Posts Tagged ‘athlete training’

Kettlebell Training for Athletes (Published in West Metro Sports Magazine, Feb 2011)

By Mark Snow, MA, RKC, ATC, CK-FMS

Soccer Athlete Danny Working Out at SGHP During the Off-Season

Many athletes and their parents alike would like to know the best way to train for their upcoming sports seasons.  Ideally the goals of off-season/pre-season training program SHOULD be to:

  • help prepare the athlete for the upcoming season
  • have the athlete be more resistant to injury from the stresses of that the particular sport

Everything beyond these two goals is a bonus in my mind.  Ideally athletes want to get stronger, faster, and improve in their sports skills to accomplish their goals.  To achieve the bonus you must first achieve the first two goals.  Because for one, you cannot achieve much without a solid foundation and two, you cannot do anything if you are hampered by an injury all season.

So what type of training is out there that addresses the following:

  • movement based
  • trains the body as a whole
  • provides balance, proprioception, strength, skill, and power (all which are ultimately required to be a good athlete)
  • helps to address and correct imbalances and asymmetries (these can lead to poor performance and ultimately an injury)
  • MOST IMPORTANT – the exercises, drills, and movements carry over into the playing field, court and etc.

One method that we prefer is kettlebell training.  Not only just kettlebell training but the Russian Kettlebell Challenge (RKC) method of kettlebell training.  You see, anyone can go to a local store and purchase a kettlebell and practice at home to a book or DVD with some positive carry over effects to their skill level.  But how did all you athletes learn your particular skills in sports?  More than likely you met with a coach at one time or another and practiced, drilled, and practiced (again) sports skills.  This is what allows you to thrive in your sport, you have a solid foundation of sports skill.  The same can be said of the RKC system and what we provide our clients.  The system provides a step by step process of developing your body as an athlete in the way that addresses all of the bullet points above as well as helping you achieve your goals of preparation for the upcoming season and preventing injury and all of those bonuses as well.  The RKC system uses the kettlebell as a tool to provide the following positive adaptations to the body:

  • Coordination
  • Dynamic Mobility & Stability
  • QUALITY of movement
  • Strength
  • and the ultimate goal POWER

Any athlete can work or be worked out until the point of exhaustion, but what was the carry over effect if any?

Two of the foundational kettlebell exercises of the RKC is the kettlebell swing (see above) and the turkish get up (see below).

These two lifts ALONE provide a huge carry over into the sports fields as they require:
proper movement (the same movements to properly perform your sports skills with efficiency)

  • demand coordination
  • work the body as a whole

Now do we use only kettlebells? Nope, but the majority of our training includes using kettlebells.  Anything else we use (bodyweight exercises, battling ropes, TRX suspension training) is still used under the RKC System of training.  Why you ask that we use kettlebells over other conventional methods?  Because I have worked with athletes from as young as 10 years of age up to professional athletes and I have NEVER seen the type of response and carry over effect of training into the athlete’s sport that the RKC system of kettlebell training provides.  The proof is in the pudding.  If you need proof just ask the Indianapolis Colts and the Vanderbilt University Football and Baseball teams (just two immediate examples, there are many more).

Ultimately if you want to prepare yourself for your upcoming season first take a look at your goals.  Next you need to find a way to train that will help prepare you to achieve those goals.  If what you are doing right now does not carry over into your sport nor towards you goals then you need to find another way to train in my mind.

Mark Snow is a Russian Kettlebell Certified Instructor, Functional Movement Specialist, and Athletic Trainer.  He and his wife, Nikki, own SG Human Performance.  For more information on kettlebell athletics classes, semi-private training, or adult classes.  Check out or email Mark at

We are teaming up with University of Nebraska Omaha this Summer to provide athletes ages 13 and up an opportunity to train like the professionals do.   SG Human Performance uses the same program used by Professional Teams such as the Indianapolis Colts and Vanderbilt University (among others) which uses the functional movement screen and kettlebell training under the program of the Russian Kettlebell Challenge.

The Summer camp will run in 2 sessions.   the camp will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10am or 2pm.  Session 1 will run June 1st to July 2nd and Session 2 will run July 5th through August 6th.  The bootcamp will address athletes ability to move with proper mobility, stability, power and coordination.  We will be using kettlebell training primarily along with body weight drills and battling ropes.

Anyone who is interested can download the brochure here for more information and can sign up for the bootcamp by emailing or by clicking here.  Cost comes down to less than $20 per workout!