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 can create a full-body workout using just kettle bells, or you can pick and choose specific kettlebellexercises to add to your strength training regimen. 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. Slowly bend both knees so that your thighs are almost parallel to the floor.
Using your leg muscles, with your upper body still, straighten up to your starting position. 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. Make sure your left knee doesn’t extend over your toes.
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 you’ve completed your repetitions, return to your starting position.
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.
If possible, ask a certified personal trainer at your local gym or fitness center to show you the proper form for kettle bell exercises. 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. Another benefit of doing kettlebellexercises is that you can work several muscle groups simultaneously with a single kettle bell.
Kettle bells are also small enough to use anywhere, and you typically don’t need much space to do a variety of kettlebellexercises. The key is to start slow and, if possible, with the help of a certified personal trainer.
Imagine you’re a soldier posted at a foreign military base. Western : occasional soul-crushing, long, brutal workouts followed by days of weakness as you recover.
Eastern : easier, shorter training performed every day with little weakness or recovery. Pavel Tsatsouline, the “father of the kettle bell ”, focused his entire career on the Eastern strength approach.
Here’s what I learned from trying one famous method of daily kettle bells training called “Greasing the Groove”. Ask 100 coaches, and you’ll hear a divide on everyday training:
Everyday training can help or hinder you depending on the type of exercise, duration, and your recovery. Age Environment Sleep Fitness level Diet Stress Genes & epigenetics Supplementation Activity outside the gym Work Deliberate recovery practices
Each factor impacts your recovery and ability to train intensely. Most famous for his always leave one in the chamber philosophy of strength training, Pavel introduced the world to a concept he called “Greasing the Groove.”
Greasing the Groove (GTG) is a micro-workout approach to every day kettle bell training. Instead of long dedicated blocks of all-out workouts, Pavel prescribes light sessions every day.
Sessions with long rests between sets, and stopping well before failure. Best of all, light, every day kettle bell training doesn’t require recovery.
Greasing the groove can stand alone as a complete workout, or layered on top of an existing routine for faster results. Like conventional barbell and dumbbell programs, intense kettle bell training tests your ability to recover.
Training frequency Workout intensity Volume Recovery If this all seems too confusing, Pavel designed a great program for everyday Kettle bell Training called Simple & Sinister (Amazon).
He gives you daily kettle bell routines and lays out the common rookie (and veteran) mistakes. While exercising, the moment your form slips up just a tiny bit, STOP.
I can trace back most of my injuries to ignoring poor form cues. For maximum strength building, master two kettlebellexercises : Kettle bell Swings (KBS), and Turkish Setups (TGU).
For the best results, perform 70-250 kettle bell swings daily before breakfast when hormones and enzymes are primed to burn stored body fat. For an average strength man, he recommends 24 kg for KBS and 16 kg for TGU.
For an average strength lady, Pavel recommends 16 kg for KBS and 8 kg for TGU. I’ve found that I can complete a workout of Kettle bell Swing and Turkish Get-Ups in just about 10 minutes.
Most people begin noticing big results and improvements in 2-4 weeks. Cardio and strength benefits begin earlier, while goals like weight loss can take a little longer to show.
You’ll notice that your usual everyday activities become easier. I started GTG and reclaimed 15 hours previously consumed by the gym.
Paradoxically, swinging kettle bells kept me consistently near full strength while I continued to build muscle. I no longer spent 90 percent of my weeks recovering from monstrous personal-record setting workouts.
I hack my workouts with an incredible technology I wrote about called blood flow restriction training. Every day I make a point to get a few minutes of a little exercise “snack”.