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Transference of Kettlebell Training to Strength, Power, and Endurance

Manocchia, Pasquale1; Spierer, David K.2; Lufkin, Adrienne K. S.1; Minichiello, Jacqueline1; Castro, Jessica1

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: February 2013 - Volume 27 - Issue 2 - p 477–484
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31825770fe
Original Research

Manocchia, P, Spierer, DK, Lufkin, AKS, Minichiello, J, and Castro, J. Transference of kettlebell training to strength, power, and endurance. J Strength Cond Res 27(2): 477–484, 2013—Kettlebells are a popular implement in many strength and conditioning programs, and their benefits are touted in popular literature, books, and videos. However, clinical data on their efficacy are limited. The purpose of this study was to examine whether kettlebell training transfers strength and power to weightlifting and powerlifting exercises and improves muscular endurance. Thirty-seven subjects were assigned to an experimental (EXP, n = 23; mean age = 40.9 ± 12.9 years) or a control group (CON; n = 14; mean age = 39.6 ± 15.8 years), range 18–72 years. The participants were required to perform assessments including a barbell clean and jerk, barbell bench press, maximal vertical jump, and 45° back extensions to volitional fatigue before and after a 10-week kettlebell training program. Training was structured in a group setting for 2 d·wk−1 for 10 weeks. A repeated measures analysis of variance was conducted to determine group × time interactions and main effects. Post hoc pairwise comparisons were conducted when appropriate. Bench press revealed a time × group interaction and a main effect (p < 0.05). Clean and jerk and back extension demonstrated a trend toward a time × group interaction, but it did not reach significance (p = 0.053). However, clean and jerk did reveal a main effect for time (p < 0.05). No significant findings were reported for maximal vertical jump. The results demonstrate a transfer of power and strength in response to 10 weeks of training with kettlebells. Traditional training methods may not be convenient or accessible for strength and conditioning specialists, athletes, coaches, and recreational exercisers. The current data suggest that kettlebells may be an effective alternative tool to improve performance in weightlifting and powerlifting.

1LaPalestra Center for Preventative Medicine, New York, New York

2Human Performance Laboratory, Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, Brooklyn, New York

Address correspondence to Dr. David K. Spierer,

© 2013 National Strength and Conditioning Association