your session is to be.
Predominantly we as a team tended to opt for between 12-15 reps of a set, and also conducted timed circuits of 5 minutes with 30 seconds of an exercise and fifteen seconds rest, completing as many reps as possible in that time for each exercise, this also lends the body to metabolic conditioning which is a another subject in its entirety.