Exercise of the Week: Kettlebell Strength Circuit

September 28, 2011


Every Wednesday, STACK features an Exercise of the Week to help you improve your overall sports performance—including strength, speed, conditioning and flexibility. This week we highlight a powerful kettlebell circuit to help develop your lower-body strength.

Who’s Doing It

  • AJ Hawk, Green Bay Packers linebacker

Muscular Benefits

  • Increases lower body strength, specifically in the glutes, hamstrings, quads, hip and leg muscles
  • Improves hip stability and flexibility

Sports Performance Benefits

  • Developing  hip strength helps you explode off the line, jump up for a ball or tackle an opponent with more force
  • Creates balanced strength on both legs so you can change direction or move powerfully, using both legs equally
  • Hip mobility allows you to move through a full range of motion without restriction—important for improved running technique

Kettlebell Strength Circuit Description

Circuit the following exercises three times, resting 60 seconds between circuits.

  • Kettlebell Bulgarian Squat
    • Assume split stance with toe of rear foot on bench behind you
    • Hold kettlebell in hand opposite front leg
    • Lower hips until front thigh is parallel to ground
    • Drive up to start position and repeat for specified reps
    • Repeat set on opposite leg
    • Sets/Reps: 3x10 each leg
  • Kettlebell Single-Leg RDL
    • Balance on one leg holding kettlebells at sides
    • With balancing leg slightly bent and back flat, bend forward at waist until kettlebells are just above floor
    • Return to start; repeat for specified reps
    • Perform set on opposite side
    • Sets/Reps: 3x10 each leg
  • Kettlebell Partial Swing
    • Assume athletic quarter-squat stance holding kettlebell between legs
    • Keeping arms straight, drive through heels and explode upward with hips to bring kettlebell to chin level in front
    • Return to start position with control and repeat rhythmically
    • Sets/Reps: 3x6

Coaching Points

  • Bulgarian Squat
    • Keep front knee behind and in line with toes
    • Keep weight on heel
  • Single-Leg RDL
    • Keep back flat and stable and knee in line with toes
    • Reach kettlebell to outside of balancing foot
    • Bring back leg to hip level at bottom of movement
  • Kettlebell Partial Swing
    • Keep heels on ground and use proper squat mechanics
    • Drive upward through heels and fully extend hips
    • Finish with kettlebell at chin

Do you have an exercise that you want to see featured as an Exercise of the Week? Tweet us at @STACKMedia to let us know.

Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
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