For one of my first kettlebell workouts ever, a local RKC put me through a short warm up of Wall Squats, ‘Pumps’, and Halos, and then what felt like 20 sets each of Swings and Turkish Get Ups – a textbook workout from Pavels’s Enter The Kettlebell. I thought I was in pretty good shape going in – but this seemingly simple workout left me totally spent.
So as I finished off my last set of Swings and got ready to retreat to the locker room to collect my thoughts (and settle my stomach), my trainer had a surprise ‘finisher’ up his sleve: Tabata Kettlebell Thrusters.
I grabbed what seemed like a pair of light kettlebells – a pair of 12k’s – and did many Thrusters as I could in 20 seconds, rested for 10, and repeated this eight times. And this four minute finisher put me over the top; every muscle in my body was toast – and my stomach was, for lack of a better term, now unsettled
While I don’t recommend doing the Tabata Protocol with Kettlebell Thrusters the very first time you try them, it’s a great total body move to add to your kettlebell exercise arsenal. The Kettlebell Thruster is simply a Kettlebell Squat combined with a Kettlebell Press (the name ‘Thruster’ was coined by the folks over at CrossFit).
To perform the Kettlebell Thruster, start by doing a Kettlebell Squat (check out the full post on how to do the Kettlebell Squat here) and go directly into a Kettlebell Press. The exercise can be done with one or two ‘bells; this video shows how to do the single KB version:
One of the keys to doing the movement efficiently is to keep the elbows tight to the body – this will help with getting the momentum generated by explosively extending the hips to be transferred to the ‘bells effectively and efficiently. Also, there should be no rotation of the kettlebell at the top. Keep the hands facing each other at all times. This makes for a much more efficient movement.
You can add this exercise as a finisher-type of move (like I did in the workout described above), as a stand-alone exercise, or as part of a circuit.
The Kettlebell Thruster combines two basic kettlebell moves – the Squat and the Press – for a killer total-body metabolic challenge. Take your time to learn the Kettlebell Thruster properly and start building it into your kettlebell workouts ASAP for improved strength, power, and conditioning!
Train hard and train smart
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