Kettlebell training effects on strength and power

(02-15-2013) Kettlebells are popularKettlebells training aids in strength and endurance training or used to improve sports performance in competing athletes. Few studies have been performed to kettlebell training up until now. Scientists of the Long Island University in New York were interested in the transferring effects of kettlebell training on strength and power in weightlifting exercises and set up the following study. 

What did the researchers do? 

The researchers recruited 37 healthy men and women that had at least 6 months of strength training experience. The subects were divided into two groups, the kettlebell training group and the control group which resumed normal training. The participants were tested in Bench Press and Clean and Jerk performance using 1RM tests before and after a 10 week training period. Participants in both groups trained two times each week. Examples of exercises were: squats, overhead shoulder presses lunges and later in the training period plyometric exercises such as the kettlebell swing, clean and high pull. Lower weights with wich 15-20 repetitions could be performed during the initial stages of the training period. Later they used weights that allowed only 4-8 repetitions.

What were the results?

The results of the study are summarized in the figure below.

Kettlebell training effects on strength and power










The kettlebell training group increased their maximum strength in the bench press and clean and jerk exercises. The control group did not increase or decrease their strength.

What did the researchers conclude?

The researchers concluded that kettlebell training is effective in transferring increases in maximal strength and power to other types of exercises.

What does this mean for me?

When training to increase strength or power, kettlebell training can be an effective variation to regular strength training.


-Manocchia, P., Spierer, D.K. Lufkin, A.K.S., Minichiello, J., Castro, J. Transference of Kettlebell Training to Strength, Power, and Endurance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 27, 2, 477-484.