Kettlebells are another great strength-training tool for wrestlers

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Updated: February 4, 2022

Photo: Zach Even-Esh of The Underground Strength Gym demonstrates a rope Kettlebell curl.

By Zach Even-Esh

Kettlebells have been a key training tool since I began using them with wrestlers going back to 2003. 

When we first began using them, we were often outdoors so the creativity and intensity were taken to new heights. We did not just perform the basic exercises such as squats, clean and press, snatch, etc. 

Instead, we would also throw the kettlebells, tie ropes through a few heavy kettlebells and pull them hand over hand for five minutes coupled with push-ups. The training was brutal and developed both mind and body for the wrestlers I trained. 

The three sample Kettlebell and Bodyweight workouts below can be done indoors. If you need help with exercise technique, see my YouTube channel at YouTube.com/ZEvenEsh. 

If you train outdoors, see much of my older training videos from 2006 or so as well as UndergroundStrengthCoach.com where you see us throwing Kettlebells, attaching them to ropes, etc.

This column appeared in the January issue of WIN Magazine. Click on cover or call 888-305-0606 to subscribe.

The freedom and the benefit of training outdoors with Kettlebells is invigorating. We would usually bring a few Kettlebells to a park or elementary school so we could be near a playground with pull-up bars, parallel bars and open grass for training. Try the following training workouts with Kettlebells (KB).

Workout 1:  Five rounds of work. Rest two minutes after each round. 

1. Pull-Ups (different grip every set) x MAX Reps 

2. KB Swings x 10

3. Clapping Push-Ups x 5

4. KB Zercher Squat (Place one KB in the crook of your bicep holding it in the underhook position, now, squat while holding the bell strong and in place.) x 5 / 5 each arm

5. 1 Arm KB Clean & Press x 5 / 5 

Workout 2: Four rounds of work. Rest 90 seconds after each round.

1. Rope Climb x 1 Ascent (Do not use legs for assistance)

2. KB Snatch x 5 / 5 each arm

3. KB Row x 5 / 5 each arm 

4. KB Walking Lunges x 5 / 5 each leg 

5. KB Hand to Hand Swing (H2H Swing) x 5 / 5 each arm

Workout 3: Four rounds of work. Perform two rounds in a row, rest three minutes, perform two more rounds.

1. Double KB Cleans x 10 reps

2. Dips x 10 reps

3. 1-Arm Sumo KB Deadlift (HEAVY) x 10 / 10 

4. 1-Arm KB Rack Walk x 50 ft each arm

5. Off-Set KB Rack Squat x 5 / 5 (Perform five rack squats after each 50-foot rack walk carry)

If you perform these workouts in season, I suggest three rounds rather than four or five rounds. Get after it and keep me posted how you do and how you feel they help your wrestling! Thank you for reading this article!

(Zach Even-Esh is a strength and performance coach located in New Jersey. He is the founder of The Underground Strength Gym (EST 2002), author of The Encyclopedia of Underground Strength and serves as a consultant for coaches, teams and organizations seeking elite performance. For more information, visit Zach at https://UndergroundStrengthCoach.com, http://ZachStrength.com and https://UndergroundStrengthClub.com)

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