All-In-One Total Body Conditioning Tool Kettle bells can be used for strength, endurance, flexibility and balance training…the four main aspects of fitness. In a fast-paced complex world, the ability to do total body conditioning with one tool is a nice change of pace.
In fact, we’d go out on a limb and say kettle bells are one of the best tools in existence for truly effective, result-achieving, safe, full-body conditioning. Ballistic training works on explosive power through maximizing acceleration and minimizing deceleration.
They require core contraction and coordinated breathing as the movements are intense. Second, kettle bell movements are multi planar, so you will be working your core from all directions.
When moving the kettle bell around on one side, you will be working your core stability and strength big time. Athletes need core power to explode through opponents, quickly change/move in multiple directions without risking injury (twisting, turning, accelerating/decelerating), and handle loads and pressure from one side while remaining upright (think a running back taking a hit on one side during a play).
Kettle bell training offers a dynamic way to accomplish these important physical capabilities. Remember, your core generates and controls force, so having a powerful trunk is essential to kicking ass at life.
Enhances Body Awareness & Coordination Kettle bell movements are very dynamic. This focus and mind to muscle connection will develop, leading you to improved proprioception (coordination; the sense of movement of the body and its parts).
This is very different from conventional training with barbells or machines because the movements are linear and less dynamic. It’s very important to develop your sense of movement (aka proprioception or kinesthetic).
This ability will carry over into improvements in your fitness and life, and it’s certainly a very important aspect of athleticism. Improves Balance & Stabilizer Muscles When training with machines, you are producing force and moving in a predetermined path.
Having strong stabilizer muscles in all ranges of movement, coupled with increased core power as we discussed in one of the benefits of kettle bells above, means your balance will be exceptional. Serious Fat-Burning Workouts Kettle bells offer crazy calorie-burning potential, which means FAT LOSS.
ACE did a study that showed swinging a kettle bell burns as many as 20 calories per minute. What’s more, kettle bell training for losing fat is often high intensity, so you have the after-burn effect as well.
For those who don't know, this means you will be burning calories at a higher rate long after your workout has finished. If you are looking to burn calories in a short space of time, a lightweight kettle bell HIIT or metabolic workout (low weight, high rep, high intensity based workouts) will do the job incredibly well.
In fact, many think it is more effective than steady-state cardio for burning fat, boosting metabolism, muscular endurance, and improving cardiovascular health. The key is to maintain a high heart rate for the entire workout.
As mentioned in the benefit above, kettle bell cardio training induces Epic, which means you will be burning fat long after your workout is completed. So, if your goal is to have long-distance endurance, for say a marathon, don’t stop doing your typical cardio.
Moreover, kettle bell cardio workouts are not as boring (sorry runners) as running on a treadmill is, so that’s another plus. The benefits of kettle bell swings are that they train the hips to produce force in both strength and speed.
The reason hip strength is so important is because it ensures stability and helps prevent injuries. Also, the hips play a very important role in many athletic movements, such as jumping, sprinting and coming out of a sports stance explosively.
Knowing how to maximize hip force is essential in power and speed sports. Naturally, you will be improving your mobility by slowly increasing your limits.
When it comes to sports and the real world, this is crucial as it will decrease the chance of injury in your joints, ligaments, and muscles. They have lean muscle mass, not big bulky bodybuilding type bodies.
Kettle bells can build dense muscle, which is achieved by higher repetitions and shorter yet intense workouts. Note: if you are new to fitness, you will surely be able to put on some serious muscle mass with kettle bells if you know what you are doing.
Exercises like the Kettle bell Swings are ballistic movements done from a hinge position, which will make your glutes, hamstrings, lower back, middle back, and traps exceptionally powerful. This translates to jumping higher, running faster, and kicking harder.
By regularly doing kettle bell workouts, you will rapidly develop the major muscles of your hips, core, shoulders, and neck too...and these are all vital aspects of having good posture and a strong backside. Well, many people in the mainstream fitness world don’t think grip strength is that important.
If you do kettle bell workouts consistently, you will develop supremely powerful grip strength. Kettle bells have an offset center of gravity, usually about 6 to 8 inches away from your grip on the handle, so it is harder to control.
You may notice that you lack mobility in the overhead position or that your right side is stronger than your left. When you notice this, you can easily target specific areas and perform movements that will help you even things out.
It is said that kettle bells get you comfortable in uncomfortable positions, and this is very true for those who have been training with barbells and machines for a long time. Working on your weaknesses and imbalances is very important for becoming resilient to injuries.
Low Risk, High Reward (Safer and More Effective) Kettle bell training is generally safer than traditional lifts like heavy barbell squats, dead lifts and bench press. In the end, both heavyweight lifts and intense kettle bell workouts are effective.
However, the risk to reward ratio is far better with kettle bells than heavy barbell lifts. Moreover, dynamic kettle bell routines will improve joint flexibility and mobility, as we have already mentioned above.
As you develop more elasticity in the tendons and ligaments of your joints, you will become more resilient to injury. What’s more, lightweight kettle bell exercises can help to reduce inflammation and swelling.
So, if long term joint health is important to you, which it should be for all of us, you should definitely take on kettle bell training. Simplifies Your Training You don’t need tons of equipment or to overcomplicate your workouts for them to be effective.
So, if you are overwhelmed with all the equipment out there, simplify your life by attacking kettle bell training. If you want to have a little more versatility in terms of your training tools, we’d add steel maces, resistance bands, and potentially a suspension trainer into the mix.
Compact and Portable You really only need one or two kettle bells to get a killer full body workout in. If you are looking for home gym equipment that will truly train you for strength, endurance, balance and flexibility (the 4 key components of fitness) then kettle bells are the most cost-effective, space-saving option.
Instead of getting a squat rack, barbell, weighted plates, dumbbells, a bench, etc., all you really need is a set of kettle bells. You could leave them in your living room or garage without cluttering it, which is definitely not possible with a conventional gym set up.
Comparing to simply moving through the motions with machines and typical conventional training, kettle bell exercises require you to be more mindful. Lastly, but most importantly, kettle bell training methods are extremely versatile.
The best way to keep your body guessing is by throwing new methods of training at it, and when it comes to kettle bells, the options are extensive. They can be implemented into your current training program as a supplemental tool for achieving specific goals and changes in physique and performance, AND, kettle bells can be used as the main training tool, basing an entire fitness program around them.
Individuals with back injuries who don’t want to put a lot of stress on their spine (i.e. barbell squats/dead) but still want to train for strength and muscle growth. The kettle bell swing is a tremendously effective exercise for building serious hip power.
This movement will burn fat, build lower body strength and powerful glutes, and improve your mobility. It’s a total body juggernaut of a movement and it is very simple to learn and do with proper form.
The Turkish Get Up is a slow, deliberate exercise that’s extremely effective for building impressive trunk and hip strength, mobility, and strong resilient shoulders. The Kettle bell Clean & Press is one of the best full body, compound movements without a doubt.
This movement is very physically demanding and technical but it’s worth learning as it is outstanding for total body strength and conditioning. If you want to build explosive strength, especially in the hips, and strong, powerful shoulders, this is the movement.
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Well, maybe not that many, but in this day and age of strength and conditioning the kettle bell is turning into a standard training tool among coaches and trainees. If you’re new to the kettle bell and want to jump in with both feet, three full body workouts hitting each movement pattern per week is plenty.
The conventional gyms and department stores of the world would have you believe that a 10lb kettle bell is all a man needs and a 5lb is plenty for a woman. 99% of the time (a statistic I just made up to prove a point but is still going to be high) trainees go too light.
There’s no set standard per se as each person is different, but here’s a good guide for non-injured, healthy men and women: Challenging yourself is important, but if you’re breaking form for the purposes of lifting a certain weight, then the potential harm outweighs any good could be doing.
If I had a nickel for each time I’ve seen someone attempting a technical move like the snatch at a conventional gym with zero knowledge of the movement outside of watching a video I’d be a rich man. Finding a reputable coach in your area or absorbing instructional videos will do your body good.
Juggling, intense movements, and programs with a ton of volume can look enticing, but if you’re not ready for it take a step back. Check out the Durability channel on Innit Academy On Demand to work through tight areas and open up new movements.
Double kettle bell work, heavy one arm swings, bent presses, goblet squats, and incredible flows will do far more than get your heart pumping. A powerful routine that will build incredible strength AND conditioning is utilizing the kettle bell (or a few) for a strength-geared circuit.
For example, you can perform a press, goblet squat, renegade row, and one arm swing. This gives you PLENTY of room for growth since you can’t change the weights easily.
The bell can help you get rid of quite a few of those stubborn, sticking points that are holding you back. Between get-ups, arm bars, windmills and sots presses kettle bell deliver amazing strength, but also incredible mobility from your hips to your shoulders and everything in between.
You can incorporate challenging movements as a warm up or what I do is pick the toughest ones based on my body’s abilities and spend a whole session playing with them. For example, I’ll incorporate a longer mobility warm up and then hit multiple sets (never to failure) of sots presses and deep goblet squats using lighter weights.
Because of the position of the kettle bell even simply pressing it will pull your arm back a bit further stretching your lats and opening up your shoulders a hair more. Just about everything from jumping higher, running faster, kicking harder and better posture.
Your glutes and hamstrings are your power source for building hip speed and explosive strength. Sets can be broken down and performed ladder-style, on the minute, or pair them with a calisthenics move like push ups for a more robust session.
A strong grip is more useful than the mainstream fitness world gives it credit. The off-center placement of the bell gives the kettle bell an advantage over other tools as it forces you to keep a flexed forearm while in the rack and overhead position.
Combine that with kettle bell flows, juggling, and ballistic movements to strengthen your grip from every angle. Eventually, you can try tougher routines and juggling complexes to unleash the power of the bell.
Most strength training is done with trunk flexion and extension with the occasional rotational movement medicine ball throw. Squats and dead lifts are awesome, but when you combine powerful movements with the likes of rotational swings, lateral punches, and 360 snatches you’ll build strength from a multitude of angles.
Strength in motion (what we’ve dubbed the outside the box thinking and kettle bell flowing) is almost meditative. There are no sets and reps. You just move, and this allows you to explore different ranges of motion, planes, and movement patterns.
If you’re a coach or group class leader kettle bells are fantastic to lead clients through a plethora of movements that will deliver strength and conditioning in record time. If you’re a solo practitioner nothing beats the simplicity of one or two bells and some fresh air.
Some simple complexes and movements can help you continue on your strength quest without skipping a beat and minus the tons of equipment and weight needed. An easy way is to limit your tools to a kettle bell and club or mace, a suspension trainer and your body to build a high-functioning physique without all the fluff.
This will help you take your kettle bell abilities to the next level and help you unlock your imagination for some fantastic, out of the box strength and conditioning sessions. The ability to move from exercise to the next and not need to change the kettle bell weight results in much quicker workouts, often in 20 minutes or less.
Training the full body is excellent for fat loss because the more muscles you activate the more calories you burn and the quicker your metabolic rate. Kettle bell training takes away the need to perform weights on one day and cardio on another, you can do everything in just one workout.
Kettle bell training helps to counteract all our sitting by working into the postural muscles at the back of the body, strengthening and straightening up the spine. Let’s not forget that on top of all the kettle bell training benefits listed above you also achieve the regular benefits from exercise like: improved sleep, better mobility, increases in energy, sense of well-being, increases in bone density and more.
The kettle bell goblet squat is an excellent full body beginners exercise. Holding a kettle bell with both hands at chest height not only overloads the muscles but also creates a counterbalance to stop beginners from toppling over backwards.
Most will find the goblet squat also challenges their cardio so it’s an excellent exercise for the heart and lungs without the need to move your feet. Those more advanced can try the single-handed racked squat and finally the kettle bell thruster.
For those a little more advanced the kettle bell Turkish get up is the ultimate full body mobility, stability and strengthening exercise. The kettle bell is taken from a lying down position all the way to standing and back down to the floor again progressing through a series of challenging movements.
The core muscles are used heavily during this exercise and many find that they get stuck which identifies potential mobility and stability issues. Further, conditioning through areas that cause problems will have huge carry-over into daily life and help improve potential movement issues.
Beginners should first practice the half get up which involves taking the kettle bell from the lying down position to sitting and then back down again. As the kettle bell is swung between the legs you activate all the muscles at the back of the body from heel to neck resulting in an improvement in your posture.
The kettle bell swing is also excellent for developing explosive power through the hips which is paramount for most sports and martial arts. Those more advanced can later progress to the one handed swing which adds further rotation to the core muscles and challenges shoulder stability.
The kettle bell clean and press is a great way to build full body strength and muscle from head to toe. When performed correctly and with a challenging kettle bell weight the clean and press is very cardiovascular too.
The first half of the exercise involves cleaning the kettle bell up onto the chest using the legs, hips and buttocks. The second half involves using the shoulders and arms to press the kettle bell overhead and then lower again with control.
Beginners should start with the basic clean exercise which again uses the hip hinge movement used with the kettle bell swing. Similar to the kettle bell swing the snatch develops explosive hips as well as full body strength from head to toe.
Longer snatch sessions are equally demanding on the cardiovascular system and a good full body workout can be achieved without the need to even move your feet. One favorite kettle bell snatch workout is to perform as many as possible in 10 minutes trying to achieve a minimum of 200 total repetitions.
The kettle bell is a portable piece of equipment that you can use at home, in very little space, for conditioning your total body. If you walk into any commercial gym nowadays, we’d be very surprised indeed if you didn’t find at least one set of kettle bells.
Years ago, kettle bells were rarely seen in gyms, whereas nowadays they are just as common as dumbbells. First and foremost, if you’re looking for a way to burn fat and lose weight, kettle bell swings are fantastic.
Is the fact that kettle bell swings are a great way to break up the monotony of regular training. Changing our training keeps things exciting, it shocks the muscles, and it’s a great way to break a plateau.
Kettle bell swings are fantastic in that they are a great way to switch up your training and try something new. You initiate the majority of the movement by utilizing a powerful hip thrust that uses many of your lower body muscles.
You are also working your fast-twitch muscle fibers which means that you are generating more explosive speed and power. When you perform the exercise, because of the mechanics of the movement you are constantly engaging your core in order to keep yourself stable and grounded as you swing the kettle bell between your legs.
Not only are kettle bell swings a great resistance-based exercise, but they’re also fantastic for anybody looking to enjoy enhanced rates of aerobic capacity as well. If you use a lighter kettle bell and perform more reps, by the end of the working set your lungs will feel as if they’re on fire, you’ll be gasping for air, drenched in sweat, and you’ll have yourself one heck of an aerobic workout in the bag.
We’ve already mentioned how kettle bell swings function as a full-body workout, but we didn’t quite emphasize just how beneficial they are. The exercise is a compound movement that will target several major muscle groups at the same time.
You work your core, legs, back, shoulders, and arms when performing kettle bell swings, as well as giving yourself a fantastic cardiovascular workout at the same time. Another of the more prominent kettle bell swing benefits that we’re going to look at today, is the fact that the exercise itself is so easy to master.
Kettle bell swings may be extremely physically demanding, but actually performing the exercise with perfect form is quite simple and straightforward. These fibers are extremely important because they are responsible for generating explosive speed and power.
This is why sprinters who need short bursts of speed, often perform so many kettle bell swings as part of their training. The power they generate in your legs will enable you to jump higher and improve your standing vertical leap.
When you think of kettle bell swings, you likely think of the two-handed variation of the exercise, in which you have both hands grasping the handle. The heart is one of the most important organs in your body, and keeping it fit and healthy is absolutely essential for a whole host of different reasons.
If you’re looking for an exercise that will enable you to better utilize glucose and keep your blood sugar levels stable, look no further than the kettle bell swing. It is a condition characterized by the body’s inability to adequately utilize sugar for energy.
The sugar is subsequently unable to be adequately processed properly and be used as energy in the cells. When lifting weights and performing resistance-based exercises of any kind, there is always a risk to your health and well-being.
Because you’re moving the weight between your legs as you are hunched forwards slightly, you’re using your core stabilizer muscles and your feet to keep yourself balanced firmly on the ground. When swinging, you’re constantly working on finding your balance and keeping yourself firmly in place.