One Handed Kettlebell Swing and The Benefits
Kettlebell training can be one of the smartest thing you add to your weekly training schedule to supplement your BJJ. There are very few fitness tools that can leave your heart pounding and lungs burning, while hitting more muscles than you knew you had in just a few minutes. Sound familiar? Training with a kettlebell or bells taxes the body similarly to jiu jitsu with its mix of aerobic and anaerobic elements.
With just one moderately heavy kettlebell and 15-20 minutes you can give your self a full body workout. One of the absolute best kettlebell exercise is the swing. One variation that can be particularly good for conditioning related to BJJ is the One Handed Swing. Check out the video below from Mike Perry excerpted from his "KB Essentials" instructional available from BJJ Fanatics.
Mike Perry walks you through the small learning curve for the one handed swing if you're brand new to Kettlebells or have only performed two-handed swing techniques up till now. Let's look at some of the benefits of the one handed swing for BJJ.
Works the BJJ Core On Both Sides
Just like the two-handed swing, this version works the entire core to the max. From the hips, to the abdominals and lower back your core will get blasted with this technique, helping to build strength and endurance. The added benefit of the single handed technique is that it forces each side of your core to work hard independently. This helps strengthen and fix any possible imbalances that may exist that wouldn't get exposed with the two-handed version because the more dominant side would take over.
Works the Grip
The majority of kettlebell exercises are great for improving grip strength and endurance, but this one is extra helpful because it helps remind us that there are times when we should be gripping with all of our might and times when we should relax and conserve our grip strength. During the completion of each rep at the point of the transition, there is a moment when the grip can be relaxed to allow the other hand/side to take over. If the grip is not relaxed at this point, it will be a much more awkward switch to the other side. By relaxing the grip when necessary, the transition is fluid and smooth.
Fills the Gas Tanks
Exercises like the swing, done with light to moderate weight for lots of reps can really challenge and ultimately build our endurance. This makes it less likely we will gas out do to long periods of stress during our matches. Another factor that relates to our gas tank that kettlebells help us do more efficiently is monitor and control our breathing. When you're performing repetitions with your kettlebell, you will be taught to breathe very rhythmically, which can help keep a steady and sufficient flow of oxygen to our muscles and brain. This is extremely important in jiu jitsu where it is common to hold our breath when performing a technique or to let oneself lose control of the breathing, which can exacerbate the onslaught of fatigue.
World champions like Tom DeBlass and Bernardo Faria swear by the use of kettlebells for their power to build conditioning and strength and also their convenience. With only a small investment of 15-20 minutes several times a week, you can greatly improve your overall conditioning and give yourself more energy on the mats, without endless hours in the gym doing something you don't enjoy as much as training BJJ. What can be better than that? Check out Mike Perry's great resource "KB Essentials" at BJJ Fanatics!