If you’ve been wanting to start training with weights, kettle bells have become extremely popular among fitness fanatics. You will need to get heavier ones as your routine progresses, but for beginners, 1 kettle bell is enough to complete most workouts.
If you’d like to add more endurance to your training, you can hold it with one arm at a time. Although, if you consider yourself athletic and have acquired much strength, you can start with two kettle bells.
The reason you might see people with a “collection” of kettle bells is that some exercises require different sized weights. Kettle bells are not like dumbbells or barbells which consist of two same-sized weights on each side of your body.
You do not need two pairs of kettle bells consisting of the same weight to effectively complete your routine. Swing Clean Press Push Press Jerk Snatch Squats (Front, Goblet, Overhead, Jump) Bottoms Up (Clean, Press, Push ups) Windmill Turkish Get Up Renegade Rows Juggling Dead lifts Arm Bars Halo
You don’t want to buy one that’s too heavy, this could cause injury to your muscles, especially for a beginner. You don’t want to buy one that’s too light either, as this can result in little to no muscle building or weight loss.
Choosing the right size will depend on a few aspects; your gender and how physically active you are. A physically fit woman should start with sizes ranging from 12 kg/26lbs to 16 kg/26lbs.
Remember when choosing the right size you have to mindful of how many kettle bells you want to use. On the other hand, if you’re only going to use onekettlebell, choose a heavier one that’s within your weight range.
Whether you have decided yet on how many kettle bells you need, adding them to your workout will help you easily achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Kettle bells are Russian training tools that are made from cast iron.
Using these tools can help create muscular strength, speed and core stability. Swings, dead lifts, snatches and shoulder presses are common single kettle bell exercises.
As you let the kettle bell move between your legs, slightly bend your knees. Dead lifts are performed with your feet in a wide stance and the kettle bell right beneath you.
Keeping your back straight, bend your knees and lower your body down toward the kettle bell. Forcefully contract your abs, glutes and quads and lower yourself back down.
This is performed by holding the kettle bell in the rack position, pushing it straight above your head and lowering it back down. The rack position is when the kettle bell is resting on the back of your forearm in front of your chest with your arm tight to your body.
You work your deltoid, triceps, biceps, pectorals and abs all at the same time. By turning this exercise into a push press, you will also activate your glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves.
Start out in the same position as the shoulder press, but lower yourself into a slight squat. According to Chief Science Officer Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D. from the American Council on Exercise, kettle bells can help you burn calories and lose weight.
When you perform kettle bell exercises, you activate multiple muscles and joints at the same time. Arm crossovers, arm circles, lateral lunges, shoulder shrugs, alternate toe touches, heel raises and trunk rotations are examples.
Not to worry, you can still have a full body workout at home using a single kettle bell. Having just a limited amount of the best home gym equipment at your disposal doesn't have to be restrictive.
Better still, this one move kettle bell full body workout is not overly difficult either. Seeing them in stock again is like Christmas came early for anyone interested in home resistance training.
Using just onekettlebell, you can get fit and lose weight at the same time with this 4-week kettle bell workout. If you haven’t got any gym equipment, you can try following the Mike Tyson body weight workout.
It uses a minimal amount of home gym equipment and considering how Iron Mike looked like in his heydays, it can evidently build muscle. Bad news is, it involves working out 10 times a day and doing industrial amounts of reps and sets of the included body weight exercises.
Following a push-pull workout routine is a good way to increase workout frequency since your ‘push’ muscles are resting on ‘pull’ days and via versa, meaning you can work out more often and build muscle faster. Problem is, the best way to do push-pull workouts is to use a gym and equipment such as the cable machine and the best weight benches / the best barbells.
These body weight exercises are home friendly and can effectively build muscle too. If you have at least onekettlebell in your possession, we have an alternative option for a full body workout.
It can also improve muscle-mind coordination and sculpt functional muscles, not just ones that are only aesthetically pleasing but useless. Don't wait for Black Friday, buy these iron orbs with handle now.
It’s simple yet effective and will improve shoulder muscle definition, as well as glute strength significantly. All the while, you need to keep the kettle bell above your head which will admittedly put some pressure on your shoulders and core so make sure those are tight as a tiger.
Best of all, since you are using a weight that’s ‘light’ enough to be able to hold up, you can use smaller kettle bells for this move and these are almost always available. IMPORTANT: the kettle bell get up is a complex move and involves holding weight over your head so if you are unsure about yourself, make sure you get someone to supervise as you exercise.
Also, if you are struggling with obesity or have issues with your hip mobility, kettle bell get ups might not be the best exercise for you. There are benefits to using single and double kettle bells depending on your goals.
Let’s explore which options are the best plus the types of exercises that lend themselves better to 1 and 2 kettle bells. When you start off training with kettle bells I would always recommend that you begin with just onekettlebell.
Weaker or inexperienced women may wish to begin with a 8 kg and men can choose a 12 kg. Using two kettle bells doubles the load so care needs to be taken to ensure you are capable of handling the extra weight.
As a beginner I recommend that you start with just onekettlebell but once you have mastered all the basic exercises you can progress to 2 kettle bells. More rotational pull through the core Strong emphasis on spinal stabilization Requirement to do both sides so balances muscles Longer workouts, so more endurance based Requires less neurological control Cheaper and more exercise diversity
More balanced technique (unless one is heavier than the other) More weight so better for strength based workouts More demanding both physically and mentally More expensive Quicker workouts Less kettle bell exercise options Clean and Press Double Lunges Racked Squats Single Leg Dead lifts
Using the above exercises with 2 kettle bells will save you a lot of time and also generate some great strength benefits that are hard to achieve with just onekettlebell. Body weight Reverse Lunge (always master the exercise without weight first) Holding One Kettle bell with Two Hands (see image below)
The above exercises would be progressed over a period of months ensuring that you can perform 3 sets of each variation before moving on to the next one. If you want to create an overload and still offer the instability that you get with onekettlebell then you can use 2 x kettle bells of different weights e.g.
I understand that when you are just starting out the thought of buying lots of kettle bells is daunting but ultimately, as mentioned earlier, you can get away with just one. Let’s say you bought a 12 kg for lots of single kettle bell workouts and then later progressed to a 16 kg.
Holding a 12 kg on one side and a 16 kg on the other is an inexpensive way to begin double kettle bell training. There are lots more for you to try but these are the 3 that I would recommend you practice in order to get used to the feel of 2 kettle bells.
You can achieve some incredible results with just onekettlebell and if you choose wisely you may never need to buy another kettle bell again. Using two kettle bells enables you to perform shorter workouts while at the same time challenging your strength.
Your transition from onekettlebell to two kettle bells should be logical, gradually moving through the exercise progressions before overloading the movement. However, if you want to add lots of bulk then kettle bells are the wrong tool for you.
But what happens when our client doesn’t have the strength to press a kettle bell overhead single-handed? Without the ability to do these movements with one hand alone makes it easy to throw the rack & overhead positions, along with the vertical power generation for a clean & snatch in the too hard basket, leaving them for “when the client is strong enough ”.
The concept is the same: develop momentum with the hips, keep the arms close to the body to direct the bell upwards (not forwards as in the swing). It does have the added bonus of giving the client a depth cue: if their elbows reach the knees they have gone deep enough (providing they got there with a neutral spine).
The regression potential of the two hand press is obvious — it halves the weight each arm has to handle. This regression prevents the door-knocking aspect by requiring you to catch the bell with the thumbs in the same orientation that it came up in.
It also prevents over gripping — another common problem in the snatch which results in sore forearms. There you have it, regression options for all the major kettle bell exercises for when you come across a client who is just not strong enough for onekettlebell / one hand yet.
But feel free to use them when a client has trouble with an aspect of those lifts as they are good teaching tools for the skills of the clean, squat, press & snatch. 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.
Intense kettle bell training should be relegated to three to five days per week. 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 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 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.
Every time you enter the room, hit a few kettle bell swings. The Eastern workout approach is the antithesis of the way I trained.
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”. A 16-kilogram (35 lb) “competition kettle bell Arthur Saxon with a kettle bell, cover of The Text Book of Weight-Lifting (1910)The Russian girl (, plural girl) was a type of metal weight, primarily used to weigh crops in the 18th century.
They began to be used for recreational and competition strength athletics in Russia and Europe in the late 19th century. 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. In a 2010 study, kettle bell enthusiasts performing a 20-minute snatch workout were measured to burn, on average, 13.6 calories/minute aerobically and 6.6 calories/minute anaerobically during the entire workout — “equivalent to running a 6-minute mile pace”.
When training with high repetitions, kettle bell progression should start out slowly to build muscle endurance, support the joints and prevent injury. 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. ^ , «» .
« » “ ”, 22 August 2016 (with period photographs). 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”.
They’re simple but offer more than enough ways to make challenging, creative sweat sessions. These workouts were designed by Tyler Mango, a fitness instructor at Brick New York.
Even though there are programming and exercise carryovers throughout these routines, they’re distinct enough so that you’ll keep getting results as long as you don’t stick to any one workout for too many weeks on end.