It’s time to put the kettle onJust milk, no sugar please.
It’s safe to say that home workouts have rocketed over the past few months with many people working from home and gyms being closed. Sales of kettlebells have gone through the roof, but how do you put them to best use for your running training?
Research has found that kettlebell training significantly boosts aerobic capacity, improves core strength and dynamic balance. This simple piece of equipment can develop muscular endurance, strength, power and cardiovascular capacity – all of which contribute to making you a better runner.
We’ve detailed some exercises below which you can incorporate into your home workout routine.
Squats are brilliant for building up the quads, hamstrings & glutes – muscles which all runners use in abundance!
Hold the kettlebell in both hands and squat until your elbows touch your knees. Only go as low as is comfortable, control the movement up and down, and don’t rush! The more controlled the movement, the better.
Set: 3 sets of 15 reps (1-min rest between sets)
Swings help to build strength in the hips – which we know causes problems for a lot of runners.
Make sure the kettlebell is at shoulder level, and remember to squeeze your glutes at the top of the swing.
Set: 2 sets of 50 swings (1-min rest between sets)
This is a challenging exercise as it requires good core strength as well as balance/coordination, however the benefits to the hips, hamstrings and glutes are incredible, especially for runners.
Set: 3 sets of 10 reps
Not sure which weight of kettlebell you need?
If you can, get to the gym and experiment with the above exercises to see what feels right. If after 10 swings you’re really struggling, you’ve gone too heavy and vice-versa, if you finish them with ease then you’ve gone too light. You want to be able to complete all the sets and all the reps, but for those final reps to be hard work.
As a guide, a good starter weight for these exercises for women is 6-8 kg, and for men is 14-16 kg, but it really is down to the individual and what works best for you.