I have been working with a 14 year old young man for the past several months with no strength training experience or athletic background. We have been training with kettlebells, bodyweight exercises, heavy ropes, as well as, more traditional strength training implements (dumbbells and barbells). From an early evaluation we began and focused on addressing inflexibility in the hips, balance/body control, and core strength.
Most teens are prone to (especially bigger boys) challenges stemming from tight hips. We started with bodyweight squats and stopped shy of 1/4 depth without losing balance. Right away our mission was clear, and a steady dose of hip mobility drills, stretching, dynamic warm ups, foam rolling, and practice was going to be the prescription. With patience, reps, and a few weeks the hips began to unlock, he had more balance and control, and we were seeing some strength gains. I worked with many young men with this body type and age range. This would be the first opportunity to work with someone this age with kettlebells. This week he performed a beautiful kettlebell snatch w/ 20kg for the first time. A month ago I wouldn’t have believed it, but he has come so far and continues to progress. I am sold on the kettlebell and believe it is truly a tool for everyone. The kettlebell is unmatched in teaching beginners how to use their body, and teaches transfer of power from feet to hands better than just about anything.
We began with: bodyweight squats, single leg hip sled, kettlebell swing, high pull, one hand kb overhead squat. Eventually we have been able to clean+jerk, front squat, barbell overhead squat, and even kettlebell snatch. I am really encouraged by this young man’s progress and how he continues to improve his body control, explosiveness, technique, and strength.
Everyone is built a little different, and has varying athletic potential. I enjoy the challenge and reward of partnering with individuals to unlock that potential and helping them reach their personal goals, improve their performance, fitness level, and quality of life.