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Burn with Kearns: Hammer that core, literally – Kevin Kearns

by Kevin Kearns, contributing writer

Yes, you are correct. I said, literally. As many of you know we at Burn With Kearns like certain products. One of which is a simple set of  4 lbs. mini sledgehammers. We have been using them for strength training and rehabbing of the shoulder girdle for 25 years. The added benefit is grip strength and circular strength. The shoulder was not just made  to press weight overhead. It is a fluid body that our ancestors used with large heavy swords in battle. The Gladiator sword was an average of 5 lbs., and the broad sword was an average of 12-15 lbs. So, your core and shoulder had to work together all the time in battle.

Well, this is a way not only to strengthen your shoulder, but your core as well. I must give credit where credit is due. Recently I traveled to Okinawa to perform our Burn With Kearns MMA Fitness Trainer certification at Sensei Ben Moriniere Capoeria Okinawa Academy. Sensei Ben is a great guy and has been a big fan of our training for years. He took our “BWK hammer time drill” and added a twist to it.

He had me sit on the floor and elevate my feet! I thought what a simple and cool idea. Plus, he added a few more exercises to boot!  So, here is the “ Core Hammer Drill “ as Sensei Ben Moriniere from Capoeria Okinawa academy designed.

This sequence is 20 reps up to 3 sets.

Now, this protocol is not for the faint of heart – if you are concerned about hitting your head, I don’t suggest it). However, they do have sledgehammers with rubber heads just in case. This is an excellent way to get more bang for your buck on training multiple body parts at the same time. The core is an integrated unit and should be treated as such. If you draw a line from opposite shoulder to opposite hip, that is your core).

  1. Roof Block – sit on the floor elevate your feet. Place the hammers in front of you and rotate one hammer around your head at a time. Pro tip: watch your head; also, if you feel it too much in your lower back keep your feet on the ground.
  2. Iron T’s – sit on the floor with your feet elevated. Place both hammers behind your head and elbows towards the ceiling. Bring the hammers out to sides of your shoulders at the same time. Pro tip – make sure you don’t overextend your wrists
  3. Hammer and nail – sit on the floor with your feet elevated. Place hammers in front of your shoulder. Now bring one hammer across the body to the opposite side at shoulder height one at a time. Pro tip – make sure you cross the midline of your body.
  4. Hammer Halos – Sit on the floor with your feet elevated. Place both hammers in front of your face. Keep the hammers together as your circle them around your head. Pro Tip – keep the hammers glued together


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Coach Kevin Kearns, BS FMS  CPT – Direct: 508 404 8503

Both of Coach Kearns’ books may be purchased on For more information about Coach Kevin Kearns, including scheduling speaking engagements and classes (both online and in person), please contact him at 508-404-8503 or

Author of “There’s Light In The Tunnel” How to Survive and Thrive with Depression  – “Always Picked Last“ A guide to navigating bullies on Amazon and Audible

Coach Kevin Kearns has been coaching in the world of fitness, nutrition, and tactical self defense for over 3 decades. As the former conditioning coach to 15 UFC Pro Fighters, and ranked in the Top 5 in the UFC , he is no stranger to the the importance of proper nutrition and proper mindset programming. He has long advocated to all his clients – athletes or the general population – about the importance of programming mind, body and spirit. 

Coach Kevin Kearns BS FMS CPT – Former conditioning coach to 15 UFC Pros Ranked in Top 5 by the UFC Personal Fitness Coach, Author, Columnist, Motivational Speaker, Corporate Wellness Consultant, Youth Wellness Program Provider, Certification Specialist, Personal Self Defense, and Law Enforcement Defensive Tactics Specialist

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