Kettlebells are commonly used in athletic programming by strength and conditioning professionals, CrossFit athletes, elite athletes, and recreational athletes. Kettlebells can be an excellent alternative to traditional weight lifting and fitness programs. The benefits of training with kettlebells can include increased power, endurance, strength, mobility, kinetic stability, and grip. Many of the basic kettlebell skill movements are considered ballistic movements, which can provide an incredible transfer of skills including stamina, and strength needed for Olympic weightlifting.
Recent research in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, documented the translational effect of kettlebell programming on strength, power, and endurance for Olympic weightlifting and bodyweight exercises. Researchers tested 15 subjects using a standard periodization model for 10 weeks, working out only 2 days per week. Subjects only used athletic programming with kettlebells for the duration of the 10 weeks. Measurements were taken of each subject to determine baseline strength, power, and endurance. Researchers tested; clean and jerk 3 rep max, bench press 3 rep max, vertical jump, and a test of endurance using back extensions to failure.
Research indicated that the kettlebell programming yielded a significant translation of strength, power, and endurance measured in Olympic lifting.The kettlebell programming also produced a highly significant clean and jerk transfer. Overall researchers suggested that considerable gains in strength, power, and endurance could be elicited a result of kettlebell programming. These findings indicate that the use of kettlebells can transfer significant improvements, and should be utilized in programming to augment training for Olympic weightlifting athletes.