Dynamic Kettlebell Exercises

Scuba diving requires transporting gear in a variety of environments, frequently with awkward or uneven load distribution. These dynamic kettlebell exercises improve range of motion, independently strengthen each side of the body and help train your body to respond to a variety of environmental conditions that you may encounter while gearing up and diving. Introducing complex multijoint, unilateral movements helps develop balanced strength and range of motion, which are beneficial for injury prevention before, during and after your dive.

Start with a lightweight kettlebell (or no weight), and progress to a heavier weight as tolerated without compromising your form. Complete 10 repetitions of each exercise on each side of the body before moving on to the next exercise. After completing one set of each exercise, repeat for up to three sets.
Turkish Get Up

  1. Start by lying on your right side in a fetal position with the kettlebell at chest level.
  2. Slide your bottom hand palm up through the handle and overlap the top hand.
  3. Pull the kettlebell close to your chest.
  4. Roll to your back, and use both hands to press up the kettlebell over your chest.
  5. Bend your right knee, keeping your foot flat on the floor. Release your left hand, and position your left arm flat on the floor at an approximately 45-degree angle from your body.
  6. Using the support of your left arm, sit up tall and straighten your arm to prop yourself up. The kettlebell should now be overhead.
  7. Using your support arm and right foot, lift your hips and slide your left leg under your body, placing your knee under your armpit approximately one hand length from your support hand.
  8. Remove your support hand from the ground, and pivot your bottom leg until you are in a half-kneeling position with the kettlebell overhead.
  9. Push the toes of your bottom foot into the ground and transition to a standing position, finishing with your feet together.
  10. Transition back to the floor, working backward through each step.

  • Complete this exercise in a slow and controlled manner.
  • Keep the kettlebell in line with or slightly in front of your shoulder joint to avoid weighted hyperextension.
  • If you feel lightheaded when transitioning from lying down to standing, take a break in a seated or prone position.

Modification: Use a foam block to simulate weight.
Challenge: Increase repetitions or weight.

Reverse Lunge with Alternating Kettlebell Halo

Complete 10 repetitions on each side per set.

  1. Start by holding the kettlebell by the "horns" upside down at chest level with your feet together.
  2. Take a step back, lunging the back knee toward the floor.
  3. Slowly circle the kettlebell around your head once in each direction, keeping it close to your head.
  4. Return to standing position.
  5. Repeat, lunging with the opposite leg.
  • Keep your head still, and do not accidentally bump your head with the kettlebell.
  • Make sure your feet are about shoulder-width apart.

Modification: Use a shallow lunge.
Challenge: Drop your knee closer to the floor, with a goal of being within 1 inch.

One-Arm Bottoms-Up Rack Carry
  1. Grasp the top of the handle with one hand, place the other hand underneath the bell, and lift the kettlebell to the bottoms-up rack position, with the elbow slightly below shoulder level.
  2. Keep your grip and core as tight as possible. Place your other hand behind your back to minimize counterbalancing.
  3. Slowly walk forward for 20 steps.
  4. Slowly walk backward for 20 steps.

  • Make sure you have a clear path, especially for the backward walking.
  • Maintain tight core muscles.

Modifications: Start with a lightweight kettlebell, or use a normal rack position instead of bottoms up.
Challenge: Gradually increase the weight.

Elevated Quadruped Pull Through
  1. Start on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under the shoulders and hips directly over the knees.
  2. Position the kettlebell at chest level outside of your shoulders.
  3. Lift your knees slightly off the ground.
  4. While maintaining a stable trunk, use the hand on the side opposite of the kettlebell to grasp the handle and drag or lift the bell in a straight line to the other side.
  5. Place the working hand on the ground, and repeat on the opposite side.

Tip: Try not to rotate your trunk.
Modifications: Start with a lightweight kettlebell, and keep your knees on the ground.

  • Drop your knees to within 1 inch of the ground without touching.
  • Increase the weight when you can complete the exercise with your knees within 1 inch of the ground.

© Alert Diver — Q2 Spring 2019