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2013-05-05 2:05 AM

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Subject: Kettle bell exercises for triathletes advice please?????
GuysI might get 2x35 lbs. kettle bells any info about kettle bell exercises??Any info is helpfulThanksKarl


2013-05-05 8:57 AM
in reply to: #4727707

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HappyVille, Arizona
Subject: RE: Kettle bell exercises for triathletes advice please?????

Can't go wrong with the basic kettlebell swing.  Russian and American swings work the whole body.  Make sure you learn how to do it correctly so you don't hurt yourself .. lots and lots of videos on the webz!

Swings, snatches, cleans, ballistic high pulls, (those are ones I can think of the top o my head) .. those are exercises that will utilize the swing and really get your whole body involved. 

You can use the kettlebells like you would dumbells as well ... just learn how to properly hold them, rack them etc so you get the most benefit without any injury.  Then you can use them for shoulder presses, squats, farmers carries, pullover sit ups ... and much more. 

2013-05-05 4:43 PM
in reply to: #4727707

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Subject: RE: Kettle bell exercises for triathletes advice please?????
Keep things very simple at first. Stick with this:

Single KB swing or snatch.
Double KB clean and press. Add a clean before every press and you get a nice conditioning workout.
Double KB front squat. Because KBs position the weight more forward than a barbell front squat, the abs really get a workout trying to stabilize the weight. The double KB front squat is the answer to the question "What type of core workout should I do?"

Split these into two workout days. On one day do clean and press and front squat. On the other day do swings or snatches. A good way to structure these when you're first starting out with KBs is to do ladders. Start with one rep, rest, then two reps, rest, then three reps, and so forth. Go until the number of reps is challenging but don't go to failure, then start over. Use common sense for rest periods. For instance, you'll probably need hardly any rest after one or two reps, but will need more after 6 reps, for example. At first do 2 to 3 ladders. Work up to doing 5 ladders.
2013-05-11 6:20 AM
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Subject: RE: Kettle bell exercises for triathletes advice please?????
Turkish get ups are pretty awesome for some stability work too. Nice finisher
2013-05-12 9:14 PM
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Subject: RE: Kettle bell exercises for triathletes advice please?????

So far i'm about four weeks into my kettle bell sessions with a Personal Trainer.  The guy's name is Andrew Read - he often posts youtube videos about moves etc.

After two weeks my swim coach commented on my technique improvements.....a coincidence?  That same week I improved my run speed too by about 30secs per km on a short run.

 

 

2013-05-13 4:57 PM
in reply to: #4739078

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HappyVille, Arizona
Subject: RE: Kettle bell exercises for triathletes advice please?????
I just did single arm kettlebell snatches between my squat sets. 5 sets of 15 reps each arm with the 30# bell! It really is a great exercise! Just wanted to give it a shout out! Got my heart pumping and my body nice and warm so I could then tackle the crossfit workout! 


2013-05-13 8:17 PM
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Subject: RE: Kettle bell exercises for triathletes advice please?????

alburyscott - 2013-05-11 11:20 PM Turkish get ups are pretty awesome for some stability work too. Nice finisher

In my session last night I got taught the get up.  Ouch - looks so easy watching people do that - my arm was shaking!  So convinced I'm gonna drop that kettlebell on my face!

2013-05-15 1:08 PM
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Subject: RE: Kettle bell exercises for triathletes advice please?????
There is zero reason whatsoever for most athletes to use kettlebells.  There are many safer and far more effective and efficient ways to strengthen your posterior chain, improve coordination, improve explosive power, and improve local strength-endurance.
2013-05-15 1:21 PM
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2013-05-15 2:07 PM
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Subject: RE: Kettle bell exercises for triathletes advice please?????

AlexViada - 2013-05-15 2:08 PM There is zero reason whatsoever for most athletes to use kettlebells.  There are many safer and far more effective and efficient ways to strengthen your posterior chain, improve coordination, improve explosive power, and improve local strength-endurance.

That's a pretty bold statement. Would you like to elaborate? 

If one knows what they are doing, why would you say they are unsafe? This is like the general population saying "running is bad for you" or "running is bad for your knees." People get hurt doing olympic lifts, doing bodyweight exercises and walking their dogs.

There are ALWAYS different exercises one can do for fitness gains. You can say this about cardio, about olympic lifting, kettlebells, anything. Maybe the poster wants to use them? Personally, I love them and find them fun. Now, back to the original question, I am not a triathlon coach and wouldn't say how beneficial a KB program would be, but gaining strength with triathlon training isn't a bad thing. If the OP wants to use KB's to do it, why not?

2013-05-16 2:12 PM
in reply to: #4744057


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Subject: RE: Kettle bell exercises for triathletes advice please?????
Comet - 2013-05-15 3:07 PM

AlexViada - 2013-05-15 2:08 PM There is zero reason whatsoever for most athletes to use kettlebells.  There are many safer and far more effective and efficient ways to strengthen your posterior chain, improve coordination, improve explosive power, and improve local strength-endurance.

That's a pretty bold statement. Would you like to elaborate? 

If one knows what they are doing, why would you say they are unsafe? 

 

Certainly.

 

For any activity that is being done as an accessory to one's chosen sport, I always look at the cost/benefit of said activity- how hard is it to learn?  How long does one need to practice it before becoming accomplished enough to benefit from it?  What is it specifically training, and are there other ways to get the same training effect with a smaller learning curve?

 

The target muscles of the typical kettlebell swing are indeed the entire posterior chain, and there's certainly nothing wrong with performing them in general.  However, given the nature of the movement, and the fact that momentum plays a major role, the prime movers are really only being engaged for a small portion of the movement- typically the most extreme joint angles in the crouch position, which offers the least carryover to most running and cycling movements.  The exercise itself is also not explosive- it makes heavy use of the stretch reflex (muscle spindle action) to propel the weight back up, which further reduces the active contraction needed to move the load.  A properly performed deadlift is far more effective at targeting the same muscle groups, and box squats or front squats can similarly overload the target muscles with far more movement modalities (explosive, dynamic effort, maximum effort, plyometric, etc.) than the kettlebell.

For conditioning, the kettlebell will not likely add any cardiovascular stress to even a moderately trained triathlete, so in that regard it is not a useful exercise.

At the end of the day, the risk of injury is present in ANY exercise, even if performed correctly (we're all human, we all fatigue, we all make mistakes or have moments of sheer uncoordinated foolishness), but with a lift that utilizes momentum as a major component the likelihood of injury does increase.

I would never discourage trying a new activity!  If the OP wants to use kettlebells for fun or for a challenge, have at it!  They can be great to use, and a fun way to increase strength.  

My point is simply that if the OP's objective was strictly improving actual muscle strength, improving mobility, or improving local muscular endurance, kettlebells would NOT be my first choice.  It takes time to learn, and even once perfected, it's not a movement that offers the most benefits or bang for your buck.  Most of the triathletes I coach prefer to minimize their time in the weight room while maximizing their results, and kettlebells have no place if that's the goal.  (Again, for a triathlete.  There are plenty of sports where their use in various forms could be indicated!)



2013-05-19 9:29 AM
in reply to: AlexViada

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Subject: RE: Kettle bell exercises for triathletes advice please?????
Alex,

Thanks for clarifying your position. Some of your points do make sense. Here is a decent, although by no means comprehensive, article about some of the benefits of kettlebells:

http://breakingmuscle.com/kettlebells/kettlebell-swing-why-its-perf...

I've read in other sources where Stuart McGill approves of the KB as a back exercise. He has said that the best way to prevent a lower back, and also to rehab an injury, is to improve muscular endurance of the lower back muscles as oppose to maximal strength. Having suffered a low back injury some years ago, this is important to me. I had a bad herniation at L4-L5. It hurt to walk, and forget about running. Today I am pain free. Re-building muscular strength and endurance is what I feel helped the most, and KB swings played a role here. I'm not one for hype, so I won't say that the KB swing cured me, but they played a role.

I don't think KB swings are that hard to learn. I think they are safer than the box squat - I picture trainees slamming their butts on the box which can't be good for the back.

Deadlifts rock, no question, and I don't think KB swings can replace deadlifts. Everyone should do them. Front squats rock hard as well, but not everyone can do them. Having trained in Olympic lifting, I am fortunate to have learned how to correctly front squat and this exercise is now a good friend.

As for cardio benefits, I think it all depends on how many reps you do in the swing. I once tried going 5 minutes of non-stop swings with a 16 kg. I nearly died. To be fair, the benefits from swings are more anaerobic than aerobic. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, and anaerobic work has been shown to be very good for aiding in fat loss. I would argue that having a heavy person perform swings is safer and more joint friendly than having them do sprints.
2013-05-19 12:34 PM
in reply to: MikeTheBear


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Subject: RE: Kettle bell exercises for triathletes advice please?????
Originally posted by MikeTheBear

Alex,

Thanks for clarifying your position. Some of your points do make sense. Here is a decent, although by no means comprehensive, article about some of the benefits of kettlebells:

http://breakingmuscle.com/kettlebells/kettlebell-swing-why-its-perf...

I've read in other sources where Stuart McGill approves of the KB as a back exercise. He has said that the best way to prevent a lower back, and also to rehab an injury, is to improve muscular endurance of the lower back muscles as oppose to maximal strength. Having suffered a low back injury some years ago, this is important to me. I had a bad herniation at L4-L5. It hurt to walk, and forget about running. Today I am pain free. Re-building muscular strength and endurance is what I feel helped the most, and KB swings played a role here. I'm not one for hype, so I won't say that the KB swing cured me, but they played a role.

I don't think KB swings are that hard to learn. I think they are safer than the box squat - I picture trainees slamming their butts on the box which can't be good for the back.

Deadlifts rock, no question, and I don't think KB swings can replace deadlifts. Everyone should do them. Front squats rock hard as well, but not everyone can do them. Having trained in Olympic lifting, I am fortunate to have learned how to correctly front squat and this exercise is now a good friend.

As for cardio benefits, I think it all depends on how many reps you do in the swing. I once tried going 5 minutes of non-stop swings with a 16 kg. I nearly died. To be fair, the benefits from swings are more anaerobic than aerobic. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, and anaerobic work has been shown to be very good for aiding in fat loss. I would argue that having a heavy person perform swings is safer and more joint friendly than having them do sprints.


Hi Mike!

Front squats are a good friend? Man, I tend to view them more as that guy who always speaks up in meetings to correct you, and unfortunately is always right. Uncomfortable, aggravating, painful at times... but good for you I GUESS. lol

That's not a bad article, unfortunately the author probably should have read his source material... The study he cites (by McGill) refers to a very specific swing (NOT the "american" swing you see around so often), and includes the abdominal contraction known as a "kime" at the top of the movement. I have yet to see an individual performing the swing as such, while emphasizing or even mentioning the kime in a single kettlebell video. This abdominal contraction actually has pretty important repercussions on lower back activation during the terminal phase of the movement, as this could actually be in part responsible for inducing mild posterior pelvic tilt, which could be forcing additional lower back activation (and therefore stability). McGill also mentions that the particular shear forces at play during the swing may be the "reverse" of what is experienced during typical loading (since the load is moving at a different vector), and while this may be therapeutic, there is no precedent for this particular load type in the literature, and no safe tolerance has ever been assessed. So the data is much more murky than the article seems to portray.

You're absolutely correct in that even the humble box squat can be poorly done- however a single session that involves the coach yelling "Don't flop down or put all your weight on the bloody box you nit" is usually more than enough to address a major cause for injury, while I've seen numerous KB coaches having their athletes tossing the weight all over the place, performing swings to fatigue with major lumbar rounding, excessive ROM, etc. etc. It is a VERY hard movement to self-correct, and more technical than many non-ballistic, straight path bar movements.

And true, KB swings may be better than sprints... but are they better than cycling intervals? In my book, when you look at a movement being done to complete anaerobic fatigue, it's generally best to think about what the consequence is of deteriorating performance. In a bike interval, once the legs begin to fatigue the major consequence is... reduced leg power and turnover rate. I am more concerned about the average athlete suffering an asthma attack during bike intervals than throwing out their rotator tugging on the handlebars.

However, during any complex multiple joint movement under load, fatigue will begin to affect both the prime movers AND the stabilizers and core. For a well trained individual, he or she may be aware enough to abort the lifting when the lower back begins to fatigue and lose its integrity, but will the average trainee? When the body begins to fatigue during a kettlebell swing, chance of falling into poor movement patterns (and therefore injury) goes way up. And when you're huffing and puffing, trying to crank out a few more seconds of swings,are you REALLY focusing on perfect form and abdominal contraction on every rep?

Again, I don't want to seem argumentative (really, I swear!) or say that there are no potential benefits- like any other movement, it can have its purpose. I just think that they are DRASTICALLY over-prescribed for relatively inexperienced individuals or casual trainees. Experienced lifters with a strong CrossFit or Olympic Weightlifting background may be able to perform these with relative ease- the former group is (hopefully) well aware of their form limitations in complex movements while fatigued, and the latter group has extensive experience with ballistic movement, so have at it! But if a triathlete is just looking to build overall muscle strength and stability... definitely not. Yes it's "in vogue", and people LOVE to post pictures of kettlebells all over their blogs, but that doesn't make it the right thing to be doing. Maybe I'm a back to basics curmudgeon in my training approaches, but I really just think that any training modality should be selected for safety first, efficacy and specificity second, and "entertainment" third (assuming that the sport itself is the individual's real love, and they value setting new PRs in their races over having a bit more fun in the weight room).

Hey. Just one guy's opinion.

2013-05-19 9:17 PM
in reply to: AlexViada

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Subject: RE: Kettle bell exercises for triathletes advice please?????
Alex, I don't think you're being argumentative at all. I have learned much from your posts, this one in particular. Over the years I have realized some of the limitations of KB swings. I think they are good for conditioning and for power endurance, and I have noticed increased endurance in my lower back when I bike or run. But as yet they have not really helped my Olympic lifting.

As for my enjoyment of the front squat, I am 5'8" with a long torso and short legs. I am an ogre-like troll built to squat. Would gladly trade my ability to squat for a few extra inches of height.
2013-07-03 12:06 PM
in reply to: MikeTheBear

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Subject: RE: Kettle bell exercises for triathletes advice please?????

To join the party on this - let me first note that I appreciate the information on both sides.  Also, allow me to give my comments context.  I did marathons for 3 years, then switched over to tris for 3-4 years.  I ended up having to take about 18 months off from injury and could never get the momentum going because of repeated nagging injuries creeping up.

So, for my birthday, my wife bought me a 10 pack of trainer sessions.  My trainer is a former runner / triathlete who now is more of a lifter and mobility guy.  His certifications include being kettleball certified (whatever that means).

Anyway, it became immediately apparent to my trainer that I had no mobility.  I could go forever in a straight line, but not only was using the wrong muscles to compensate, but also had no balance.  I couldn't do a simple squat because my ankles, hips and abs were so out of whack.  Granted - I could squat down - but heels in the air, leaning forward with a curved back.

After months of mobility and stretching, we incorporated deadlifting and have now moved over to KB swings.  I'm still learning the KB swing and continue to use lower weights to insure my form is correct.

But here is what I see from KB swings and why I've become a believer in the benefit of KB swings for triathletes (of course all points below infer that you have proper form):

(1) It forces you to develop your core and spine.  In many ways, your spine position at the base of the KB swing mirrors your aero position on the bike.

(2) It is a GREAT hamstring stretch.  As I descend and feel the KB swing down, I get a nice stretch in the hammies - which after miles of running - feels GREAT!

(3) The ballistic nature of the swing, at least for me, has shown great benefits in my hip strength.  This relates to my lack of mobility, but I have seen improvements in my cycling from opening up my hips and the explosive ballistic move.

(4) String enough of them together, it is a nice way to get a cardio boost.

(5) and finally, again at least for me, I have also seen benefits in my swim stroke from the upper body positioning of a KB swing.  You keep your chest up, chin slightly down and shoulders back and set.  I've started to feel my swim stroke improve by better anchoring my shoulder blades back.  (not sure I'm describing this properly - but to summarize neatly - the KB swing helps strength my shoulders to keep better swim form)

-------------

 

As to the original question - I use KB in 3 different moves

a) Turkish get ups

b) overhead carries

c) kb swings

2013-07-29 6:55 PM
in reply to: condorman

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Subject: RE: Kettle bell exercises for triathletes advice please?????

I have a friend/personal trainer who is a master of Kettle Bell training etc.  He has completed IM and HIM distances.  He also writes for Triathlon and Multisports magazine in Australia.

I mentioned this post to him and he said post a link to my website if anyone wants to have a look.  He knows his stuff.

FYI - for me I do Turkish Get ups, sings, squats, single dead lifts...

He has some videos on YouTube.  (he's in Melbourne Australia so not that accessible outside of there!)

www.readpt.com

Here's his resume...

  • Strength and Conditioning coach at the Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS)
  • Senior RKC (Russian Kettlebell Certified instructor – the only Australian ever promoted to this level).
  • Certified Kettlebell Functional Movement Specialist
  • Certified Indian Club Specialist
  • National Director Primal Move
  • Qualified Olympic and Power Coach through the Australian Weightlifting Federation
  • Ironman Triathlete
  • Author for – Blitz, Ultrafit, Inside MMA, International Kickboxer, Oxygen and Breaking Muscle.
  • Lectured in Australia, USA and Korea.


2013-08-30 11:25 AM
in reply to: strykergt

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Subject: RE: Kettle bell exercises for triathletes advice please?????
Originally posted by strykergt

GuysI might get 2x35 lbs. kettle bells any info about kettle bell exercises??Any info is helpfulThanksKarl


I've complete a few multisport events here and there, I have been utilizing KB's in my training for the past 3-4 years. If you haven't already bought the kb's (since this was originally posted 3+ months ago) I would encourage you to start with a much lighter weight. 35# doesn't sound to intimidating but if you're using good form, you can run through a killer half hour session with one ~24# kb.

I incorporate kb swings with almost all of my clients and athletes. As it's been said here, good form is key. There are a handful of reliable websites/youtube channels that demonstrate proper technique.

Out of curiosity, how has your progress come since this was originally posted?
2013-09-01 1:27 PM
in reply to: strykergt


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Subject: RE: Kettle bell exercises for triathletes advice please?????
You cannot go wrong with this:


Squats and you can do it several ways:
- the usual one where you hold the KBs by your side
- overhead which is quite useful to use more your gluts and hammies as well as for extra core effort
- pistol squats for super heros

you can also do sumo squats but I thing the position is not very confortable for your knees, it is better to do regular stance overhead squats


Lunges , once again
- KBs by your side
- overhead
- lunge and reach?

Core, chest & back : Renegade row

Core: Turkish get up and the KB Swing


My advice is that you start with a simple circuit, just start!

Squats (overhead or regular)
Renegade row (with push ups)
Turkish get up

then you can incorporate some whole body movements like the clean & press or a regular squat and press


KBs work as BDs but with a better grip for some exercises!
2013-09-17 4:02 AM
in reply to: filipanutrition


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Subject: RE: Kettle bell exercises for triathletes advice please?????
Most Kb movements start from the swing and can be completed using one or two Kb’s below is some of the basic exercises.

Fundamentals.

Double handed swing
Single hand swing
Alternate hand swing
The clean (rack)
The High Pull
The swing snatch
Military Press
See Saws.
Front Squat
Conventional dead lift
These exercises must be practiced and perfected before moving onto additional exercises.

Progression

Arrowhead swing (double swing to overheard)
Saxon side bends
Diagonal snatch
Reaching Lunge (front, side, rear)
Stair Squat
One arm Scot’s press (squat press)
Windmill
Turkish get up (lunge style)
Split jerk
Push Press


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.

Bench press
Calf raise
Thumbs up press up
The Fly
Straight arm pull over
Bent arm pull over
Front arm raise
Jowett tricep kickback
Side press
Bent press


2014-06-14 5:47 AM
in reply to: 0


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Subject: RE: Kettle bell exercises for triathletes advice please?????
Grab a kettlebell with both hands and assume a shortstop position (quarter squat, hips pushed back, spine in alignment), letting the bell hang in front of you. Swing it between your legs and behind your hips. Now stand and swing it up to eye level while extending your hips and contracting your glutes. Drop back to the starting position; let gravity bring the kettlebell back between your legs. Do 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps. Kettlebell workouts combine different swings and lifts. You might, say, perform a clean and press, then a front squat, then the basic swing.

Edited by donaldroche847 2014-06-14 5:48 AM
2014-06-15 1:53 PM
in reply to: strykergt


3

Subject: RE: Kettle bell exercises for triathletes advice please?????
Remember the kettlebell swing is a great exercise, but you need to safely challenge yourself. You are paying a lot for crossfit, get your money's worth! I swing the 20k one handed and the 22k 2 handed.

kettlebells


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