Plyometric Kettlebell Workouts- Some Cautions

Plyometric Kettlebells

Plyometric exercises were invented by Professor Yuri Verkhoshansky, sports theory and explosive strength expert, in the 1950’s. They are essentially explosive, high impact workouts that can be done for the upper or the lower body. Also known as Plyo’s, jump training, they are designed for explosive strength generally needed for high impact or higher jumping.

Plyo’s can be done with or without equipment. Generally, trained and already fit athletes profit most from incorporating them into their routines. Naturally, they have made their way into kettlebell workouts as well. Below is an example of a kettlebell workout employing plyometric exercises:

Looks pretty impressive huh? However, they are not for everyone. They are usually targeted for a specific athletic purpose and not for the general fitness routine.

Plyometric Kettlebell Cautions

If you have body weaknesses, e.g. bad lower back, knees, elbow etc. you need to build strength and heal in that area first before attempting plyo’s.

A good way to ease into plyo’s would be to do the movements first with no weight involved for a period of time to accommodate your muscles, particularly the weaker areas. Then load weight gradually starting light of course. Jumping into plyo’s even with your normal bell weight would likely be an invitation to injury.

If you are overweight, lose the weight first. Plyo’s or jump training are high impact. Plyometrics places additional stress on the muscles, tendons, joints and ligaments. The excess weight you carry will overload your joints especially with the high impact, an invitation to injury.

Overhead or American Swing

If you noticed in the workout above the swing went overhead in a few cases. The normal Russian kettlebell swing generally floats up to eye level. This is a safer option for most of us.

Swings at the overhead level place less stress on the whole body. Overhead swings require mobility in the upper spine and shoulders to achieve the finish position which many people don’t have. It is also easy to over-extend the swing which loads up the lower spine causing lower back injuries. Rather than risk injury, unless you are already a highly toned athlete, it would be better to stick with the Russian kettlebell swing and float up to eye level instead.

If you want to incorporate plyometrics into your routines, do so carefully. Start light or even without weight and work your way up to it. Don’t just throw it into your routine because it looks impressive. Injury can short circuit your routines leaving you back at square one or worse. Caution here is recommended.




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