The workout gets your heart pumping and uses up to 20 calories per minute: about as much as running a 6-minute mile. Buy a DVD or sign up for a kettle bell class at the gym to learn how to do the moves safely.
It won’t take long to understand why celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Biel, and Katherine Hall are huge fans of kettle bell workouts. You’ll work up a sweat doing a series of fast-paced cardio and strength-training moves like kettle bell swings, lunges, shoulder presses, and push-ups.
Most kettle bell workouts include squats, lunges, crunches, and other moves that work your abs and other core muscles. The kettle bell is used as a weight for arm exercises like single-arm rows and shoulder presses.
Lunges and squats are among the most popular moves in a kettle bell workout. Your tush will be toned by using the kettle bell for added weight during lunges and squats.
Using a kettle bell for a dead lift helps tone your back muscles. The kettle bell is an effective weight that will build muscle strength.
You may want to buy DVDs or sign up for classes to learn the basics of a kettle bell workout. Yes, if you take a class or pick a DVD that's for beginners and use a lighter kettle bell.
Depending on the program, you may be getting both your strength training and your aerobic workout at the same time. If you choose a kettle bell that is too heavy or if you have poor form, you are likely to lose control of it.
Start out with an experienced trainer who can correct your technique before you hurt something. Adding a kettle bell to your existing workout is great if you want to burn more calories in less time.
This type of high-intensity workout is not for you if you would rather do a more meditative approach to body sculpting, or if sweating isn’t your thing. With your doctor’s OK, you can include kettle bells in your fitness routine if you have diabetes.
Muscle burns energy more efficiently, so your blood sugar levels will go down. Depending on the workout, you may also get some cardio to help prevent heart disease.
Using kettle bells in your workout puts some serious demands on your hips and back, as well as your knees, neck, and shoulders. If you have arthritis or pain in your knees or back, then look for a less risky strength-training program.
If you have other physical limitations, ask an experienced instructor for advice on how to modify your workout. If you worked out with kettle bells before becoming pregnant and are not having any problems with your pregnancy, then you will likely be able to continue using them -- at least for a while.
As your pregnancy hormones kick in, your joints will become looser. Talk to your instructor and your doctor; they might suggest switching out your kettle bells during your last trimester.
Fitness Dos and Don'ts: Test Your Knowledge on Getting in Shape According to a survey by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 30% of adults reported some type of joint pain during the last 30 days.
In the world of rehabilitation, scientific literature has been pointing to the muscles of the hip as a major player in knee pain 2. The Hip Abductors are responsible for maintaining pelvic motion and femoral alignment during function.
The High Knees are a great exercise for the Hip Abductors because it combines strengthening with balance. By lifting the kettle bell using dorsiflexion and hip flexion, a sudden downward force is created on the side opposite to the stance limb.
This force then requires the hip muscles of the stance limb to engage and prevent a sudden drop in pelvic height on the lifting side. There are a couple compensatory movements to watch for including excessive leaning, lateral shifting, and forward flexion of the spine.
If one does not control posture and engage the muscles of the stance limb, then the body will want to flex forward. One of the best exercises to apply this force and thus strengthen the muscles of the hip for knee pain is the Side Swing.
By swinging the kettle bell on the side of the body, more weight is pulled over the lower extremity (and hip) you wish to strengthen. This same pull will also attempt to bring the knee and femur into a position of adduction and internal rotation.
By moving into the combination of a dead lift and mini-lunge, the hip abductor must be activated to prevent changes in the horizontal position of the pelvis. By holding the kettle bell on the opposite side of the stance limb, additional muscle recruitment is forced upon the hip abductors.
This exercise also requires that the individual is in good control of knee position; avoiding adduction and internal rotation is of key importance. Additionally, maintaining the single leg stance is an added challenge for control and balance.
In the address of knee pain, training and strengthening the body in functional movement is always a desirable plus. Comparison of hip and knee strength and neuromuscular activity in subjects with and without patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Dr. Ben Fun, PT, DPT, a licensed Physical Therapist in the state of California has written another insightful article for us, this time on the topic of using kettle bells for knee pain. Dr. Fun’s thesis on kettle bell exercise was presented and published by the American College of Sports Medicine in 2010.
Dr. Fun founded Kettle bell and Physio kinetic Fitness” which went on to become a San Diego 2011 “Best Alternative Exercise Studio” Finalist in its opening year. I did the Etc Rite of Passage program, the Art of Strength Providence DVD, and also did the Viking Warrior Conditioning snatch protocol.
Skip ahead to two months ago, foolish me decided to do a high volume snatch workout without much of a warm up. BTW: I've always been religious about doing proper warm ups, but for whatever reason that day I was rushed and thought I would just get into the core workout.
Basically the cartilage in my shoulders is getting worn down and there's pretty much shit all they can do about it, apart from some steroid shots to ease the pain. What they told me was exercise was good, but decrease intensity and frequency so that you don't aggravate the joint, but they didn't know anything about kettle bells in particular.
This article is provided by Dr. Ben Fun, PT, DPT, a licensed Physical Therapist in the state of California. Dr. Fun’s thesis on kettle bell exercise was presented and published by the American College of Sports Medicine in 2010.
Dr. Fun founded Kettle bell and Physio kinetic Fitness” which went on to become a San Diego 2011 “Best Alternative Exercise Studio” finalist in its opening year. There have been estimations stating that 80% of Americans will experience back pain some time in their life 1 (Web MD, Mayo Clinic).
Choosing an appropriate therapeutic corrective exercise to address back pain can be quite the conundrum. Of the many therapeutic exercises available to address back pain, preserving functionality can be a challenge.
Correction during specific and isolated movements is more easily achieved than it is maintained during an actual functional performance. As therapeutic relief and maintaining correct movement are central goals in movement based therapy, an ideal exercise for a back program would be that which both relieves pain and prevents further injury by fortifying functional spine mechanics.
Despite the kettle bell being nothing more than a cast iron wrecking ball with a handle on top, there have been studies exploring kettle bell exercise for lower extremity sports rehabilitation 2, musculoskeletal health 3, and cardiovascular exercise response 4, 5. The kettle bell swing) offer the benefit of working with natural physics which demand correct spine mechanics to be maintained throughout exercise.
Exercise not done in similar physics to the activity anticipated does not always reap the benefit of improved function and pain relief. It is ultimately the best scenario if one can strengthen in the physical parameters most similar to the desired activity during function.
Recently, a study published by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning presented an interesting reverse shearing component seen during the kettle bell swing. The study noted a “posterior shear of the L4 vertebra on L5, which is opposite in polarity to a traditional lift” of which they stated “provides an insight into why many individuals credit kettle bell swings with restoring and enhancing back health and function 6 “.
The insight from my Bio engineering background would suggest that the ballistic nature of the kettle bell swings allows for a more natural co-activation of spinal musculature in kinetic chains which allow the body the work together more effectively than the linear physics as seen in traditional lifting exercises. While both exercises are functional, dynamic, and even offer corrective benefits; the distinct elemental difference in physics between the two proves a fundamental advantage to the kettle bell.
After a bout of ballistic kettle bell exercise(s), it is wise to stretch the hip flexors, the hamstrings, and to initiate a short preventive bout of prone press-ups in the unlikely event that spinal flexion occurred during exercise. While prescribing a progression of one handed kettle bell swings may seem like an over simplification of a program for back pain, I humbly refer you to a former patient who has experienced the therapeutic effects of Kettle bell Therapy ™ and was kind enough to make a video testimonial.
In closing, I leave you with the encouragement to experience kettle bells for yourself and perhaps claim them as good practice for an ironclad spine. Jay et al. Kettle bell training for musculoskeletal and cardiovascular health: a randomized controlled trial.