The kettle bell is one of the world’s oldest and most effective instruments for developing fitness. It was popularized in Russia in the 1800s, but some evidence suggests that the kettle bell was even used in Ancient Greece for their Olympics.
Perhaps for the same reasons as the Russians and ancient Greeks, CrossFit loves the kettle bell for its versatility and ability to build strength, muscle, increase cardio, and develop power in athletes. When performing a kettle bell swing, snatch, or get-up, maintain this straight back position, allowing your knees to bend and glutes to help absorb the force as the weight comes back down.
Don’t break at the waist and put unnecessary stress on your back. Good foot positioning (wide stance, weight in heels) will keep you from getting dragged forward by the bell.
Depending on your goals, you can tailor your kettle bell workouts to train muscles you want to get stronger or bigger. A kettle bell swing starts with the knees bent, a tight back, and the bell hanging off the ground.
Using power from your glutes and hips, you thrust the bell to above eye level or higher. The difference is mainly in height (Russian to eye level, American goes fully overhead) explained in this video.
Generally speaking, unless the Won specifically writes “Russian Swings”, assume that you should lock the bell out overhead. Depending on the athlete, you’ll sometimes see a different return phase of the bell.
The kettle bell snatch sets up very similarly to the swing, with the obvious different that it is a 1-handed exercise. Matt Chan, former CrossFit Games athlete breaks down the 1-arm kettle bell clean and press here.
Here are five CrossFit workouts that can test your fitness, build strength, and increase muscle using kettle bells: In terms of functionality, versatility, and benefits, the kettle bell is easily one of the most effective pieces of gym equipment ever created.
From the Russians to modern day CrossFit, it’s no wonder that it continues to develop fitness all over the world. These kettle bell shoulder workouts and exercises will help you to build strength and discover imbalances in your mobility and movement.
It is a full body exercise that not only works the shoulders but heavily challenges the legs, buttocks, hamstrings, abs, back stabilizers and cardio. You will also find the shoulders fatigue just holding and maintaining the kettle bell throughout the exercise.
Pay particular attention to any sticking points that might occur as you work through the full range of motion. The kettle bell is held overhead as before with a straight arm and wrist and then you reach down towards the floor with the opposite hand.
The ultimate goals is to reach the opposite ankle with the hand while keeping both legs straight. However, for the beginner achieving this full position can be very challenging both on the shoulder and the flexibility through the back and hamstrings.
IN the video below, Marcus Filly performs the windmill in a bottoms up position. For the regular version simply grip the handle and let the kettle bell rest on the back of your forearm.
They were originally used as handled counterweights to weigh out dry goods on market scales. His students included the legendary strongman George Hackenscmidt, “The Russian Lion”, who credited him with teaching him everything he knew and Eugene Sand ow, “The Father of Modern Day Body Building”.
High rep Snatches work more muscle groups and will build strength in the lower back, shoulders, and hip flexors. Doing a few light workouts per week will speed up recovery by getting some blood into the worked muscles.
Chinese Shaolin Monks used large padlocks with handles for training that closely mirrors modern kettle bell exercises. Even one or two of these versatile weights can give you an awesome indoor kettle bell workout right in your living room (pants optional).
CrossFit's style workouts prioritize intensity by making the goal in each case to give maximal output to achieve either the fastest time and/or score. The movements generally lend themselves well to power output in CrossFit style workouts and therefore can feel like a big dose of intensity.
Let’s say you repeat this workout at some point in the future; keeping these variables the same means you can easily see how you’re progressing, and they are also designed to help you get the right stimulus from each movement. How to read tempo: the first number is always eccentric (down), then isometric (hold), then concentric (up), then pause before the next rep.
If you see an X that means the intent should be to explode up (even if that’s actually pretty slow, aim for as explosive a movement as you can). Key Differences: With Functional Bodybuilding workouts, we make an effort to prioritize your movement quality by providing opportunities to work on your positions with slower tempos in our resistance training supersets.
High time under tension resistance training provides the athlete with a greater opportunity to build mind muscle connections, get a PUMP (muscle perfusion with blood = nutrients, growth, sense of well-being). Additionally, with FBB workouts we can strategically manipulate work and rest periods in order to increase intensity for clients that are ready for it without losing quality.
In the second FBB workout, you get exposed to the use of movement pattern complexes that are a staple in our training style. They are a great strategy to help clients incorporate more movements into a single session that all have a common theme.
Complexes extend the time under tension which has a similar impact as slow tempo prescriptions in that they keep loads down allowing for a focus on quality of movement as well as increase the PUMP factor of training. Lastly, we place a strong emphasis on unilateral training in FBB, which plays very well with kettle bell work.
This doesn’t show up as often in traditional CrossFit workouts, and we feel like the benefits are far too great to overlook. Functional Bodybuilding warm ups are a fun and easy way to experiment, and it only takes a few minutes to wake up your brain and body with some fresh kettle bell moves.
Warm up for Hips, Glutes, Core, Shoulders, and Caps 6-8 Half Kneeling Single Arm Kettle bell Press @ 2111 tempo12 Banded Monster Walks (forward and backward)30sec Side Plank/side The half kneeling position is an awesome way to introduce some instability that will wake up your brain for training and challenge your balance and ability to control your movement.
Again, we see a core isometric movement to raise the full body temperature, get your midline primed to support your training session, and recruit some shoulders and hips here as well to keep you in a good position. Start with Warm up #1 above, then head into the following workout to hit some strength and structural balance work, then finish with a fun conditioning piece.
This keeps the quality of your movement high and leaves you with energy to go on with your day and come back to your training next time feeling fresh.