Does Kettlebell Make You Bulky

Danielle Fletcher
• Wednesday, 27 October, 2021
• 8 min read

After shedding another few percent body fat, and realizing what they allow me to do functionally (I LOVE being able to do impressive exercises like Dragon Flags now…) I have made peace with their appearance. *I adhere to a self-made physical ideal partially shaped by ancient school natural female body builders (look up Rachel Mulish), gymnasts/acrobats and certain strength/power athletes.

bulky kettlebell
(Source: www.verywellfit.com)


Does yoga, Pilates and workouts such as the Tracy Anderson Method make you long and lean? Tracy Anderson is a celebrity trainer whose clients include Gwyneth Pal trow, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez.

As a female trainer myself it makes me sad that women would fear getting stronger in order not to become big and bulky. Catabolism is defined as the breaking down of complex compounds in our bodies into simpler ones (proteins into amino acids).

Our muscles don’t become “long and lean” from yoga, Pilates and the Tracy Anderson Method. As far as our body shape is concerned, it’s the muscle mass that gives us toned arms, defined abs, and the illusion of a tiny waist.

For example; by building your shoulders and back along with your glutes and legs, you ’re able to create the illusion of a smaller waist. The less muscle we have, the lower our basic metabolic rate and the fewer calories we can eat without gaining fat.

“Kettle bells are also unnecessary, since you can easily get the benefits of incorporating weight and motion in a way that doesn’t add bulk or put your body at risk of injury.” I agree that if you have not mastered the basic movement patterns such as the squat and hip hinge using just your own body weight, and you jump into kettle bell training; you risk injuring yourself.

windmills kettlebells kettlebell windmill popsugar fitness ejercicios pesas rusas kettle bell con tone workout rutina weights moves step must copy
(Source: www.popsugar.com)

Once you have learned proper exercise form you need to strive to get stronger each week. A few ways to ensure you are getting stronger are: increasing the weight you use, adding more repetitions, or resting less time between sets.

On that note, one of the issues generating a significant number of e-mails comes from females who want to start kettle bell lifting but are deeply concerned about putting on “too much muscle size” or “getting too bulky like those women in the magazines”. After all, the lightest kettle bell of them all weighs about 9 lbs which in the traditional fitness approach for women is used for low reps to build strength but not to tone “.

The legacy of conventional gym wisdom is clear when one sees women who are otherwise healthy, fearful of approaching loads exceeding 20 lbs. Now, developing bulk (I will assume you are referring to substantial increases in muscle mass) is very specific to a small segment of the exercise and fitness population whose paychecks or livelihoods depend on the amount of muscle mass they can pack.

In addition, their training and lifestyles revolve around enhancing the stimulus needed to develop bulk ”. As far as kettle bell training goes, the way it is traditionally approached (endurance drills designed to take maximum advantage of the shape of the kettle bell) makes it virtually impossible to trigger the specific stimulus needed to pack significant amounts of muscle mass.

The 3-Time World Champion and her head-turning body Lorna’s gravity-defying side-viewThe “Kettle-Belle” inspires both men and women Lorna trains with nearly 5 to 10 times the resistance the average female fitness enthusiast uses and one look at her is enough to shatter the bulky muscles myth. Her physique and hard work inspires thousands of kettle bell enthusiasts, both male and female, to pursue excellence in kettle bell lifting with the realization that a healthy, strong, and powerful body does not have to be massive.

kettlebell swing swings workout body benefits couples mensjournal core golf
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

Lorna guides her loyal supporters through her popular classes and one-on-one sessions in New York. If distance is an issue, the second best way to be under Lorna’s guidance is through her book Body Sculpting with Kettle bells for Women ”.

Many of my former female kettle bell students in New York are under Lorna’s guidance and I have yet to hear of one complaining of too much size “. The emphasis of kettle bell training is to give you a leaner, stronger, more powerful body by building a solid foundation of skill and conditioning.

Since kettle bells distribute weight unevenly, they challenge your core during exercise and work your muscles in new ways, which can give you the results you're after. Unlike bodybuilding, which builds the front of body’s “mirror muscles,” kettle bells create functional strength and a less bulky but still ripped, toned appearance.

Adrienne Harvey of the Girl Girl website writes that kettle bell work for women results in a body like that of a gymnast or martial artist. Your physique won’t cooperate if you undermine your hard kettle bell workout with junk food and an overly high caloric intake.

This includes learning ways to deal with cravings and hunger, and to boost your motivation to stay on track with healthy eating. Having originated in Russia, and continuing to be popular in Eastern Europe, these are made out of cast iron.

(Source: beattitude.online)

They are cannonball-shaped weights with a single handle on top, and have been around for ages but popular only among the cross-fit trainers. A single exercise consists of multiple joints and muscle groups moving simultaneously, often in ways that are new and unfamiliar to most people.

And because the movements are different from traditional strength exercises, they take practice and professional attention to master. There is no better way to burn fat than with explosive kettle bell exercises that involve more muscle groups than sprinting does, and also increase the metabolic load on your body.

Who doesn’t want to have a nicely shaped butt, whose strength also protects your lower back? It improves your joint mobility and range of motion, which will make you more athletic and resistant to injury.

Not only are they incredibly challenging, but they also provide your training program with conditioning work that doesn't comprise boring cardio equipment. Every seasoned lifter will go through phases of their programs where things get stagnant, boring, and results stop coming.

It's inevitable, but mixing things up with kettle bell flows are a superb way to challenge yourself on the force-velocity curve by adding some elements of both strength-speed and speed-strength work. I routinely use 40-60 pound kettle bells for cleans, presses, rows, and even squats.

kettlebell exercises why sore self workouts
(Source: www.yahoo.com)

This allows me to use all sorts of muscle synergies to stabilize and lift the weights in all fashions will certainly deem progressive overload, especially if you manipulate variables such as volume and intensity. Flows solve this and get you a better bang for your buck by challenging you to a greater degree than getting on the elliptical.

When making kettle bell flows and complexes, try adding the more challenging exercises to the beginning where your neural senses and strength/awareness are not as fatigued. Offset loading is a fantastic way to challenge your core and add some severe stability components to your workout.

Both these groups can do WONDERS by adding kettle bell flows and complexes to their routines! At the very least, adding a few rounds as metabolic finishers can help your fat loss efforts.

We all want to reach our goals, whether to look jacked, lose weight, or build serious muscle. You start by doing two sumo dead lifts and then go right into a single-arm snatch which will challenge your core with some anti-rotational severe work.

This one will tax your nervous system to control, stabilize, and exploit power while having your heart rate soaring. During this complex, you begin with a flow of swings to snatches and ending with presses for a series of three cycles.

(Source: www.pinterest.com)

The added gorilla rows are a superb way to work both your core and back in one, forcing a quality hip hinge, which many of us desperately need more in our workouts. The final flow here is unique in the way it challenges your body to clean the kettle bells coming right off a row.

It is much more complicated than it looks because the position your body is in for a standard row is more hinged and perpendicular to the floor, while a clean needs your body in a hinged and upright torso position for peak power. This transition is tough, so make sure you start light and gradually work your way up in weights.

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1 www.mensjournal.com - https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/how-to-choose-the-right-kettlebell-weight-w447908/
2 www.onnit.com - https://www.onnit.com/academy/what-is-the-best-kettlebell-weight-to-start-with/
3 www.simplefitnesshub.com - https://www.simplefitnesshub.com/what-kettlebell-weight-woman-use/