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Kettlebells are a great training tool for wrestlers. They are versatile and can be used for power-based dynamic movements such as swings or more traditional strength exercises such as presses and rows. Most kettlebell workouts fall under what I would call functional conditioning — using a variety of full-body movements together in a circuit. You get to work on improving your strength, cardio, and coordination. What’s not to love?
Here is a killer kettlebell circuit that is perfect for wrestlers:
- Swings - 10
- Deck Squats - 10
- Single-Leg Bridge Press - 10/10
- Pass Pause Row - 10/10
- x 3-5 rounds
Go straight through the circuit with no breaks but rest 1-2 minutes between rounds.
Keys to the movements:
Swings - Place the KB on the floor roughly 1 foot in front of you. Hinge at the waist and “drag” the KB towards you and through your legs. Hinge up and extend your hips forcefully. The power from your glutes and lower back will cause the bell to swing up close to shoulder height. As it falls, hinge forward (similar to a pull through or RDL) and allow the KB to swing between your legs. Repeat for the assigned number of reps with no breaks in momentum. IMPORTANT: do not squat or use your shoulders to raise the KB or slow its descent.
Deck Squats - Lay down in a sit-up position, feet wide, and the KB overhead. Grasp the handle, pull the KB over and up in front of you as you sit up and stand. Extend your hips towards the KB. Return to start position carefully.
Single-Leg Bridge Press - Begin in a sit-up position with the KB in one hand. Perform a single Leg Glute Bridge on the opposite leg. Hold the top position (straight line from knee through hip to shoulder) while you perform presses on the opposite side. Resist rotation of the hips. Repeat on the opposite side.
Pass Pause Row - Hinge forward and keep your back flat. Perform a single-arm row and pause at the top for 1 second. Pass the KB to the other hand and pause at the top for 1 second. Lower and repeat. Focus on pulling your elbow up and back towards the hip and fully retracting the scapula.
Coach Myers is the strength coach for the Ohio Regional Training Center at The Ohio State University. With the Ohio RTC since 2012, he served as Ohio State Wrestling’s primary strength coach from 2014-18, helping the Buckeyes win three Big Ten titles, their first-ever team NCAA championship, and two runner-up finishes.
A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), Coach Myers owns the Old School Gym in Pataskala, OH, and is a founding partner of top supplement company Max Effort Muscle. Follow him on Instagram and Facebook, and learn more about his strength and conditioning programs for wrestlers of all ages here.