Kettlebell Sprawl Series

Kettlebell Sprawl Series

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on 13th Jul 2021

It is awesome to have Josh Thompson and Mike Salemi contribute to our Grappling Blog. We are starting a four part series with these guys designed to take you through some of Josh's favorite training movements combined with Mike's expertise in kettlebells. Josh is a professional fighter and currently competes in Bellator MMA's lightweight division.

As a defensive movement frequently used in grappling situations, the sprawl can prevent being taken-down to the ground by an opponent. In this video, both Josh and Mike draw on elements from the sprawl (namely the feet jumping back and a simultaneous dropping of the hips) while utilizing kettlebells for an added conditioning effect.

How to Perform the Base Movement (two kettlebells)

  • Start with the center of the kettlebells lined up directly with the ankles
  • Hinge back at the hips, then firmly grip the kettlebell(s) and exert straight downward pressure
  • Jump back extending your legs and dropping your hips
  • Quickly hop back to the start position
  • Extend tall quickly and powerfully

NOTE: The kettlebell sprawl presented here displays a key difference to the more technically correct sprawl that would be used in grappling/MMA, i.e. the toes are flexed when jumping back rather than “shoe laces down”.

Read more below video to see how to use this in your workouts!

Suggested Repetitions: 10 reps

Bonus: Superset with 30-60 second sprints on an Airdyne/Assault Bike or Concept II Rower

Rest Period: Up 60 seconds

Sets: 4-6

Variation #1: One kettlebell, two arms

Variation #2: One kettlebell, single arm (5 reps each arm, 10 total)

This variation focuses more on dynamic shoulder and core stability

Variation #3: One kettlebell, single arm adding in vertical jump (5 reps each arm, 10 total)

Tip: Fully extend the body into triple extension on the take off; land the jump softly and under control. This variation focuses on more on dynamic shoulder stability and lower body explosiveness

Learn more about Mike Salemi:

Learn more about Josh Thomson:

Videography by: Eli Helfman

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