I’ve been training with kettlebells and programming them in my athlete’s workouts for over 15 years now. Most people use kettlebells for convenience. Many choose them because one or two kettlebells are all you need to get a full body workout. Other’s like kettlebell training because they don’t want to get bulky from traditional weight lifting. All of those reasons are good ones, but those of us at VOLLEYSTRENGTH have another reason. 

What I need everyone to understand is that traditional weight lifting, the type with barbells, dumbbells and machines, although effective in making athletes big and strong, lack one critical component. See, barbell squats, bench presses, rowing, leg pressing all have keeping the weight balanced through our center of gravity in common. Think squatting with a bar on your back. The bar sits in the perfect position for you to sit down and back, hinging and bending, in a way where the mass of the weight and your bodyweight stay centered. Balance (if technique is solid) is never put in jeopardy and the athlete is never put in a place where they could lose control and fall. Same goes with dumbbells and machines. Everything is centered specific for the exercise and all the work is performed within one’s frame. 

Now what I need you to do is think of every ball hit to you on the court. Does each and every serve come right to your platform without you moving a muscle? Do you get to set your feet in one place and not move front to back, side to side? Does the game come directly to you or do you have to go to it?

Kettlebell training takes the idea of being off balance, about momentum, weight and speed pulling and pushing at you and presents those forces to you in a safe, direct manner. Take my beloved swing, for example. Yes you are balanced, but that is because you are working to maintain your center, as the bell pulls you forward, and backward. You have to manage the arc of the swing by helping it decelerate when the bell is in bottom position. You have to shift your weight forward and backward to counter the swing of the bell moving out in front of you. Kettlebells introduce work that cannot be duplicated with traditional weight training exercises. 

How many of you love jump training? Plyometrics are the formal name for all sorts of jump work. I love it too, that is why you see it all over the Bodyweight and Kettlebell programs here at VOLLEYSTRENGTH. And, jumping is a major piece to a volleyballer’s game. The only problem is, all of those jumps create impacts on the body. You jump in the gym, you jump in your training program. Over time, those landings (specifically) begin to add up. Kettlebell training takes jumping and makes it even better. Big hip explosion based exercises (just like jumping) without the wear and tear of additional landings. Now you can do your jump training, along with your kettlebell work and get “jumping extra credit” with swings, cleans and snatches. All of this without accumulating more impacts on your legs from landing. 

Truthfully guys, this tool and this program can get you jumping higher than you could have ever imagined. Swing hard. Jump high. Train like your life depends on it and I promise the payoff will be enormous.

All the best,

Coach Holder