For strength and power, exercise physiologist Jared Co burn and his colleagues at California State University in Fullerton chose three standard kettle bell moves — the kettle bell swing, accelerated swing and goblet squat — and matched them to three traditional weight-lifting exercises: the high dead lift, power clean and back squat. The researchers randomly assigned 30 volunteers to follow identical programs using either kettle bells or barbells for six weeks, then measured their strength and power.
One explanation for the difference is that kettle bell movements emphasize speed and explosiveness, but are less suited to dealing with very heavy weights, Dr. Co burn says: “My advice would be to incorporate them into a training program alongside more traditional methods, not as a permanent replacement.” In order to get a fair comparison, they had their volunteers repeatedly estimate their perceived exertion during the kettle bell routine on a standard numerical scale from 6 to 20.
On the surface, the results were clear: The treadmill workout burned more calories and consumed more oxygen than the kettle bells, by 25 to 39 per cent. Still, the kettle bell routine maintained heart rates up above 85 per cent of maximum, enough to produce gains in cardiovascular fitness.
“If it's a heavier kettle bell that's lifted only a few times, it's probably a strength workout,” says Jerry Mayhew, the senior author of the Truman State study. Kettle bells put less compression but more lateral force on your vertebrae compared to conventional barbells, according to research by the University of Waterloo's Stuart McGill.
Dr. McGill recommends starting with the “shortstop squat” to practice keeping the spine in a neutral position: hands on knees, bending with the hips and looking straight ahead. Well, if you explore one of the neglected corners of the gym (or your garden shed for that matter), you may well find a brilliant alternative to your standard weight workouts : the kettle bell.
While dumbbells and barbells are popular and effective weight training options, they’re definitely not the only method of building muscle. “The thing about kettle bells is that they genuinely do offer a full-body workout,” explains personal trainer Hannah Lewin.
Just do a quick Google search and you’ll find over 50 exercises — ranging from good mornings and single arm dead lifts, to Turkish get ups and kettle bell snatches. Because you tend to use one kettle bell at a time, you’re naturally working on your core power, balance, flexibility and coordination — all of which are crucial to everyday fitness, as well as strength training.
If your core is not activated, you can’t get a weight into the air during a clean and press without putting untold pressure on your back. You need balance and pelvic floor strength to complete a set of kettle bell swings, while coordination is crucial for getting through any heavy weights' session safely.
One person who knows all about strength and conditioning is Laura Higgins — a certified trainer, author and director of The Foundry. Even a kettle bell halo (circling your shoulder girdle with the weight) activates your traps, lats, deltoid and core.
Marimba explains that they’re a great tool for spiking heart rate “very quickly due to their functionality”; they don’t require any effort to set up, but they do get us working hard to move them from point A to B. Utilizing higher rep ranges and ballistic movements with appropriate rest has big cardiovascular benefits.”
Follow @StrongWomenUK on Instagram for the latest workouts, delicious recipes and motivation from your favorite fitness experts. Well, there is no doubt that the kettle bell itself looks really strange — like a mini bowling ball with a luggage handle.
For those out there who aren’t confident in doing kettlebellworkouts due to the high intensity and expected grip strength, don’t turn away yet! 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. Killer strength and endurance work can be achieved without necessarily having to use the heaviest weight you can find.
Some people are naturally stronger, but ultimately the kettle bell isn’t a strength tool— it’s a strength-endurance tool. 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. Dark Iron Fitness leather suede lifting are guaranteed not to rip, tear, or fall apart — the perfect compliment for your kettle bell.
Kettle bells, which look like cannonballs with handles, have become a popular strength training alternative to traditional barbells, dumbbells, and resistance machines. Kettle bell exercises often involve several muscle groups at once, making them a highly effective way to give your arms, legs, and abs a great workout in a short amount of time.
Kettle bells can be used for a variety of exercises that improve both your strength and cardiovascular fitness. Russian strongmen in the 1700s developed kettle bells as implements to build strength and endurance.
You’ve probably seen depictions of bare-chested carnival strongmen hoisting them over their heads. Using lighter kettle bells at first allows you to focus on using the proper form and technique for the different exercises.
Fitness experts suggest using kettle bells with the following weights if you’re at an intermediate to advanced level with your strength training: Aim to add more reps each week, then work toward adding more sets as you build strength.
Push your hips backward, and bend your knees to reach the kettle bell handles. Firmly grip the kettle bells, keeping your arms and back straight.
This is an excellent exercise to boost both your muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness. While your shoulders and arms will do a lot of the work, most of the effort should come from the hips and legs.
Engage your abdominal muscles and set your shoulders back. Exhale as you make an explosive upward movement to swing the kettle bell out in front of you.
Squats are an excellent lower-body exercise that work your quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, as well as your abdominal muscles. Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed out slightly.
Using your leg muscles, with your upper body still, straighten up to your starting position. With both hands around the handle, hold the kettle bell close to your chest.
Alternatively, you can hold a kettle bell by the handle in one or both hands, with your arms at your sides. Slowly step forward with your left leg, bending your knee while keeping your right foot in place.
A great exercise for working your abs and obliques (the muscles on the sides of your abdomen that run from your hips to your ribs), the Russian twist can also be done with a weighted medicine ball or barbell plate. When using a kettle bell, be sure to keep a firm grip so that you don’t drop it on your lap.
Sit with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor. Holding the kettle bell handle with both hands, lean back so that your torso is at about a 45-degree angle to the floor.
With your heels a few inches above the floor, rotate your torso from right to left, swinging the kettle bell slightly across your body. When your chest is even with the kettle bell handles, exhale and push your body back up to its starting position.
There are many benefits to working out with kettle bells, for both men and women, across all age groups. According to a 2019 study, a kettle bell workout is a highly effective way to improve your strength, aerobic power, and overall physical fitness.
Compared to resistance circuit-based training, the same study found that a regular kettle bell workout is just as effective at improving cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength. A 2013 study reported that participants who completed an 8-week kettle bell training session saw noticeable improvements in their aerobic capacity.
Kettle bell exercises have the ability to restore muscle mass and improve grip strength in older adults, according to a 2018 study. According to Harvard Health, kettle bell exercises can also help improve your posture and balance.
You typically use your core muscles more with kettle bell exercises than with dumbbells or barbells. Take your time learning the correct form and technique of each exercise.
If possible, ask a certified personal trainer at your local gym or fitness center to show you the proper form for kettle bell exercises. Kettle bells tend to swing, so get used to the feel and movement in your hands before using one.
Stop immediately if you feel sudden or sharp pain. A little mild soreness after a workout is normal, but you shouldn’t feel sudden, sharp pain while working out.
Kettle bells can take a little getting used to, but working out with them is a highly effective way of improving your muscle strength and cardio fitness. The key is to start slow and, if possible, with the help of a certified personal trainer.