In the varied and multimodal panorama of Functional Training, the Kettlebell undoubtedly represents a must-have tool for anyone who wants an instrument with almost infinite training potential. A “cannonball with a handle welded on top”, as this very peculiar object is often called.
Let’s look at it in an equally peculiar context: training the so-called Specific Strenghth.
In Functional Training, Specific Strength is an extremely complex training goal. The expression of Muscle Strength classically known is combined with specific qualities of the Movement performed, such as Stability, Mobility, Accuracy of trajectories and Coordination.
An example to understand what we are dealing with is represented by the Kettlebell Press, an exercise that has the user extending the arm upwards, performed by holding the Kettlebell handle in the palm of the hand and placing its mass on the forearm.
The exercise, typically performed while standing, includes a starting phase in which the body is fully activated in the task of supporting the arm, which, by expressing Tonic Strength, will raise the Kettlebell “over head”, until the so-called lock out position is reached.
Although an extension of this kind can be easily replicated in various executions with dumbbells, barbells and other external loads, the peculiar tilting situation of the Kettlebell itself, whose center of gravity is in a position completely external to the perpendicular axis along which lies the arm stretched upwards, implies a drastically different involvement of the whole System.
The Shoulder, thanks to a fundamental stabilization of the scapulohumeral Girdle, is activated in a much more complete way as it is engaged in the important action of counteracting the latero-lateral forces exerted by the Kettlebell, an action necessary to prevent the lateral fall of the Kettlebell itself right from the starting position. this position is achieved with the hand on the chest towards the medial line of the sternum at the height of the throat and the tool in position with the mass between the arm, forearm and chest.
During the execution of the movement, the arm, if correctly extended on an axis perfectly perpendicular to the ground, maintains complete muscle tension from the beginning to the end of the concentric phase, and this is the moment of maximum extension; this tension is again maintained throughout the eccentric return phase in the “rack” position, almost as if to “pull” the Kettlebell in the return to the starting position, as described above.
Speaking of Specific Strength in the explained exercise we mean precisely that set of muscles, joint synergies and activations, implemented almost automatically by our system to manage such a highly destabilizing load.
Synergies that, as mentioned in the beginning, combine Muscle Strength with Stability, Mobility and the Control of the movement itself, creating a training stimulus of great interest both for the world of Fitness and for that of Athletic Preparation.
It goes without saying that the ingredient (i.e. the Specific Strength exercise) must be combined with the right recipe Therefore creating the Training Protocol, which is able to elicit a systemic stress capable of generating the supercompensation necessary for a training path to give concrete results, measurable and durable over time.
Hence the importance of always combining technical training for the use of a Functional Tool with specific methodological training directed to the organization and planning of training sessions.
Improvisation and randomness in Functional Training are now abundantly overcome also thanks to the scientific evidence acquired; although they have experienced moments of particular satisfaction from users, they have shown over time to be lacking in particular training value and to be, rather, a frequent cause of injury.
He has about thirty years of experience in the field of Athletic Training and Physical Activity. Former Officer of the Italian Military Air Force, in parallel with his studies in Electronic Engineering, he dedicated himself to Functional Training starting as early as 1998 to use Kettlebells for athletic training in the Canoe and Kayak field. Interested in the use of Macebell for several years, he has studied and codified different training methods based exclusively on this tool, becoming a profound connoisseur of the Physical and Biomechanical dynamics related to it and the main Italian exponent of Macebell Training.
3rd Level Trainer “Master – Sport Specialist” of the Italian Weightlifting Federation with the qualification “Kettlebell Specialist”, is the National Technical Manager F.I.PE. and Federal Lecturer for “Functional Strength” and is a member of the National Union of Sports Kinesiologists. Author of the book “Functional Strength – High Intensity Functional Training Method” published by Calzetti & Mariucci for the Strength Academy F.I.PE. He is the creator and founder of the “Crossout Functional Training” community, a reality present throughout the country with over 150 professional trainers in the first three years of diffusion.