Three Ways Sprinting can Benefit Kettlebell Sport Athletes
While many kettlebell sport athletes have never considered it, sprinting could be your key to enhanced performance. Find out the three reasons why sprinting could definitely increase your performance in competition.
In the kettlebell world, Kettlebell Sport is known as an endurance event and therefore trains energy conservation, as opposed to Hardstyle Kettlebell, which trains maximum power production and consequently has no emphasis on energy conservation.
At the outset, you might think that sprinting (the highest ballistic force producing movement humans are capable of) would be better suited to Hardstyle training, right? Wrong.
This article serves as an introduction to how beneficial sprint training is to the Kettlebell Sport athlete, as contradictory as that might sound. Below are my top 3 motivations for including sprint training into your Kettlebell Sport training program.
#1: Improved Ability to Produce Force
Research has shown that sprinting is the highest measurable force producing sport, with Olympic Lifting being a close second. Sprinting, short distance/high intensity [85 to 95% of ones speed capacity] heightens the Central Nervous System’s ability to access the fast twitch fibers, and thereby maximizes rapid force production capability.
It stands to reason that by teaching your body to produce greater force, quicker through sprinting, this capacity will be transferred across all ground based athletic movements.
In other words, the more efficient you are at imparting force quickly and powerfully into the ground, the more explosive and powerful your movements will be.
#2: Develop a Power Reserve
By increasing power output and quick force production through sprinting, you increase your power threshold baseline. Your body develops an increased power reserve (energy conservation) increasing your power endurance. Translate that into the Kettlebell Sport world, and you have a greater capacity to move your weight, faster for longer with less effort required.
#3: Sprinting Works the Same Muscles and Motor Patterns Needed for Kettlebell Sport
The same muscle groups are activated (pre-stretch and load) in sprinting and the backswing position of kettlebell ballistic movements for the same desired effect.
Whether you want to cover greater distances or move a weight overhead quicker, you need maximal loading of the glutes and hamstrings. Both sprinting and kettlebell movements cycle through a ballistic hip flexion into a powerful hip extension.
Sprinting requires greater forces in both the above mentioned positions than Kettlebell Sport does. As such, you are training your body to tolerate higher levels of force entering the tissues, increasing your tissues elasticity and resilience, and therefore creating a “tissue elasticity reserve.”
Though Kettlebell Sport athletes might incur less damage to tissues due to less force production, they are not immune from damage due to the sheer volume requirements. Since sprinting places much higher levels of force and tension through the tissues, this adaptation allows you to handle the lesser forces required in Kettlebell Sport, making your tissues more resilient in a much easier manner.
Sprinting and Kettlebell Sport Athletes Summary
The benefits of sprint training for any athlete or fitness enthusiast are numerous. Being the ultimate exercise discipline in terms of power and speed, I trust this very brief article has sparked some interest in learning more about how effectively and directly sprinting can enhance your KB training, as counterintuitive as it might have originally sounded.
Obviously, I encourage you to train power endurance specific to your sport, but never forget that attaining max power must come from moving your body explosively as in sprinting at maximum speed. The answer isn’t either/or, the answer is BOTH!
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