KettleBells for Vertical Jump Training? What the hell is a Kettlebell?
The kettlebell has gained so much popularity the last few years that many believe it is a new piece of equipment and training method. In actuality it has been around for over 200 years in Russia. A kettlebell looks like a cannon ball with an iron handle. It was used in Russian tradition as a form of way to test strength, which was very popular amongst Russian locals, as it became a symbol of pride of who was the strongest in town. It became a standard piece of training equipment for all Russian Athletes.
Its introduction to the United States came at around the beginning of the new millennium and it has been used as a great tool for all sorts of sports conditioning. It can be used to develop strength along with endurance. Young to old can use the kettlebell. Aerobic based classes using kettle bells are very popular, and many UFC fighters train using only kettlebells.
Now what does this have to do with vertical jump training? It has a lot do do with vertical jump training as the most popular kettlebell exercise, the kettlebell swing, perfectly mimics the starting and mid motion of a jump – the thrusting of the hips.
You can use a single plate weight or dumbbell to do a kettlebell swing if kettlebells are not available, but the advantage of the kettlebell is its handle, and easy grip, and an overall safer natural movement that allows the use of heavier weights.
Use your hips to move the weight. This is not a shoulder exercise. The thrust of your hips is what will move the kettlebell forward and up to almost eye level. The video below shows a perfect example on how to perform a kettle bell swing.
Like any exercise, start what lightweights and build up to a heavier weight and always warm-up. For Vertical Jump training and power purposes, the kettlebell swing should be done with a heavier weight for no more than 10 reps; higher reps are used for endurance purposes.