Top 5 Kettlebell Moves for Combat Athletes



Strength and conditioning workouts for combat athletes have unique requirements. They should build the fighter’s strength in multiple planes and positions with an emphasis on grip and core strength, shoulder stability, and overall body awareness. Here are five movements that will strengthen you from head to toe, build your rotational power, increase your hip speed, and help you crush your enemies. Assuming you know how to fight. 


1. Staggered Alternating Rotational Swing 

Learning how to build power from the staggered position will carry over into just about every sport. Combine this with the benefits of the swing which include building glute and core strength, hip speed and power. The added benefit of the rotation will help transfer rotational power which is crucial for every type of combat athlete. 



2. Deadstart Rotational Clean

Being able to pull explosively from an off-set position rotationally will come in handy in practicing  pivoting and pulling. You won’t need to go excessively heavy here, but this will help build incredible pulling strength from the transverse plane.

3. Bottoms Up Walking 

I used bottoms up walking with my fighters for a few reasons. The bottoms up position does a great job at building grip strength. It helps build a strong, stable shoulder without a ton of wear and tear. Fighters already do so much to aggravate their shoulders from kicking, throwing, grappling, etc. The stronger a shoulder we can build without creating more issues the better. The bottoms up position creates a stronger core as you have to use an incredible amount of tension to avoid letting the bell drop.

4. Floor Press with Rotation 

Building core and shoulder strength while adding even more rotational power will help the combat athlete significantly. As you’re pressing and building horizontal pushing strength you’ll be adding in some core and trunk strength as you drive your shoulder and torso off the ground. There’s also a timing aspect that makes it extremely fun as you learn to drive through your opposite glute and shoulder. 

5. Get Up Transition 

The get up is a great series of movements to build core strength and shoulder stability through a wide range of motion. As a movement from start to finish I find it a bit much and would rather spend time working on different things. That said I do love the transition between the seated and half kneeling positions. Even without weight this offers the ability to strengthen the shoulder stability of the planted arm, hip mobility as you transition with internal and external hip rotation, and core strength as you hold yourself up. The added benefit of holding a bell overhead to build even more shoulder stability is another bonus. 

Add these into your routine and progress mindfully. Your athleticism will thank you. Your opponent won’t.

Check out more interviews and articles from Marcus Martinez and Aaron Guyett in the blog, or get full versions by subscribing to our membership here:


50% Complete

Just Add Your Email

Add your email to be notified when share more awesome content about kettlebells, battle ropes, leadership and coaching!