Strength Training For Runners – The Kettlebell | Nutrition Fit



If you enter any gym, you might find people in the corner exercising using a metal ball amongst those who use dumbbells and barbells. This metal ball is called the kettlebell and it has risen in terms of popularity among fitness enthusiasts everywhere in recent years.

Kettlebells offer a different dimension to a lot of workout programs. Their size and unique shape forces users to utilize large amounts of force to control the weight via a huge range of motion. This helps users to develop both strength and coordination.

For runners, kettlebells also provide certain benefits, especially for building up the strength around the core, a muscle group which is very important for runners to maintain their proper running form and endurance.

Here we have compiled several kettlebell exercises that will help you as a runner to improve your performance and prevent injury:

Kettlebell Swing

The kettlebell swing is the most common kettlebell exercise. It builds and develops power and strength via the hips, especially in the hamstrings and the glutes. Runners, who constantly pound the pavement with each footfall, need to do this exercise to improve performance and prevent injury. The explosive nature of the swing also adds a unique dimension to your strength training regiment.

The force needed to do this exercise must come from your hips, not from bending your knees. You should keep a slight bend but concentrate on snapping your hips to swing the kettlebell. You must not pull the weight with your arms. Your elbows must remain locked through the entire motion and use your upper body to hold on to the swinging kettlebell.

Kettlebell Push Press

Similar with the swing, the kettleball push press aims to develop strength and explosiveness. The focus of this exercise is on the upper body. A lot of runners tend to ignore developing their upper body strength. They prefer to spend most of their time to develop their lower half. Actually, the upper body is very important for maintaining proper running form and breathing, two key factors of optimum performance.

The push press is very special because it channels power from the lower body to the upper and develops coordination in the process. Do not use your upper body to carry the kettlebell up. After slightly bending your hips and knees, you must explode up and lift the kettlebell over your head for maximum benefit.

Kettlebell Floor To Shelf

Running might appear only about moving straight forward but there is actually a twist that goes during your running stride. Due to this, twisting or rotating movements are very important for runners. The floor to shelf exercise develops strength in the upper body with a special focus on the midsection. This exercise also needs eccentric strength, a unique type of movement which requires the obliques to slow down the rotation movement at the optimum point of the exercise to prevent injury. This eccentric strength enables you to prevent excessive rotation during your runs and keeps you in proper running form.

The lower body has a crucial role to play in this exercise. As you twist, you need to focus on pivoting your feet and your hips to complete the movement. This will emphasize the rotation while keeping your ankles and knees safe from injury.

Kettlebell Turkish Get-Up

This is perhaps the most unique kettlebell exercise you will see in the gym. This exercise makes something as simple as getting up off the floor into one of the most difficult tasks you will do during your workout days. You start by lying down on the floor with your kettlebell and then move to a standing position. This exercise requires a complex series of movements including twists, lunges and sit ups. This basically strengthens your entire body in one motion.

Do not force yourself to complete the set too fast. Each part of this exercise will develop different muscle group of your body. You must focus on moving slowly and take temporary pause during the most challenging parts of this exercise so you can develop balance and strength.


Source by Hans David