First off, I just want to express my appreciation for the thoughtful and respectful conversation that emerged in the comments of yesterday’s post on Whole30 and running. One of the primary reasons I write is because I enjoy having conversations that promote critical thinking, considering various points of view, and learning from one another. So thank you all!
After a lengthy technical (and rather nerdy) breakdown on why all runners should do tempo runs and yesterday’s post, I thought I’d spare you from another day of my verbose tendencies and share with you today a quick and effective 20 minute kettlebell workout for runners.
I have discussed numerous times on this blog why strength training is beneficial for runners. In addition to the overall health benefits, strength training boosts your metabolism, improves your running form, and decreases your risk of injury. Whether you perform bodyweight exercises or lift weights, strength exercises are so vital for healthy and fast running that you should include strength training even during marathon training.
The kettlebell offers even more benefits for runners, which is one of the reasons I favor it for my own strength training. Studies have even found that consistent kettlebell training improves your aerobic fitness
For these exercises, all you need is a single kettlebell; I used a 15-pound kettlebell for this workout. For this 20 minute kettlebell workout, perform 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps of the exercises. You should execute each move slowly and carefully, as not to injure yourself or decrease the efficacy of this workout. Rest for one minute between each set.
20 Minute Kettlebell Workout for Runners
Kettlebell Swing: Hold the kettlebell with both hands in front of your body. Your feet should be slightly wider than hip-width apart. Hinge at your hips while keeping your back flat and then engage your core and glutes to explosively swing the kettlebell with extended arms to shoulder height. This is not an arm-based exercise – the movement should come from your hips. Watch this video for more detailed explanation on how to safely do a kettlebell swing.
Off-Set Kettlebell Step-Up: Find a step or an exercise bench and stand in front of it. Hold the kettlebell down my your side in your left hand. Step your right foot onto the bench and press through your heel as your straighten your right leg so that you are standing upright on the bench. Reverse the movement to return to start; once you completed all reps, switch to perform the step up on your left leg with the kettlebell in your right hand.
Kettlebell Squat with Single Arm Press: Hold the kettlebell in your right hand and stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Bend your arm and raise your kettlebell so that the kettlebell is resting by your right shoulder (rack position). Lower your bottom down and back until your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle; pause, and then slowly raise up. As you return to the starting position, fully extend your arm to press the kettlebell straight up above your shoulder. Once you complete all reps, repeat with the kettlebell on left side.
Reverse Lunge with Kettlebell Halo: Hold the kettlebell upside down by the handle (so the round part is facing up) with both hands in front of your chest. Step your left leg back into a reverse lunge. Hold the lunge and use both hands to circle it to the left of your face, back around your head to the right, and to the front (do this move slowly so you don’t hit yourself in the head). Once the halo is completed, step your left foot forward to return to start. Repeat all reps for your left leg, and then lunge with your right leg, circling the halo in the opposite direction.
Plank to Twisting Row: Get into pushup position, with your back flat, arms directly beneath your shoulders, and abs engaged. Hold the kettlebell in your right hand, with it resting on the ground beneath your shoulder for start position. Pull the kettlebell up towards your shoulder and twist your right shoulder to your left, so that your torso rotates as you raise the weight. Pause, and then lower to start. Complete all reps on your right side before switching to your left.
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Disclaimer: I am not a personal trainer, so please consider that when you adapt any strength workout. Always heed to the cues of your own body; if an exercise does not feel comfortable, do not continue to do it. Additionally, this post contains an affiliate link, which costs you nothing extra but supports This Runner’s Recipes.
What’s your favorite go-to strength workout right now?
How is your week going so far?