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Today, these weights are in almost every gym in America, and kettle bell workouts” is the sixth most Googled exercise term on the planet. Training Rule 1: Understand How They Work Unlike a barbell or dumbbell, a kettle bell has a load that's offset from its handle.
“That amplifies the ballistic forces in quick, dynamic movements, effectively making the kettle bell feel heavier than it actually is,” says Tsatsouline. It also places greater demand on your stabilizing muscles, core, and coordination, leading to bigger (and much faster) gains.
As for the triceps extension, biceps curl, and other moves that hit smaller muscle groups, a kettle bell works just as well as a dumbbell does. Bending your wrists raises your risk of strain and doesn't let you transfer power as effectively between your body and the bell.
Special attention should be paid to smoothly and accurately practicing these exercises, because correct execution of the classical kettle bell lifts will set the foundation for developing fitness safely and effectively. A sensible approach to learning these movements before putting them into a program is to practice them each several times with a light kettle bell.
Within this exercise, you will find many of the universal principles and unique aspects of kettle bell training, such as inertia, pendulum grip endurance, and anatomical breathing. The swing needs to be mastered before moving on to the other classical lift exercises (e.g., clean, snatch).
To perform this exercise, stand with the feet hip-width apart and with one kettle bell on the floor in front of you (see figure 6.10a). Sit back with the hips (think box squat) and with one hand, grab the handle with the fingers (see figure 6.10b).
Thumb back, which provides better grip endurance by distributing some stress from the forearm to the triceps and creates more of a momentum-based movement because of the spiral nature of this variation (thus, there is a greater range of motion to reduce and produce force). Next, keep the shoulders back and chest lifted as if you are going to do a dead lift, and as you begin to stand, swing the kettle bell between your legs (see figure 6.10c).
When the swing reaches its end point behind you, stand up completely, extending the ankles, knees, hips, and torso (see figure 6.10d). There are two variations you can use: Exhale at the back of the downswing and inhale during the upswing (one breath cycle), or exhale at the back of the downswing, inhale, exhale as the kettle bell transitions from the horizontal to the vertical plane at the top of the forward swing, and inhale as the kettle bell drops again preceding the next back swing (two breath cycles for every one swing).
The pendulum is a perfect analogy for a good kettle bell swing because it relies upon mechanical energy conservation in order to sustain the movement indefinitely. Swinging the kettle bell this way creates a more momentum-based movement, which allows for greater work capacity in addition to less stress on the lower back and grip via efficient deceleration of the bell during the downswing.
Maximize the connection between the arm and torso on the upswing, ensuring optimal power transfer from the lower body to the kettle bell. Relax the arm completely and visualize it as a rope that starts at the base of the neck and ends at the fingertips.
Maintain deflection as you drop the kettle bell into the downswing until you feel the triceps come into contact with the rib cage. At that point, softly absorb the downward force with a slight bend of the knees and ankles and then crease the hips into the pendulum spring mechanics.
To make this learning process a little kinder, you can wear wrist wraps or wristbands. In time your technique will become more polished and the kettle bell will just float into position on your arm in cleans and snatches, and at that point you may prefer to not use any wraps at all.
With the kettle bell on the floor, sit back with your hips and grip with the handle with the fingers of one hand (see figure 6.11a and b). Before the kettle bell settles to the chest, loosen your grip and open your hand to insert your fingers as deeply into the handle as you can at a curved angle until the medial portion of your forearm, the ulna, blocks you from inserting the hand any further (see figure 6.11f).
Complete the vertical pull by letting the kettle bell rest on your chest and arm (see figure 6.11g) into what is called the rack position. If the kettle bell shifts away from the midline, it will bring the load outside your base of support and require more effort to hold.
Find the ideal placement of the kettle bell between your chest and shoulder and your upper arm. Keep the kettle bell between the forearm and the chest by moving the upper body back and rotating the palm away from you to about a 45-degree angle.
Now complete the lift by turning your palm face up and deflecting the force by moving the shoulders back (see figure 6.11h). As the kettle bell is falling, just before the elbow reaches full extension, pull the hand back to catch with the fingers, then tighten the grip to complete the back swing (see figure 6.11i).
Book Millions have experienced the benefits of the kettle bell, the ultimate training tool for fat loss, strength, stamina, and coordination. Effective and inexpensive, kettle bells are a training staple for top athletes and trainers around the world.
Kettle bell Training is an easy-to-use, no-nonsense guide that will get you started setting goals, assessing fitness, and selecting exercises. You’ll learn how to exercise safely and efficiently to maximize results.
He has provided instruction to other kettle bell trainers in more than 40 countries, and now he is making this expertise available to you. More than exercises, Kettle bell Training contains proven programs that will produce results.
You’ll learn how to create a routine based on your individual needs, goals, and schedule. Or simply follow the sample fitness, strength, and conditioning programs or one of the sport-specific routines, such as football, soccer, mixed martial arts, or tennis.
About the Author Steve Cotter draws from a diverse background as a champion athlete and cutting-edge trainer in developing some of the most exciting programs in strength and conditioning today. Cotter shares his years of experience as a martial artist, world-class athlete, and fitness coach in designing and supervising programs for those who take their training seriously.
He consults with numerous professional sport teams, including the NFL's San Francisco 49ers and San Diego Chargers; Major League Baseball's Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, and Los Angeles Dodgers; and the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks. Reviews “There is no one better suited to write the book on kettle bell training than Steve Cotter.
Few workout tools are more versatile than kettle bells, the ancient market counterweights that were hoisted by Russian strongmen and now can be found in weight rooms at gyms across America, fitness experts say. But the San Diego-based author of Kettle bell Training: 95 exercises for strength, toning, stamina and weight loss, said novices should not be deterred.
“It sounds pretty heavy, but it’s not the same approach as a dumbbell because you’re swinging it, relying on inertia,” Cotter explained. Because the center of mass extends beyond the hand, the kettle bell allows for ballistic, or fast, swinging motions that combine cardiorespiratory, strength, and flexibility training.
The result is an all-around, functional fitness workout that mimics everyday activities such as shoveling snow or working in the garden, he said. Amy Dixon, who teaches Kettle bell Power, a group class at an Equinox Fitness center in Los Angeles, said the workout is beneficial because it puts the body through so many ranges of motion.
I could even see senior kettle bell workouts, so long as they take it easy,” said Cotton, who advises people to progress slowly, starting with light weights.