People spend a lot of time using different forms of exercise to reach their goals, such as losing fat, building muscle or working to improve or maintain fitness levels. This was confirmed by a study directly comparing the two-handed kettle bell swing with modern intensity treadmill walking (Thomas et al. 2014).
Whilst the movements involved in kettle bell training act as a cardio exercise, the fact that a weight is being lifted at the same time, also works your muscles. Studies have found that this form of exercise improves power, endurance (Pinocchio, 2010) and maximum strength (Lake and Lauder, 2012).
Another advantage of working and strengthening your muscles is that it increases your metabolism, meaning you can burn fat all day after your workout. This combination of cardio and strength training, allows you to get the best of both worlds and reap the benefits that both offer in one challenging kettle bell workout.
Another specific benefit of kettle bell movements is that these can work all of your major muscle groups at once and can achieve remarkable results in less time. The high number of calories that can be burned with this training is accredited to it being a total body movement exercise (Forward, 2010).
In this way, it is hailed as being superior to other kinds of weight training, due to forcing your body to work as a unit with every swing or lift. As kettle bell training involves a lot of movement, it is important to perform the exercises correctly, ensuring your back is straight, shoulders are relaxed and head is in a neutral position.
This is a remarkable advantage of kettle bell training, as having a strong core is important in everyday life, particularly for balance and posture. Osteoarthritis is the most common kind of arthritis, which is caused by the breakdown of cartilage that the body eventually cannot repair, often in older age.
A study found that joints subjected to heavy impact are relatively free of osteoarthritis in older age (Verkhoshansky and Sight, 1998). Thus, the ballistic exercises using a kettle bell, such as the swing, snatch, jerk and clean, appear to be highly beneficial and strength your joints, promoting protection against osteoarthritis in older age.
Making lifestyle changes, such as incorporating regular exercise into your routine along with a healthy diet, can keep your heart and arteries in good condition and reduce blood pressure and its associated risks. Studies have found that kettle bell training can be a good form of exercise, which can lower blood pressure (Jay, 2009).
With it being both a cardio and strength workout, it can assist in the control of and help to prevent high blood pressure, and therefore reduce the dangers to your health. Whilst it does promote a healthy lifestyle, if you do have high blood pressure, always ask for advice from your doctor first before you start any new physical regime.
There has been an increase in the number of adults developing Type 2 Diabetes, due to living an unhealthy lifestyle and being overweight. Whilst there is no cure for Type 2 Diabetes, blood glucose levels can be managed to minimize the risk of health problems that can develop.
In particular, a recent study found that kettle bell training could improve glucose clearance in young, sedentary males (Greenwald, 2014). In conclusion, training with kettle bells is advantageous not only in meeting individual fitness goals but also in protecting against medical conditions.
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. This old-school piece of equipment is a throwback to the dawn of strength training; many of you may not be familiar with it.
After a brief introduction to its physique -building values, we feel confident you'll soon give kettlebells-style training a try.” — Joe Wader, Editor of Muscle & Fitness Magazine
Imagine a black bowling ball with a suitcase handle on it and you have an idea of what a kettle bell looks like. A kettle bell is a big hunk of iron that comes in several sizes: 8lbs, 12lbs, 18lbs, 26lbs, 35lbs, 44lbs, 53lbs, 70lbs, 80lbs, 88lbs, 97lbs and for super strong men and women 105lbs!
In addition, to giving you incredible muscular endurance when done in high repetitions, with a proper nutrition plan any excess fat that you have will melt off rapidly. If you are a man that wants to increase size and strength, try doing some of my favorite kettle bell exercises:
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.
Do not kid yourself into thinking that you train like a professional athlete unless you are one. Kettle bell training can be an effective way to promote a normal healthy metabolism.
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.
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.
Thus, it's better to convince the client that he she needs expensive equipment to achieve his or her goals. 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. Thus, leave your ego at the door and err on the side of going lighter.
If you are a man with low testosterone and high estrogen levels you may need to start with a 26lb bell ;-) 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. I recently got asked “Are kettle bell swings good for you ?” so I thought I would answer the question here.
So the kettle bell swing is very demanding on the cardiovascular system without the need to move your feet or impact your joints. So another advantage of the kettle bell swing is the large amount of muscle recruitment you get from the exercise.
As you drive the kettle bell up using the hips and legs you recruit a large amount of muscles in the back of the body. The kettle bell swing is different because it strengthens the posterior chain, improving your upright posture which in turn pulls your shoulders back and reveals the chest.
With a strong emphasis on desk jobs and computer work many people spend too much time seated. The kettle bell swing helps to combat this by strengthening the abs as you lock into the upright position.
The abs work hard at the top to prevent the body from over extending backwards, similar to a vertical plank position. During the swing the lower back should also be kept in a static (isometric) position so the movement can be generated by the hips.
The kettle bell swing uses 100’s of muscles in one movement, is very cardiovascular without the need to move your feet, improves your posture and burns lots of calories. If you experience pain when you lean forward or bend backwards then the kettle bell swing is not for you.