NFL Workout with the Kettlebell for Football Players


Brian Orakpo and Redskin Conditioning Coach Ray Wright working the Double Sumo Deadlift as part of Brian’s conditioning regime.

Kettlebells are being used by professional NFL athletes because of the dynamic nature of the kettlebell workout. NFL players are discovering that they make an ideal tool to use for active, whole body sports like football because of their comprehensive impact.

Since, kettlebells (used properly) engage full muscle groups dynamically, large muscle groups for the whole body are developed simultaneously making kettlebell workouts for active sports athletes like NFL players ideal.

The other issue noted by the players is the kettlebells tendency to help prevent injuries while developing explosive strength. This is because of the dynamic engagement that kettlebells provide to develop large muscle groups in tandem. Consequently, your muscle groups engage or fire at the same times together rather than develop in isolation creating a fitness imbalance which leads to more injury as Kyle Long points out below.

Check out the workout from and the suggested programs that will assist you with developing your own workout regimens.

NFL Players Work Outs Using the Kettlebell

The workout regime from recently posted demonstrates a series of kettlebell exercises that can be strung together to form a complete workout geared towards football players. There are many more types of workouts that can be developed from kettlebells but this will give you an idea on how useful the kettlebell can be for your workout regimen.

Taylor Mays, free safety for the Bengals demonstrated the Kettlebell Step Up and noted that “exercises like this transfer over better to the football field” better than dumbbell squats and presses because they engage the legs, the core and the upper body.

Brian Orakpo, outside linebacker for the Redskins, demonstrated the Double Sumo Deadlift and indicated that it helped develop the explosive he needed for either the 2 point stance or the 3 point stance.

James Ihedigbo, strong safety for the Detroit Lions, uses the Kettlebell High Pull to equalize strength on both sides of the body allowing him strength and flexibility in the ankles and legs while also developing upper body strength.

Kyle Long, guard for the Chicago Bears, uses Single Arm Bent Over Row to develop arm and back strength equally to develop strength for single arm strikes while blocking. This exercise also ties in the back muscles so that the equal muscular development helps prevent injuries as well.

Rey Maualuga, middle linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals, uses the Kneeling Kettlebell Press to develop core and arm strength while promoting good posture or upright form.

The Overall Workout

  • Repeat the circuit three to six times.
  • Since this is a power workout you will want to use heavier bells. Do three to five reps to failure.
  • Your rest time should be about three minutes between sets.

Note: If you want to focus on fat burning, increase the reps and lessen the amount of weight and rest.

Check out the video’s for these exercises here: Power Up!: NFL level kettlebell workouts

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