Member Login

Wellness Wednesday: Kettlebells & Baseball

It seems as though this year is going to be a great one for the city of Cincinnati, Covington and baseball. Our region is hosting the MLB All-Star Game and Covington recently turned 200 years old. Everywhere you look there is new construction, clean-up efforts and fresh faces. As the end of winter approaches and the start of spring gets closer, people are looking forward to getting outside more and enjoying the warmer weather.

With all of that being said, baseball fever is starting to spread. From kids to adults, those who enjoy or play the sport are getting ready for a new season. As a personal trainer, I’ve always placed more focus on helping others succeed in their sport than actually being a fan of the sport itself so the main concern in my mind has been to get people READY to play BEFORE it's time to play.  

Here is where rotational training tools come out on top for baseball and other rotational-based sports. Maces, clubs, Bulgarian bags and kettlebells provide the ability to train movements that are very much like pitching and hitting. These tools increase shoulder, hip and torso integrity while providing rotational power and helping prevent injuries. Barbells and machines are great for building strength, but when transitioning to the sport-specific motions of baseball or softball, transitional tools such as the ones I mentioned above should be incorporated into your training.

Simply put, kettlebells and bulgarian bags increase your power transfer into the ball or bat, and because they take you off balance when you train with them, they provide athletes with a feeling of being more grounded. Rotational strength, stability, and quickness can all increase with this type of training, causing an athlete such as a baseball player or softball player to generate more force into the ball. By adding just one day of work per week with kettlebells to your current training or conditining regimen, you can improve your joint stabilization and strength in addition to reaping the other benefits listed above.  

While these tools are incredible for training, however, you MUST be trained properly to use them. Just one day of training with an experienced kettlebell teacher from Swing This Kettlebell and Strength Studio can have even the most highly-conditioned athlete feeling stabilizing and supporting musculature benefits they may have never felt before. I have been working with athletes young and old for a decade using rotational stabilization and quickness techniques. However, it's only recently been taking hold in many training circles.   

Still skeptical? Perhaps you need to see some professional baseball or softball players using kettlebells and bulgarian bags to satisfy your curiosity? How about new Reds outfielder and former All-Star Marlon Byrd? Turns out he's a big fan of the power and sports transfer ability of kettlebells. You can see some videos of Marlon putting in some work here, here, and here.

If you are interested in how proper kettlebell training for athletics can benefit you, feel free to give us a call or shoot us an e-mail. We have plenty of space to work with you or your young athlete in a safe and effective manner that will prepare you or them for this upcoming baseball or softball season.

- Joe Daniels is the owner of SwingThis Kettlebell and Strength Studio in Latonia. Questions for Joe? E-mail him at [email protected].

Bored with bodybuilding after reaching the national level in 2009, Joe Daniels opened SwingThis Kettlebell and Strength. From becoming an IKFF Coach operating in an 800 sq. ft. studio, the benefits of a minimal yet highly effective approach to fitness has grown to a 5,500 sq. ft. functional training facility within four years. 

Focusing on injury prevention, competitive kettlebell sport training and stress relief, SwingThis Kettlebell and Strength has hosted seminars and trained hands-on with some of the top athletes and coaches of the kettlebell world. Their philosophy has remained the same: You have to enjoy your training at all stages. Live your life. Your training should make your life outside that time more enjoyable and fulfilling.

- Photo/NKU baseball (The Northerner)