High School Wrestling: Kettlebells, Clubbells, and Indian Clubs for Conditioning | Nutrition Fit



When it comes to wrestling conditioning programs, most wrestlers are familiar with weight training. You know what a barbell looks like and what a dumbbell looks like. You may even know about strongman training involving sandbags, sledgehammers, and kegs. But, do you know about the potential conditioning benefits derived from training with Kettlebells, Clubbells, and Indian Clubs?


I have seen kettlebells described as looking like a cannonball with a thick handle attached. I would say this is an accurate description. Kettlebells originated in Russia. Pavel Tsatsouline has helped kettlebells become very popular in the USA. You may want to check out his book, Enter The Kettlebell! Strength Secret of The Soviet Supermen. Mike Mahler is another trainer who can teach you a lot about kettlebells. In addition, Zach Even-Esh has had great success training wrestlers using kettlebells as a conditioning aid. In other words, kettlebells have become very popular for conditioning.

What Can You Do With Kettlebells?

  • Swings
  • Snatches
  • Cleans
  • Presses
  • Deadlifts
  • Turkish Get Up

Why Should You Train With Kettlebells?

  • Kettlebells are purported to develop extreme all-around fitness. Two studies, one by Voropayev (1983) and another by Vinogradov and Lukyanov (1986), seem to support this. Basically, in each of these studies, subjects trained with only kettlebells improved their performance in a wide array of physical tests even though they didn’t actually train specifically in those athletic endeavors. For instance, in the study by Voropayev (1983) the kettlebell group improved their performance on pull ups more than the control group who actually practiced doing pull ups.
  • Grip Strength
  • Power
  • Endurance
  • Balance

Kettlebells can develop many attributes you need to be a successful wrestler. Kettlebell strength and fitness can easily transfer to the sport of wrestling.


Clubbells were designed by Scott Sonnon, a former USA National Sambo Coach. Sambo is a form of grappling originating in Russia. Clubbells look like a club or a bat and come in different sizes.

What Can You Do With Clubbells?

  • The Swing
  • The Clean to Order
  • The Snatch
  • The Torch Press
  • The Pendulum

Why Should You Train With Clubbells?

  • Grip Strength
  • Agility
  • Speed
  • Flexibility
  • Power
  • Stamina
  • Muscular Endurance

Clubbells work your body through an extreme range of motion that barbells, dumbbells, and even kettlebells cannot. Can you use some of the conditioning benefits listed above in your wrestling endeavors? Yes, of course, you can.

Indian Clubs

Indian Clubs are a distant relative of Clubbells. Indian Clubs look a bit like bowling pins or clubs used for juggling. Did you know that one of the world’s most ancient weapons is also one of its oldest conditioning tools? Clubs have been used for centuries. Clubs were used for training in the ancient world in Persia, Greece, India, and other areas. Indian clubs became popular in the USA during the Victorian Age and are regaining some of that popularity in contemporary times.

What Can You Do With Indian Clubs?

  • Forearm Swing Circles
  • Drumming Exercises
  • The Crucifix
  • The Pendulum Move
  • The Snatch Move
  • Forearm Lever Lifts

Why Should You Train With Indian Clubs?

  • Grip Strength
  • Shoulder Strength
  • Bicep Strength
  • Improve Elbow and Wrist Flexibility
  • Develop Coordination
  • Develop Balance

Pat Miletich, a former five-time UFC Champion is a fan of Indian Clubs. A famous wrestler from India known as the Great Gamma used club swinging as part of his conditioning program. So, perhaps Indian Clubs could help your wrestling conditioning as well.

Kettlebells, Clubbells, and Indian Clubs seem to offer benefits of increased grip strength, endurance, flexibility, and coordination. Consider adding one or more of these tools to your wrestling conditioning program.


Source by Tharin Schwinefus