FITNESS & NUTRITION

Power Endurance Ladders -Sledgehammer Slams & Kettlebell Swings

This ladder workout consists of pairing 2 exercises: the kettlebell swing and the sledgehammer slam. Both exercises are used as a way of developing power, conditioning, and total body symmetry. Ladder workouts are an effective way to manipulate the density of a workout while training whatever specific athletic attribute you want (in this workout it’s total body power). The density of a workout refers to the total volume of work being done within a time frame. The more dense the workout, the more work is done in a short period of time. With ladders you can alter reps, weight, time increments, etc. to get more or less work done. The two exercises in this ladder (kettlebell swings and sledgehammer slams) were chosen because they complement each other by working antagonistic muscle groups while simultaneously developing explosive power and conditioning.

Kettlebell swings are one of the most revered exercises for training your posterior chain.  They strengthen muscle groups like the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back.  All of which are areas that are common sources of injury for many people. Additionally, studies have shown that including kettlebell swings into a training program may increase explosive power, maximal strength, and VO2 Max levels.

Sledgehammer slams serve as the perfect complimentary exercise to kettlebell swings as a way to train the anterior core. Sledgehammer slams develop spinal stability, overhead balance, and the ability to properly transfer power across multiple planes.  While sledgehammer slams don’t have as much research as kettlebell swings to prove their effectiveness, they have plenty of anecdotal evidence.  Sledgehammer slams are a staple exercises in the strength and conditioning routines of boxing’s most feared punchers.

In this workout you will move up and down a ladder by starting at a low number of repetitions and working your way up to a higher number of repetitions. Once you get to the maximum number of reps in a set, you will work your way back down until you are back at the starting number of repetitions.

Power Endurance Ladder

Set 1: 4 reps each

Sledgehammer Slams

Kettlebell Swings

 

Rest – 30 seconds

 

Set 2: 6 reps each

Sledgehammer Slams

Kettlebell Swings

 

Rest – 30 Seconds

 

Set 3: 8 reps each

Sledgehammer Slams

Kettlebell Swings

 

Set 4: 6 reps each

Sledgehammer Slams

Kettlebell Swings

 

Rest – 30 Seconds

 

Set 5: 4 reps each

Sledgehammer Slams

Kettlebell Swings

 

*Starting weights: For the sledgehammer slams, a good weight range to start out with for this workout is a 10 lb hammer.  For the kettlebell, I’ve found that with most women 18 lbs is a good weight to start with and 35 lb works well for most men.   It’s important to pick a weight that provides a good amount of resistance while allowing you to perform the slams/swings at a near maximal velocity.

Erick Avila
About the Author:

Erick Avila.

Erick Avila is a strength & conditioning coach/nutritionist. He works with top-ranked professional boxers and athletes. He specializes in areas ranging from boxing-specific physical preparation and hormone optimization to general weight loss. Erick’s training methods have been featured on various prominent fitness magazines and websites.

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