Continuous One-Arm Kettlebell Swing Training on Physiological Parameters in US Air Force Personnel: A Pilot Study


Wade M, O'Hara R, Caldwell L, Ordway J, Bryant D 16(4). 41 - 47 (Journal Article)

Background: The primary aim of this study was to investigate the effects of continuous one-arm kettlebell (KB) swing training on various US Air Force physical fitness testing components. Thirty trained male (n = 15) and female (n = 15) US Air Force (USAF) personnel volunteered and were sequentially assigned to one of three groups based on 1.5-mile run time: (1) KB one-arm swing training, (2) KB one-arm swing training plus highintensity running (KB + run), and (3) traditional USAF physical training (PT) according to Air Force Instruction 36-2905. Methods: The following measurements were made before and after 10 weeks of training: 1.5-mile run, 1-minute maximal push-ups, 1-minute maximal situps, maximal grip strength, pro agility, vertical jump, 40-yard dash, bodyweight, and percent body fat. Subjects attended three supervised exercise sessions per week for 10 weeks. During each exercise session, all groups performed a 10-minute dynamic warm-up followed by either (1) 10 minutes of continuous KB swings, (2) 10 minutes of continuous kettlebell swings plus 10 minutes of high-intensity running, or (3) 20 minutes of moderate intensity running plus push-ups and sit-ups. Average and peak heart rate were recorded for each subject after all sessions. Paired t tests were conducted to detect changes from pretesting to posttesting within each group and analysis of variance was used to compare between-group variability (ρ ≤ .05). Results: Twenty subjects completed the study. There were no statistically significant changes in 1.5-mile run time between or within groups. The 40- yard dash significantly improved within the KB swing (ρ ≤ .05) and KB + run group (ρ ≤ .05); however, there were no significant differences in the traditional PT group (ρ ≤ .05) or between groups. Maximal push-ups significantly improved in the KB + run group (ρ ≤ .05) and trends toward significant improvements in maximal push-ups were found in both the KB (ρ = .057) and traditional PT (ρ = .067) groups. Conclusions: This study suggests that continuous KB swing training may be used by airmen as a high-intensity, low-impact alternative to traditional USAF PT to maintain aerobic fitness and improve speed and maximal push-ups.

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