Utilizing Body Weight Training To Improve Your Kettlebell Training

Utilizing Body Weight Training To Improve Your Kettlebell Training

The Best Kettlebell Workouts For Runners Reading Utilizing Body Weight Training To Improve Your Kettlebell Training 7 minutes Next An Intro To Kettlebell Sport

Kettlebell Kings has collaborated with Nicholas Anderson of Legion Tactical Athletics, in Ventura California in order to demonstrate the utilization of body weight methods for kettlebell training. In this post we will be breaking down how the practice of body weight movements can improve the Kettlebell Strict Press. First, Nicholas will explain a bit about the principles. At the end of the post we will put it together in a nice three to five round workout you can do with what you have learned.

Foreword by Nicholas Anderson:

Bodyweight and calisthenics method of training is a movement based approach towards fitness and physical culture and has its place among the pantheon of traditional fitness training methods for its versatility.

Bodyweight and calisthenics technique can translate to a range of different tools such as kettlebells, gymnastic rings, sandbags and medicine balls; the methods also can be carried over to heavy load lifting and barbell training.

One of the core principles of proper calisthenics is its objective based training. This means developing and refining skills that can translate to whatever the person chooses. To build these skills a person must become adept in their own body movement and control so then these skills can be translated to a tool effectively. For if a skill cannot be translated at the will of the operator or athlete then what its function?

In this video series, kettlebell sport as well movement and strength coach Nicholas Anderson, of Legion Tactical Athletics in Ventura, California, will show how various body weight exercises can provide feedback to our kettlebell lifting technique to identify any weak links in our kinetic chain. Once found, we can then train to refine these power leaks. Ideally our lifts and our body weight training should have a synergistic effect; in this way as both practices improve they improve each other.

The Strict Press

The Strict Press uses full body tension to create force to drive the kettlebell up over head. It utilizes grip, core and glutes which body weight movements can be used to improve. There are multiple ways to use body weight movement variations to improve your overall technical skill with the kettlebell press regardless of kettlebell style. The demonstration and text below will outline body weight movements you can perform which are designed to improve your Kettlebell Press abilities. We recommend a combination of watching the demonstrations of the movements through the video below and also reading the explanation to read about important nuances and descriptions of what is happening in the demonstration.

Read more below where we put it all together in a circuit workout!


Because the Kettlebell Press utilizes the core, glutes and grip, the Hollow Body Active Plank is a great movement to help (demonstrated below around 1:10). To perform you will be driving the shoulder blades down, contracting the core and squeezing the glutes and pushing away from the floor which should create a slight curve in the upper back. Legs should be completely tight. Quads and the glutes should be firm.


Maintain the same posture as the plank but engage more of the lats and pull yourself toward the floor. The focus is not on the push up, but on pulling yourself to the floor by engaging the lats and pulling your elbows in tight to the ribs which is similar to the rack position with kettlebells. The pulling toward the floor action comes from the focus being on pulling your elbow towards your ribs rather than letting yourself down like a normal push up. So, imagine you are pulling back with your elbows by directing them towards your ribs, as you do this you will go down. When you get to the bottom of the pull and are keeping tension on core and glutes, the push up should be instantaneous.  

To challenge yourself, take turns opening the arms on alternating sides at the top of the push up and look up at your palm. (demonstrated at 2:41). Keep your glutes tight and reach toward the ceiling, this engages the core for stability and keeps the glutes tight.

ROCKET to planche plank

Focus on the pull and the lat engagement. At 3:01 notice the positioning of the knees and feet. The lat engagement translates into the Kettlebell Press. Shorten up your shoulders by moving your shoulders back and your arms closer toward you on the floor to engage the lats and push back onto the balls of your feet to lift the knees off the ground (pictured at 3:14). Notice the positioning of the knees and feet throughout the movement and how it changes while engaging the lats and pushing back. Drive from your lats by pulling yourself forward with the lats and put pressure on your palms into the floor and shoot forward, locking the knees and squeezing the glutes and core into a Planche Plank. Make sure your shoulders go past the wrists. Pull back the knees towards the chest into the launching position to repeat. Maintain tension throughout the body.

Putting It All Together For A circuit Workout

The focus on the tension throughout the core, glutes, lats and pulling elbows into the ribs in these movements is what translates to improved Kettlebell Press. You can put it all together in a workout plan, for example:

  • Hollow Body Plank Hold
  • Hollow Body Push Up
  • Rocket to Planche Plank

Do 60 seconds of work for each movement and 30 seconds of rest before moving to the next round, this equals 1 round. So for example, 60 seconds of Hollow Body Plank Hold, 30 seconds of rest, then 60 Seconds of Hollow Body Push Ups followed by 30 seconds of rest, then 60 seconds of Rocket to Planche Plank. This constitutes one round. Rest for one minute between rounds.

Do 3 rounds for an auxiliary workout with your kettlebell training or 5 rounds for to replace a normal workout.

What Else?

Kettlebell Kings creates weekly workouts you can subscribe to. The workouts are designed to increase strength, endurance and help you challenge yourself each week.


What Is Next?

If this is your first time reading one of our posts, we create kettlebell workouts in collaboration with kettlebell experts which are designed to give you maximal results and not take up much of your time. We send these to your in box automatically every week! We recommend you read more about receiving a quick, free, dynamic kettlebell workout every week you can click below.

Also, we recommend you subscribe to our posts so you can be notified when we publish another set of movements. Additionally, you can be notified when we publish new articles about specific kettlebell movements or techniques as well as niche pieces like this designed for specific training.

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