The birth of competitive kettle bell lifting or Gregory sport ( ) is dated to 1885, with the founding of the “Circle for Amateur Athletics” ( ). Russian girl are traditionally measured in weight by Food, corresponding to 16.38 kilograms (36.1 lb).
The English term kettle bell has been in use since the early 20th century. Similar weights used in Classical Greece were the halter, comparable to the modern kettle bell in terms of movements.
Variants of the kettle bell include bags filled with sand, water, or steel shot. By their nature, typical kettle bell exercises build strength and endurance, particularly in the lower back, legs, and shoulders, and increase grip strength.
The basic movements, such as the swing, snatch, and the clean and jerk, engage the entire body at once, and in a way that mimics real world activities such as shoveling or farm work. Unlike the exercises with dumbbells or barbells, kettle bell exercises involve large numbers of repetitions in the sport, and can also involve large reps in normal training.
Kettle bell exercises are in their nature holistic; therefore they work several muscles simultaneously and may be repeated continuously for several minutes or with short breaks. This combination makes the exercise partially aerobic and more similar to high-intensity interval training rather than to traditional weight lifting.
Like movements performed with any exercise tool, they can be dangerous to those who have back or shoulder problems, or a weak core, when performed without proper education and progression. They can offer improved mobility, range of motion, agility, cardio vascular endurance, mental toughness and increased strength.
The following is a list of common exercises that are uniquely suited to the kettle bell for one reason or another. A kettle bell exercise that combines the lunge, bridge and side plank in a slow, controlled movement.
Keeping the arm holding the bell extended vertically, the athlete transitions from lying supine on the floor to standing, and back again. As with the other slow exercises (the windmill, get-up, and halo), this drill improves shoulder mobility and stabilization.
It starts lying on the ground with the kettle bell over the shoulder in a straight arm position, as in the top of a floor press, but with the other arm along the floor straight overhead. The trainee then gradually turns their body away from the kettle bell until they are lying partially on their front.
The kettle bell is held hanging in one arm and moved smoothly around the body, switching hands in front and behind. Also called a front leg pass, this is a backward lunge, circling the bell around the front leg, returning to the standing position, and repeating.
Like the slingshot, but the bell is swung forward until the arms are parallel to the ground. Starting with the bell in the rack, the bell is pushed away to the side slightly, the swung down to the other side in front of the body, and reversed back up into the rack.
A variation of the press where the other arm assists by pushing open palm against the ball. Stand on one leg and hold the kettle bell with the opposite arm.
By then lowering and raising the kettle bell you can work stabilization and power. A press utilizing a bent-leg windmill position to lift heavier weight than is otherwise possible.
One bell is rowed to the chest while maintaining the plank position, then returned to the ground and repeated with the other arm. Alternatively performed with a single kettle bell, one arm at a time.
This requires more control than an ordinary push up and results in a greater range of motion. Feet may be elevated to increase the difficulty, until the trainee is performing a handstand push-up on the kettle bells.
In any movement involving the rack or overhead position, the kettle bell can be held with the ball in an open palm (sometimes called the waiter hold) for a greater stabilization challenge, or for even more precise control and added grip challenge, the bottom-up hold, squeezing the kettle bell by the handle upside-down. Holding a single kettle bell in the rack position bottom-up with two hands (“by the horns”) makes for goblet exercise variants.
Conventional swing: The kettle bell is swung from just below the groin to somewhere between the upper abdomen and shoulders, with arms straight or slightly bent, the degree of flexion depends on the trajectory of the kettle bell. Hang clean: The kettle bell is held in the rack position (resting on the forearm in the crook of the elbow, with the elbow against the chest), lowered to below the knees, and then thrust back up in to the rack.
The kettle bell is held in one hand, lowered to behind the knees via hip hinge, swung to an overhead position and held stable, before repeating the movement. Jerk: As a push press, but with two dips, for more leg assistance (as in the barbell clean and jerk) Thruster: A rack squat with a press at the top using momentum from the squat.
Pistol squat: A single-leg squat with one leg held straight in front parallel to the ground, holding the bell in the goblet or rack position. An easier variant for those with less hip mobility is to perform the squat parallel to a step or ledge, so that the foot of the free leg can dip beneath the pushing leg at the bottom.
Carry: Walking with the kettle bell held in various positions, such as suitcase, rack, goblet, or overhead. Row: While bent over anywhere from 45 degrees to parallel with the ground, the kettle bell is held hanging from a straight arm, pulled up to the hips or laterally, and lowered again.
Keeping the bell arm vertical, the upper body is bent to one side and rotated until the other hand is touching the floor. The single kettle bell version is called the suitcase walk.
These build grip strength while challenging your core, hips, back and traps. The kettle bell is swung from just below the groin to somewhere between the upper abdomen and shoulders, with arms straight or slightly bent, the degree of flexion depends on the trajectory of the kettle bell.
The key to a good kettle bell swing is effectively thrusting the hips, not bending too much at the knees, and sending the weight forwards, as opposed to squatting the weight up, or lifting with the arms. The one-arm swing presents a significant anti-twisting challenge, and can be used with an alternating catch switching between arms.
Within those variations there are plenty more variations, some are, but not limited to: pace, movement, speed, power, grip, the direction of thumb, elbow flexion, knee flexion. The kettle bell has more than 25 grips that can be employed, to provide variety, challenge different muscles, increase or decrease complexity, and work on proprioception.
Competitive lifter (Greek) performing jerk with 32 kg kettle bells (rack position). Contemporary kettle bell training is represented basically by five styles. Hard style has its roots in powerlifting and Gj-rykarate training, particularly hobo undo concepts.
With emphasis on the “hard” component and borrowing the concept of time, the Hard style focuses on strength and power and duality of relaxation and tension. Gregory, sometimes referred to as the fluid style in comparison to the Hard style, represents the training regimen for the competitive sport of kettle bell lifting, focusing on strength endurance.
Juggling is a training style where the practitioner releases and catches the kettle bell with all manner of spins and flips around the body. Kettle bell training is extremely broad and caters to many goals, some being, but not limited to: mobility, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, strength, speed and power.
The sport can be compared to what the CrossFit Games is to CrossFit, however, the sport has been much longer in existence, and is only recently gaining more popularity worldwide, with women participating as well. One such example being Valerie Wazowski, who at age 52, was the first US female lifter in the veteran age category to achieve Master of Sport in 24 kg Kettle bell Long Cycle.
21 (1908), p. 505: “PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE USING SCHMIDT'S Celebrated 'MONARCH' DUMB-BELL, BAR BELL AND KETTLE BELL SYSTEM”; also spelled KETTLE-BELLS (with hyphen) in a 1910 advertisement for the “Automatic Exerciser”) ^ a b c Rathbone, Andy (2009-01-04). “The kettle bell way: Focused workouts mimic the movements of everyday activities”.
Blast Fat & Build Strength With Innovative Equipment!” Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies 15 (2011): 542-544 ^ a b Iv ill, Laura (2008-11-22).
“Exclusive ACE research examines the fitness benefits of kettle bells” (PDF). Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies 15 (2011): 125-127 ^ Kettle bell Swing Vs. High Pull”.
^ “The Kettle bell Clean, Stop Banging Your Wrists | The Complete Guide”. A kettle bell is a type of dumbbell or free weight that is round with a flat base and an arced handle.
Kettle bells can be swung, thrown, juggled, pressed, held, moved and manipulated in hundreds of ways. Kettle bells are a highly efficient way to lose weight, tone your body, increase your cardio-vascular fitness and strength and maintain joint health, mobility and flexibility.
They were originally used as handled counterweights (bearing the Imperial Seal) to weigh out dry goods on market scales. The Russians measured items in “goods.” A Food (16.38 kg, or 36.11 pounds) can be traced back to the 12th century.
This type of training was called Shi-SuoGuong (The Art of Stone Padlock) and predates kettle bells by thousands of years. Kettle bells were used extensively by old time strongmen such as Arthur Saxon, SIG Klein, Clevis Massimo and The Mighty Apollo.
His students included the legendary strongman George Hackenscmidt, “The Russian Lion”, who credited him with teaching him everything he knew and Eugene Sand ow, “The Father of Modern Day Body Building”. In the 1970s kettle bell lifting became part of the United All State Sport Association of the USSR, and in 1985 national rules, regulations & weight categories were finalized.
The United States Secret Service & the FBI Counter Assault Team also require their operators to train high repetition, ballistic kettle bell moves. Today exercising with kettle bells is undergoing a major resurgence and kettle bell training has now become one of the most popular and best ways to lose weight, maintain a high level of cardio-vascular fitness, get stronger and get that sculpted, toned, healthy & beautiful body you've always wanted.
Joint health, mobility and flexibility can all be maintained, and even improved, with the correct application of kettle bell movements. It is time to train like a man again (especially if you are a woman) and get back in touch with visceral impulse that has been locked away for years.
Two kettle bells are all that you need to increase muscular endurance, lose fat and build size and strength. Kettle bells do not take up much space so you can train in your apartment, backyard, garage or go outside and get some fresh air.
If you are a woman that wants to lose weight and tighten up your glutes, quads, abs, and arms, apply a steady diet of kettle bell training ballistic work with some low rep kettle bell training strength work and you are all set. Kettle bell handles are much thicker than dumbbells and will give you a vice grip in no time.
For combat athletes and anyone else that likes it tough, the ballistic shock of kettle bells teaches you how to absorb shock efficiently which is critical for combat sports such as: wrestling, MMA, football, and hockey. The above reasons are why MMA fighters such as Frank Shamrock, BJ Penn and Fedora enhance their workouts with kettle bells.
Also, it is why top strength coaches such as Ethan Reeve and Louie Simmons recommend kettle bell training to their athletes. Members of the entertainment world such as Chris Pontus of MTV's Jackass and Wildly and Harley Flanagan, founder of the legendary NYC hardcore band “The Romans” have attended my kettle bell workshops and are ecstatic about Kettle bell training.
Both Chris and Harley talk to everyone they know about the benefits of kettle bell training and you will as well after you attend one of my seminars. Continue to go back and forth until you have done three sets of 20 reps. Now if you thought that was hard, imagine making that exercise several times harder with a kettle bell.
Imagine how much fat your will burn and how your muscular endurance will go through the roof. No doubt about it, high rep kettle bell training is an aerobic workout and great alternative to stepping classes, spinning classes, and anything else that strips you of our manhood and makes you feel like a jack CSS.
A balanced kettle bell training program combined with a solid worth ethic and healthy nutrition plan is a sure-fire recipe for success. In addition to being lean and strong, my body has learned how to work as one unit.
My muscular endurance and mental toughness have improved tremendously. Give kettle bells a shot for three months and I sincerely doubt that you will ever want to go back to barbell curls and leg raises.
In order to keep training interesting, you have to keep it fun and kettle bells are a great fit. Bottom line is most people will require in person instruction to maximize the benefits of kettle bell training safely.
That said, top strength trainer Bud Jeffries stated if you cannot learn how to use Kettle bells from Mike Mahler's DVD then you are in big trouble and should not bother weight training period! Yes however pushing yourself away from the table more often and cutting crispy crème out of your diet is even more effective.
However, anyone that tells you that you can lose fat with kettle bell training and a crappy diet is doing you a disservice. That said, nothing takes the place of progressive weight training with barbells.
Also, kettle bells are great for building the shoulders, hamstrings and arms. A combination approach utilizing kettle bells and barbells is an effective way to go.
Finally, if your testosterone and growth hormone levels are low then forget about putting on muscle. Women for example love kettle bell training as it helps them tone up and lose fat without over developing muscles.
Truth be told, building muscle is not easy for men and especially women so that should be the least of your worries. That said, kettle bell training is popular with members of the armed services, Secret Service, law enforcement community, and anyone else that wants functional strength that carries over to real world activities such as sitting on the coach and using the remote control ;-) Just kidding.
Only the smart ones ;-) Yes I work with women all the time at my workshops, and they love kettle bell training. Swings and 1-legged dead lifts tighten up the glutes and hamstrings and the windmill is great for the midsection.
Women tend to believe the illusion that they will turn into “Arnold” just be looking at weights. Check out their sites today and get over the irrational fear once and for all that you will turn into “The Hulk” with weight training.
Working out with traditional weights has always kept me really strong but about 6 months ago, I started noticing that I was having trouble picking up my muscular 5-year-old (he was about 70 pounds) who also lifts traditional weights as well as kettle bells. Many celebrities such as Chris Pontus (Movie Jackass) the band “Born” and Harley Flanagan of “The Romans” are also enjoying the benefits of kettle bell training.
Kettle bells are a natural fit for athletes and this trend will continue. No doubt their stamps of approval carry a lot of weight as both are highly respected members of the martial arts community.
Nope but watching TV and eating junk food is. When you are ready to take charge of your health think about getting some kettle bells and actually using them.
Having worked for a major fitness club chain in the past, I can tell you first hand that the main goal of a fitness club is to make money and keep liability costs low. While machines are not as effective as free weights, they are much easier to use and require minimal instruction.
Now there is nothing wrong with making money as that is an important goal for every business. Regardless, few gyms realize that they could make more money by providing exceptional offerings to their clients.
Unfortunately, the clients gyms prefer are the ones who sign up for a year and never show up. No doubt a more progressive gym could make a lot of money with kettle bell classes.
Finally, the last thing a fitness club wants you to know is that you can get in great shape at home with a few kettle bells. Personally, you are better off in smaller gyms which focus more time on their clients.
Basically if you can do 50 push ups, 10 pull-ups, and 100 body weight squats, start with the 53lb kettle bells. However, heavy kettle bells are not ideal for learning proper form.
Also, the light bells for the ladies have thin handles which most women do not care for. The price is not cheap either but given the fact that you can potentially replace your gym membership with a few bells, it is not a big deal.
The Adler kettle bells have a nice base which is great for anyone that uses smaller bells for exercises such as the Renegade Row. I have heard that many women prefer the Adler kettle bells over Dragon door.
Most likely you will be happy with the Adler bells and my friend Lisa Shaffer is a strong advocate of them and sells them on her site. I respect her opinion and her approval carries a lot of weight.
Also do not expect to switch from one weight to another easily with the uskettlebell model. As much as I like the uskettlebell model, I prefer the real thing and will continue to stick with solid non-adjustable kettle bells.
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. Kettle bells are so effective because they stimulate the muscles and surpass standard cardio exercises.
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.
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).