Sprinting with Kettlebells
Running is the most common movement athletes perform in all sports. Athletes must be constantly moving and be able to get to the next space needed. Once the athlete gets to that space, they must also be ready to perform with maximum efficiency.
If an athlete is completely gassed by the time they reach their destination, they will be not be able to perform at their maximum capacity and risk losing an opportunity against their opponent. When it comes to conditioning, I feel the best thing for athletes is to mix up running with exercises.
This type of conditioning does a great job of simulating what it will be like on the day competition and athletes will be better prepared. The benefits from this type of training are tremendous.
First off, you will have the lungs of a thoroughbred as your VO2 levels will rise. VO2 is the maximum amount of oxygen the body can utilize during a specified period of exercise.
Second, you will adapt to be constantly moving without rest which is what athletes must endure during competition. Third, it will make you stronger mentally by pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone.
There are several types of combinations you can do when it comes to sprinting and exercises. The following are a few examples.
- Sprint down and back 1x,2x,3x (distance can be between 25m to 50m)
- Sprint ladders of 10m,20m,30m,40m
- Sprint for time (anywhere between 15sec to 30sec)
- Hill sprints
Kettlebell Exercises to combine with sprints:
- Long Cycle
- Goblet Squats
Mixing Kettlebells with Sprints
How does one mix in kettlebell exercises with sprints? Well, I am glad you asked. You can do something as simple as this:
Use the sprint down and back example and the snatch. You will snatch 10 reps each arm and then sprint down 25m and then back 25m one time. Then you will snatch 10 reps each arm again sprint down and back and as soon as you get back snatch another 10 reps each arm and then sprint down and back again.
Repeat the process one more time snatching and sprinting down and back 3 times. Basically every time you finish running, you are snatching in between and the more times you run down and back the more times you snatch. I would do 3 sets of something like this and when it comes to reps you can go heavy or light.
Heavy is defined as a weight that you can easily do for 10 reps and you would actually only do 5 reps with that weight.
Keep the rep range between 5 and 20 no more or less. Remember keep the weight light as we are conditioning our bodies to be constantly moving around. The focus here is on conditioning, not strength. These types of workouts should be performed on your off days between your strength training days.
Here are three more examples of mixing kettlebells with running:
- Swing 20 reps then do a hill sprint (repeat 5 times).
- Thrusters 10 reps each arm then do a hill sprint with the kettlebell (repeat 5 times)
- Rest between 30 sec to 1 min after each hill sprint depending on your fitness level
Sprint ladder – pick 4 distances equally spaced apart. For example, I will use distances of 10m, 20m, 30m, and 40m.
- Three sets of ladders on the first set.
- 10 reps of goblet squats, sprint down to the 10m mark and then drop down and do 10 push ups.
- Sprint back and then start over
- Perform 10 goblet squats followed by 10 push ups at the 20m mark. Do the same thing for the 30m mark and the 40m mark.
- 10 reps of swings at the starting point
- 10 squat jumps at the 10m, 20m, 30m, and 40m marks
- 10 snatches on each arm at the starting point
- 10 burpees at the 10m, 20m, 30m, and 40m marks
There is no rest when you are performing the ladder just go as fast as you can until finished. Between sets rest for 1 min to 3 min depending on your fitness levels.
- 20 swings then sprint down 25m and back 25m 3 times
- 10 snatches on each arm and then sprint down and back 3 times
- 10 thrusters on each arm then sprint down and back 3 times
If you have a stopwatch or timer, you could replace the running back 3 times by going for 30 sec all out. The reason you run back and forth 3 times between each exercise is because you want to be at a distance that will take you around 30 sec to complete.
Do the swings, then sprint, snatch, then sprint, do thrusters, and sprint. That is one set, repeat for 3 sets. You are going for time. there is no rest in this one at all just keep going until you have finished all 3 sets. Then when you repeat this workout, try to beat your overall time.
As you can see, the possibilities are endless when it comes to mixing it up with running and exercises.
Just keep the weight low, reps between 5 to 20, the sprints to distances that would take you no longer than 30 sec to run, and get creative and fun with it.