Friday, June 10, 2011

Kettlebells For Triathletes

It is triathlon season!  I train a lot of triathletes, and most have a glaring weakness in their training.  They choose not to incorporate strength training into their weekly training schedule because they are "too busy" running, biking, and swimming.  Unfortunately, this lack of balance quickly sidelines their triathlon training because of injury.  Kettlebells are a great way to get the strength training you need with minimum time commitment.

As a triathlete, you don't need a large variety of exercises.  You want ones that are going to strengthen the legs, hips, and core.  Perform the training sessions 2-3 per week, for 20-30 minutes per session.  My top 5 exercises you should focus on are:

1) 2 Arm Swing
2) Goblet Squat
3) Cossack
4) Reverse Lunge
5) Turkish Getup

You don't need to perform each of the five every session.  Maybe just pick three exercises, and perform 3-5 sets of each exercise, reps ranging from 5-20.  Mix it up, and take longer rest between sets during the lower repetition sets. 

The goal for adding kettlebells should not be cardiovascular exercise, as you are getting that with your triathlon training.  Your intent should be to maximize tension and strength gains, as well as stability.  Do not turn you kettlebell session into a cardio workout, but instead, opt to push moderate to heavy weight with good technique.  You can thank me in three months when your triathlon performance increases, both because of your increased strength, as well as your avoidance of injury!

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