Kettlebell Workout for Firefighters

by admin on October 13, 2011

Today’s post is, like last week’s, a response to reader requests for specific content.  I appreciate all the feedback I’ve been getting via email, blog comments, on Facebook, etc. Keep letting me know what you want to hear more about, and if I get enough requests, I’ll cover it in a future blog post!

This article is about why kettlebells are a great training tool for firefighters. I’ll start by giving some specific reasons why firefighters should use kettlebells in their workouts, and I’ll also give you a sample kettlebell workout for firefighters.

In their daily jobs, firefighters do things like:

  • Handling / raising heavy ladders
  • Rescue and removal of trapped victims
  • Advancing high pressure hose lines
  • Forcible entry operations
  • Overhaul / removal of walls and ceilings
  • Hauling heavy hose and equipment
  • Operating with 50 lbs of thermal protective gear

And so a workout designed specifically for firefighters should be focused on the qualities needed to do these things well. For example:

  • Building the cardio system- specifically with high intensity interval training, because this is much like the work that is done in the above mentioned tasks
  • Focusing on multi-joint exercises – because firefighters never perform a task where they only use a single joint movement
  • Focusing on developing not only strength but power – the ability to lift maximal loads, but also to do so quickly
  • Improving balance and core strength – because these are qualities that are involved to a large degree in the above-mentioned tasks

Circuit – style workouts using explosive kettlebell movements is great general physical preparedness training for firefighters. This type of workout builds your cardio system, is highly functional and multi-joint in nature, develops not only strength but explosiveness, and utilizes core and balance to a large degree.

So here you go -

Kettlebell Workout For Firefighers

Start by performing the following warm up circuit three times at a low-to-medium intensity:

  • 10-15 goblet squats
  • 10-15 push ups
  • 6-8 single leg deadlift (each leg) (like a traditional deadlift, only performed balancing on one leg)
  • 3-5 Tactical pull ups

Then, perform the following combination 5-10 times on each arm, taking just as much rest as needed to use good form:

  • 1 clean
  • 2 squat to overhead presses
  • 3 snatches

So you’ll do one clean on the right side, immediately follow that with two squat to overhead presses on the right, and immediately follow that with three snatches on the right. Switch sides and repeat.

Finish by static stretching tight muscle groups.

In summary, kettlebells are a great training tool for firefighters because they help develop specific qualities needed in their everyday job duties. Try this sample kettlebell circuit workout for firefighters to get you started!

Thanks for reading -

Forest Vance, RKC II

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