The Kettlebell, a devastating “weapon” for the physical training of soldiers
If there is one thing I have understood unequivocally in over 20 years of service as an Officer in the Army, it is that the soldier, among his many obligations, has one to which he cannot escape: to be always ready to operate. And he has to do it without warning and in every possible operating scenario. Whether it is an international theatre of war or an operation to control the territory at home, no soldier can take the right not to be at the maximum of his psycho-physical condition throughout the year.
What a soldier needs physically
All in one, without compromise. A soldier’s physical training can be summed up in this sentence. The soldier, unlike an athlete of any sport, who prepares for a particular competition in which he must express certain physical abilities, the soldier does not have a day of the competition and does not have to express only certain specific physical abilities. He must always be ready, and he must be able to express everything necessary to carry out his mission, including the most extreme one possible: to bring home his own life and that of his team.
The physical specialization to which the body building, running or swimming brings you, you understand well how little befits the physical-energetic and structural demands of a soldier. In order to be incisive it must be agile, reactive, fast, fast, powerful, resistant. In short, it must have developed a functional strength to what it needs when it operates under maximum stress and in all types of environmental conditions. Whether it is the sand of the Iraqi desert or the inaccessible mountains of Afghanistan, his physical condition must be able to assist his every action coordinated with his operational team. His physical condition must support his head and tactical-technical skills, in order to be able to make rapid and incisive decisions at any time and throughout the duration of the operational mission.
How to train a soldier
So how must he train? Is there a way to maintain high levels of all the conditional and coordinated capabilities of an armed forces operator throughout the year?The only training method capable of achieving this delicate objective is that which provides for a continuous and progressive increase of:
- joint mobility: to improve the range of movement in safety and agility;
- coordination capabilities: to support responsiveness of action;
- neuromuscular strength: to ensure an excellent structure on which to increase all other conditional physical abilities;
- speed and power: to be able to effectively apply your actions and movements;
- muscular and cardio-respiratory resistance: to support long-lasting actions without lowering the lucidity and effectiveness;
- stamina: to resist the state of prolonged fatigue as certain operations develop over several consecutive days and in highly precarious conditions.
But let’s not forget that the soldier, especially when in the area of operation, often lives in poor conditions, where recovery of the physical and mental energies is far from simple and obvious. Although it is presumed that a soldier has the ability to tolerate physical and mental fatigue above the norm of ordinary people, being able to optimize recovery is crucial.
And here we introduce another fundamental aspect of physical preparation, the work of joint mobility and fascial release, performed with a series of free-body exercises, which not only improve the quality of recovery, but they are also able to prevent muscle-joint injuries, especially in people as active as the soldiers themselves. Functional Training with the use of Kettlebells and other specific equipment, if well structured, is the only physical training system able to satisfy all these demands both during the increase of physical performance and as accident prevention.
Emilio Troiano is the creator of the WTA Functional Training Academy, the first training school of Functional Training in Europe (since 2009). Over the years, he has trained over 15,000 sports instructors from all backgrounds, athletic training, fitness and physiotherapy.
You can contact him and view all his training courses and workouts on the website.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do those in the military use kettlebells?
Soldiers are often pushed to increase endurance and stamina, making the kettlebell a great tool. The kettlebell trains both muscle endurance and aerobics, so that a Soldier is more agile in a live-fire situation.
Is a 10 minute kettlebell workout effective?
There are several options for getting a great kettlebell workout in just 10-15 minutes. If you are short on time, rather than just skipping the gym completely, you can get a great full body workout in just 10 minutes! If you don’t believe us, give this 10 Minute Full Body Kettlebell Workout a try and thank us later.
Are kettlebells good for fighters?
Kettlebells are the perfect workout tool for fighters because they offer so many different functional benefits including increasing strength and power, increasing durability, and helping build real life endurance.