Learn seven key kettlebell moves that can be combined into three workouts to get runners fit and prevent injury during training.


Moves and workouts put together in collaboration with Kettlebellkings.com

Kettlebell training is an effective, appropriate and efficient way for runners to prevent injury and improve performance. Running causes a lot of impact on the body each time the foot strikes the ground, and long-distance running especially can wear down the muscles and joints over hundreds of miles.

Strength training can help prepare the body to resist typical overuse injuries from running, which are often the result of tight and/or weak hip, gluteal and core muscles. Even if injury is not a concern, strength training can lead to increased speed and power, as well as increased muscular endurance.

Kettlebell training specifically targets the hamstrings, glutes, back and core all at once—areas that are notorious for causing injury in runners if they are not strengthened. Sounds like kettlebells and runners were made for each other, am I right?

Single Leg Deadlift

Targets hamstrings and glutes and enhances unilateral stability.
Single Leg Deadlift 1-min-min (1) (1)
a. Start in a standing position with a kettlebell in one hand.
b. Reach the kettlebell for the floor by hinging at your hips and lifting the leg on the same side that you are holding the kettlebell. Keep the muscles of the lifted leg engaged by squeezing the quad and flexing your foot.
c. Ensure back is flat, standing knee is slightly bent, and hips drive back to engage the standing leg’s hamstring and glute.
d. After you tap the kettlebell to the floor (or however far down you can go maintaining a flat back), rise back up to standing position with control.

Goblet Squat

Targets hamstrings, glutes, quads, arms, and core.
Goblet Squat 1-min-min (1) (1) Goblet Squat 2-min-min (1) (1)
a. Place hands on either side of the kettlebell handle and hold the kettlebell in front of the chest.
b. Push hips back with the chest up to come into the squat position; elbows should lightly tap the inside of the knees.
c. Drive through the heels and squeeze butt muscles to return back to a standing position.

Swing

Targets hamstrings, glutes, back and core.
Swing 1-min-min (1) (1) (1) Swing 2-min-min (1) (1) (1)
a. Start with the kettlebell about a foot in front of you and feet hip width apart.
b. Reach forward to grab the kettlebell handle with both hands, keeping back flat and hips up.
c. Pull the kettlebell back between the legs, maintaining hip hinge and chest up.
d. Rapidly extend hips by squeezing butt muscles, which will cause the hips to push the arms, and thus the kettlebell, up to chest level. Keep full body tension and an active core with a sharp exhale as you extend the hips.

Side Lunge

Targets hamstrings, glutes, quads and core.
Side Lunge 1-min-min (1) (1)
a. Hold a kettlebell in front of you with both hands on the handle.
b. Step sideways and bend the leg that steps out while keeping the opposite leg straight. Keep your chest up and shoulders back. Think of this movement as a squat on one leg, while stretching the other leg out straight.
c. Drive into the bent leg to propel yourself back to the starting position.

Row

Targets back, arms and core.
Row 1-min-min (1) (1) (1) Row 2-min-min (1) (1)
a. Start in a lunge stance with one leg back and the same side arm grasping a kettlebell.
b. Retract the shoulder blade and pull the kettlebell up until elbow just passes the body. Keep the elbow tight to your side throughout the movement.
c. Release the kettlebell back down, releasing the shoulder blade at the bottom.

Press

Targets back, shoulders and core.
Press 1-min-min (1) (1) (1) Press 2-min-min (1) (1) (1)
a. Start with kettlebell in the rack position.
b. Press the kettlebell overhead, keeping elbow in line with the shoulder the entire way up. Use an exhale to create tension and engage abdominal muscles through the challenging portion of the lift.
c. Bring the kettlebell back to rack position.

Turkish Get Up

Targets back, shoulders, arms, glutes and core.
Turkish Get Up 1-min-min (1) (1) (1) Turkish Get Up 2-min-min (2) (1) (1) Turkish Get Up 3-min-min (1) (1) (1)
a. Start on your back with one leg straight and one leg bent, with the foot of the bent leg flat on the floor. Legs should be about 45 degrees apart. The arm on the side of the bent leg holds a kettlebell up over the shoulder, the other arm is 45 degrees out from the body with palm facing down.
b. Roll onto the elbow of the arm on the floor, keeping the kettlebell stabilized over the shoulder.
c. Push up onto the hand, again moving the kettlebell up slightly to stay over the shoulder. Lift hips up as high as possible, pressing the foot of the bent leg firmly into the floor (keep the other leg straight).
d. Release hips back down to the floor. Slowly come down to the elbow, then all the way back down to the floor. Use the arm and the core for a controlled descent.


It’s time to put all of the moves you just learned into workouts—here are three samples to get you started!

Workout 1: Super-Kettle-Sets

Superset 1:
3-5 sets (No rest between exercises; 1-3 minutes between sets depending on the weight used)
Single Leg Deadlift—10 reps per leg
Row—10 reps per arm

Superset 2:
3-5 sets (No rest between exercises; 1-3 minutes between sets depending on the weight used)
Lunge—20 reps alternating
Press—10 reps per arm

Workout 2: Strength & Stability

Complete 1 minute per arm x 3 sets: (1 minute rest between sets):
Turkish Get Up

Complete 5 sets: (1-2 minute rest between sets):
Swing—20
Goblet Squat—10

Workout 3: Kettlebell Strength Ladder

Complete 3 rounds, increasing weight each round (1-2 minutes rest between exercises; full rest after each round):
Swing—14
Goblet Squat—12
Lunge—10 each side
Row—8 each side
Single Leg Deadlift—6 each side
Press—4 each side
Turkish Get Up—2 each side

About the Author: Brittany van Schravendijk is an international kettlebell coach, 3x Master of Sport, and World Record Holder in kettlebell lifting. She has been lifting kettlebells for over 5 years, and has traveled all over the world to compete, teach workshops and learn from top coaches. Brittany posts weekly workouts, tutorials, and tips about kettlebell training on social media, YouTube and her website. She is available as an online coach for Kettlebell Sport, and an instructor for workshops anywhere in the world. Brittany recently put out her first ebook, Upper Body Mobility for Kettlebell Sport.