In the nation’s sickest football conference, Vanderbilt University’s gridiron squad is no longer a pushover.
For years, SEC adversaries treated a game against the Commodores more like a bye than a legitimate contest against a respectable collegiate opponent. But in ’08, the small private school in Nashville (undergraduate enrollment, 6,600) finally buried its long losing tradition. The Commodores defeated mighty Boston College 16-14 in the Music City Bowl, wrapping up its first winning season since 1982 and securing its first bowl victory in 53 years. Loud and clear: now, when you strap up against the Commodores, you’re in for a 60-minute slugfest.
Opposing teams can no longer push Vanderbilt up and down the field like they did in the past (just ask USC, Rice or Auburn). According to Vandy’s assistant strength and conditioning coach Gabe Teeble, it was building a solid core that enabled his players to stand their ground no matter who’s lined up across them. “I don’t know if there [are] too many classical kettle bell exercises that you can do that don’t involve a tremendous amount of core,” he says. “One of the main benefits I think that we have found since starting the kettle bells is an improvement in our core and core stability.”
Below, Teeble lays out one of the kettle bell exercises he incorporates into Vanderbilt’s off-season workouts once a week. Perfect this movement, and pretty soon you’ll be an immoveable object on the field.
Kettle Bell Ribbon
• Holding bell with right hand at chest level, assume athletic stance with feet slightly wider than shoulder width
• Lower hips while bringing bell down; pass it between legs to left hand
• Explosively snap hips while swinging bell up and across body to right shoulder
• Lower and perform in opposite direction
• Repeat for specified reps
Coaching Points: Start out slow until you master the movement; then go as fast as possible // The bell needs to pass through the middle of your body // Snap hips and stop the bell at your shoulder with opposite hand