Known as a “girl” in Russia, kettle bells were originally used to help balance scales while weighing crops. The man most notable for Westernizing the kettle bell is Pavel Tsatsouline, chairman of Strongest Inc. and former PT drill instructor for Smetana.
Tsatsouline's authored several books that outline simple but effective kettle bell training programs. Entire workouts can be executed with nothing more than a single kettle bell, whether the aim is strength, hypertrophy, power or endurance.
A kettle bell is relatively small (though I dare not say it's “light,” as that all depends on the weight you select) and relatively affordable in comparison to most other gym equipment. Compared to training with machines or even dumbbells, the kettle bell provides variability and offsets the load so that no one rep is ever truly the same.
Every piece of equipment brings something unique to the table, and every person is different, so it's foolish to speak in definitive. Barbells make it easy for a newbie to load a movement heavier than they can handle in a fixed position.
A perfect example is that of a Barbell Bench Press, where the hands are pronated and the shoulders are inherently placed in an internally rotated position. Kettle bells are a great option to keep an individual's load lower while growing their movement competency.
It targets the posterior chain and teaches individuals how to hip hinge properly with some force. This exercise involves holding the kettle bell with both hands (although single-arm and double-bell variations do exist) and using the hip hinge to forcefully drive it out in front of yourself.
Your gripping muscles may eventually burn if the set is long or enough or the weight's heavy enough, but your arms and shoulders should essentially contribute no power to the movement. Once the Kettle bell Swing is mastered, it is an excellent addition to any program or a convenient stand-alone option for a conditioning day.
Its goal is simple: Stand from a supine position while keeping a weight over your head. However, that simple act requires a lot of technique, shoulder stability, core strength, hip mobility and focus to execute effectively.
There are also many scenarios where replacing a classic barbell or dumbbell exercise with a kettle bell version can make sense. It might seem like an insignificant swap, but kettle bells naturally lead to better scapular position, making the move more effective and reducing wear and tear on your body.
Undoubtedly the kettle bell is an extraordinary tool with a long history of producing excellent results. Let’s face it, finding the perfect exercise regimen that works for you can be just as hard as having the discipline to stay committed to a training program in the first place.
With so many workout plans flooding the fitness world and with the next trend always being better than the last, it’s easy to be indecisive. A breath of fresh air from traditional weight training, kettle bells offer flexibility and versatility to your regimen that may be just what you’re looking for.
Kettle bells are compact, and you can train in your apartment, garage, or even outside to feel the refreshing air as you work out. Kettle bells will produce more balanced results; not only can you sculpt your body and improve your physique, but you can build your strength and grow lean muscle at the same time.
Pretty much every muscle in your body will be engaged during the rotating and swinging movements that kettle bell reps require. This helps to get optimal results and shore up muscle weaknesses and imbalances that you may or may not have been aware of.
But when it comes to athletic training movements, the kettle bell reigns supreme due to the high repetitions and the explosive power required within each workout. Dumbbells can be looked at as a great alternative to the kettle bell because, in many ways, these two pieces of equipment are interchangeable.
And when it comes to biceps and shoulder training, the dumbbell is probably the best choice to make over the kettle bell due to how much muscle growth you can achieve. Dumbbells are similar to kettle bells in that they also don’t take up a ton of space should you choose to purchase them for your home gym.
When it comes to packing on muscle and maximizing your strength gains, barbells remain king. Currently, there is no other more efficient way to gain strength than to simply grab a barbell and throw as much weight on it as you can stand.
High intensity and low reps are the names of the game, and barbell use is the best and quickest way to build strength and pack on some muscle. However, being the strongest doesn’t necessarily correlate to being the fittest, and at their extremes, these two things are opposites.
Your fitness goals will determine which route you take to choose an effective workout plan. If your goal is to make yourself a better athlete, increase your explosion and endurance, and build lean muscle, then incorporating some kettle bell training along with dumbbells into your workout regimen will go a long way to build strength and stamina.
So before you set out to choose a piece of equipment, envision yourself how you would like to be and let that serve as the launching pad to guide you in your fitness endeavors. These kettle bells come in different weights and you can make use of these equipments as you do lunges, shoulder presses, and lifts.
The kettle bell workouts get your heart pumping and are quite beneficial in burning calories, offering body flexibility and many other things. Kettle bell exercises mostly targets areas like the core, arms, glutes, legs, and back.
These kettle bells come in weights that range from 5-100 pounds and you can purchase them from sporting goods stores or from online retailers. There is a short review of research on kettle bell exercises that teaches about some workouts and its benefits.
Kettle bell exercises stimulate an incredible amount of abdominal contraction because of their explosive conditioning movements. The abdominal contraction along with coordinated breathing offers quite a high level of conditioning that actually has made kettle bells popular among athletes and fighters.
In one study there was absolutely clear evidence of some effective positive changes in cardiovascular health from kettle bell exercises. Since there are several kettle bell exercises which we do with our arms in an overhead position, the muscles that are responsible for assisting our breathing process are pretty engaged in the muscular activity; thus not allowing them to assist in the process of respiratory.
This in turn forces the muscles that are most responsible for the breathing process to play an even higher role in the cardiovascular health. They also enable you for increasing your strength and building up speed and also your endurance levels simultaneously.
The first thing that must be kept in mind is that your entire back and abs remain absolutely straight. Most physical therapists value these exercises because they teach us to move in a better, stronger, and a safer way.
There are benefits to using single and double kettle bells depending on your goals. Let’s explore which options are the best plus the types of exercises that lend themselves better to 1 and 2 kettle bells.
You can perform most of the exercises and produce some incredible results with just one kettle bell. Weaker or inexperienced women may wish to begin with a 8 kg and men can choose a 12 kg.
Using two kettle bells doubles the load so care needs to be taken to ensure you are capable of handling the extra weight. As well as adding extra weight using two kettle bells also enables you to train both sides at the same time, this can seriously cut down on training time but also makes the exercises more demanding.
Clean and Press Double Lunges Racked Squats Single Leg Dead lifts Using the above exercises with 2 kettle bells will save you a lot of time and also generate some great strength benefits that are hard to achieve with just one kettle bell.
Body weight Reverse Lunge (always master the exercise without weight first) Holding One Kettle bell with Two Hands (see image below) The above exercises would be progressed over a period of months ensuring that you can perform 3 sets of each variation before moving on to the next one.
I understand that when you are just starting out the thought of buying lots of kettle bells is daunting but ultimately, as mentioned earlier, you can get away with just one. Let’s say you bought a 12 kg for lots of single kettle bell workouts and then later progressed to a 16 kg.
Holding a 12 kg on one side and a 16 kg on the other is an inexpensive way to begin double kettle bell training. There are lots more for you to try but these are the 3 that I would recommend you practice in order to get used to the feel of 2 kettle bells.
Using two kettle bells enables you to perform shorter workouts while at the same time challenging your strength. You may choose to use two different kettle bell weights when performing double kettle bell exercises in order to still add a degree of instability to the exercise.
However, if you want to add lots of bulk then kettle bells are the wrong tool for you. But, in the last decade or so, they’ve seen a resurgence in popularity, not least because they are a part of so many CrossFit workouts.
But Tim Ferris says “the two armed kettle bell swing is the king and is all you need for dramatic body recomposition results”. This post will reveal the main kettle bell swing benefits and how to do them correctly.
It takes time to master the kettle bell swing, but once you’ve got it nailed, this exercise has a wide range of benefits. Your heart rate will also soar when you swing a kettle bell, which makes kettle bell swings one of the best strength training exercises for fat loss and weight loss.
Tim Ferris's writes glowingly about the fantastic benefits of the kettle bell swing for rapid fat loss and body recomposition in his New York Times Best Seller The Four Hour Body.” Image Credit Tracy & Mark Ranking Many fitness enthusiasts believe that squats and dead lifts are the kings of exercise.
But Tim Ferris says, “the two armed kettle bell swing is the king and is all you need for dramatic body recomposition results.” Increased cardiovascular fitness Kettle bell swing training is excellent for your heart and lungs, as well as your muscles.
Because they are a full-body movement, kettle bell swings will drive your heart and breathing rate sky-high, which makes them a beneficial and challenging cardiovascular exercise. Kettle bell swings are fast and explosive, while dead lifts are much slower.
Better posture Kettle bell swings are one of the best exercises for undoing the effects of prolonged sitting. Swings work your posterior chain, which are the muscles responsible for holding you upright against the pull of gravity.
Because kettle bell swings involve so many muscles and joints working together and at the same time, there’s a lot that can go wrong with this exercise. But, if you master a proper kettle bell swing, you can enjoy all the benefits this exercise has to offer while avoiding all the risks.
Hold your kettle bell in front of your hips with an overhand grip. Standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart, pull your shoulders down and back, and brace your abs.
Focus on your hip drive to pop the kettle bell upwards, not your arms. Use your lats and abs to stop the weight swinging upward and then let the kettle bell fall back down.
Tim Ferris's Teaches You How To Do The Russian Kettle bell Swing Russian kettle bell swings generally allow you to lift more weight, and they are easier to learn.
However, it’s all too easy to inadvertently shorten your rep range by not swinging the weight high enough, i.e., below shoulder-height. Swinging the weight up until the arms are vertical ensures that each rep is the same, making them easier to judge and quantify.
However, raising the weight so high will increase stress on the lower back, which could lead to injury. The increased range of movement also means you won’t be able to lift as much weight.
But, unless you are training for CrossFit competitions, the Russian swing is potentially the safer one, which may mean it’s the best choice for most exercisers. As recommended by the American Council on Exercise, ACE for short, this kettle bell workout is best done three times a week on non-consecutive days, e.g., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Kettle bell cleans and snatches come close, but they are much trickier to master. Whether you want to burn fat, get fit, or boost your dead lift performance, kettle bell swings will help.
Remember, to get the most from this exercise; you need to do them correctly and give yourself time to recover between workouts. Therefore, it is also an excellent move for a beginner to prepare for a dead lift program.
Our patented Dark Iron Fitness lifting straps are made of durable cowhide suede and are the perfect accompaniment to kettle bells. Their numerous benefits include strength gain, endurance, flexibility and weight loss.
Many of the movements and skills required in CrossFit focus on learning to have fast and effective hips. Dumbbells have a tight center of gravity and mainly utilize the major muscle groups.
A kettle bell ’s odd shape and off-center mass forces you to use muscles that mimic real-life activities. Its odd center of gravity forces you to do more work involving your stabilizing muscles to create explosive movements with the bell.
Enjoy the ease of use and appreciate that such a unique weight can help streamline other exercises you already do. Always practice correct form and safety in all exercises, but be content in the fact the kettle bell is one of the safer weights to work with.
If you have previously been avoiding barbell exercises due to safety concerns, look into the kettle bell alternatives. The kettle bell alternates periods of intense contraction and controlled relaxation, to give you a superior workout that combines strength, as well as endurance.
Other exercises such as the windmill, and single leg dead lift, also build flexible strength. The kettle bell stimulates tremendous abdominal contraction because of the explosive conditioning movements.
The fact you can work your core indirectly, just through the dynamic aspect of kettle bells, is truly amazing. They enable you to increase your strength, build up speed as well as your endurance level at the same time.
This gives you a great strength and endurance workout in a shorter amount of time. So rather than moving on to a heavier kettle bell you simply complete more reps or change the exercise to a more difficult option.
If you find yourself becoming bored with traditional exercises or having to be in the gym, consider using kettle bells. This is especially valued by physical therapists because kettle bells actually teach you to move in a way that is better, stronger, and safer.
Unfortunately, many of us today lose some of our basic movements as a result of sedentary occupations and lifestyles. That’s what happens when we don’t move our bodies with the full range of motion or become used to certain unhealthy postures (like sitting in front of a computer all day).
They are terrific for overall fat loss, improving lean body mass, and helping teach proper use of the hips (important for speed and power sports). They are so effective that serious lifters should definitely consider them as a way to enhance and supplement their barbell or dumbbell workouts.