The Kettlebell Swing for Martial Artists

Over on the Karate Conditioning blog, Joe Berne has posted about his early kettlebell experiences as a martial artist, in the aptly named An Ode to the Swing.

So doing the swings and concentrating on that hip snap has really improved my hip drive when throwing punches.  I suspect that that same movement – full extension of the hip – is going to transfer over into greater closing speed the next time I fight, too.

I challenge anyone to find a better exercise that the kettlebell swing for developing explosive hip power.  I will readily believe that there are exercises that may be as good, but I don’t know of any.  The fact that the swing generates power from the hips to the extremities using focus (kime) in a unique way is the main reason it is often proclaimed a strength exercises for budoka. 

But there is an additional factor that (IMHO) is less considered.  This is that in the split second, following the technique, the swing forces the kettlebell user to recover and work hard to regain balance on the rebound.  Not necessarily an easy task.

Together the explosive hip power, focus and recovery inherent in the swing make it an amazing exercise for the budoka.

I am also a big fan of the Turkish getup when it comes to develop rock solid strength and stability in the shoulders and upper body.  This is something also vital for strikers.

An Ode to the Swing – Karate Conditioning.

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