As I explained in my article Grind to Grow: Try Your Squats and Presses with Kettle bells,” part of the reason the kettle bell triggers newfound strength and muscle growth is because of its offset shape. It forces the body to stabilize its joints differently from barbells, dumbbells, and other traditional bodybuilding equipment.
This forces your muscles to contract differently than normal, and increases the demand placed upon them. Look no further than the extra depth that every lifter instantly discovers when they front squat with a pair of kettle bells in the rack position, versus a barbell across the back.
With this new and increased range of motion comes increased muscular growth in your legs, and strength in your entire torso, from the inside out, including the all-important core musculature. Best of all, the kettle bell lends itself to a simple, but very challenging programming.
This 12-week program requires only two kettle bells and time for three workouts a week. But after one time through it, you'll find yourself more muscular in all the areas that matter: shoulders, upper back, upper chest, arms, legs, and posterior chain.
When you go back to “traditional” weight training, don't be surprised if you destroy your old performances—and have to buy bigger shirts. According to research by Brad Schoenberg, PhD, there are three basic ways to stimulate muscle growth:
Mechanical Tension: Lifting heavier weights for lower reps, similar to the way powerlifters train; think multiple sets of 2-5 reps. Muscular Damage: Lifting moderate weights for medium to higher reps, similar to the way bodybuilders train; think multiple sets of 8-20 reps. Metabolic Stress: Doing either high reps or complexes where you don't set the weight down, producing intense burning and the release of metabolites like lactate.
That may not sound like enough variety to grow on, but all major movement patterns are covered by these exercises: Military Press : Upper body pressing and pulling (due to the clean that accompanies the press) Front Squat : Lower body pushing and upper body pulling (you'll need to clean again!)
Swing (single or double kettle bell): Lower body pulling Start the program with a pair of matching kettle bells you can press approximately 4-6 times.
If you're at all unsure or uncertain about your capability, drop back to swinging one kettle bell. More important than which variety you choose is that you focus on making each rep as explosive as possible, like I explained in my article Kettle bell Explosion: Harness the Power of the Kettle bell Swing.”
Your goal is to do as many sets of each exercise, with perfect form, as you can in that time. Then, when you're ready, clean the kettle bells back into the rack position and perform a set of front squats.
Your goal is to do as many sets of swings as you can, with perfect form, in that time. To start this phase, determine your rep max (RM) with both the military press and the front squat using your two trusty kettle bells.
Always round down the number of reps if you hit a decimal point in your math. Your goal is to do as many sets of each exercise, with perfect form, as you can in that time.
Clean the kettle bells to the rack position, then perform a set of military presses. Clean the kettle bells back into the rack position, and perform a set of front squats.
Do an RM test with your pair of kettle bells for the swing. If not, use these weeks to keep practicing with the one-handed swing, trying to build up to 20 reps per hand, each at chest height.
Your goal is to do as many sets of swings as you can, with perfect form, in that time. Once again, find your RM for the military press and the front squat.
There's one big difference in these workouts: You'll clean the kettle bells to the rack position and perform a set of military presses, followed immediately by one set of front squats. When your rest time is over, clean the kettle bells back into the rack position and repeat.
This slight variation may not seem like much, but it increases the time under tension you experience and triggers metabolic stress. *Your RM will drop due to fatigue as the sets progress.
By this point, you should be able to comfortably swing a pair of kettle bells. Do an RM test with your pair of kettle bells for the swing.
If not, keep on practicing with the one-handed swing, working up to 20 reps per hand, each at chest height. The amount of tension running through and across your abs will already be severe, especially combining the military presses and front squats in the same day.
However, if you can't live without ab training, I recommend you do hanging variations, like hanging leg raises, to decompress your spine from all the loading. Since this is a strength and muscle program, you need to eat a lot.
A tried-and-true starting point is to multiply your body weight (in pounds) by 15-20 for total calories. In my book, you can't beat the time-tested 30/40/30 split of protein/carbohydrates/fat when growth is the goal.
If you start putting on fatter than you'd like, cut back. Otherwise, your assignment is simple: Eat, sleep, lift, and grow.
The mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy and their application to resistance training. These were all valid questions over a decade ago when kettle bells were first introduced, but get with the times my friends.
The Double Floor Press combines a shoulder and chest workout along with your core. This is a great chest exercise for those with shoulder issues, since you are only going as low as the floor rather than below as in normal benching, it takes a lot of strain off the rotator cuff.
Use this exercise if you want to build some massive upper body strength! An excellent upper-body pulling movement; the double bent over row will build strength in the back and biceps muscles.
Pulling exercises are a necessity to ensure balance for the upper body. The Double Front Squat is one of the best core and leg strengtheners out there.
You not only get the benefit of stronger legs, but your shoulders will be given a fantastic workout as well. Simply holding the kettle bells in place is taxing on your shoulders, upper back, arms, and core.
The double kettle bell swing will hit your lower back, glutes, and hamstrings, strengthening the entire posterior chain. Double swings are great progression that can be used to increase your strength and power.
The Turkish Get Up is great core exercise that also had tremendous benefits to your pressing ability. Since you go through a wide range of positions, your flexibility and mobility are challenged giving you a far greater exercise.
When you can start completing the lifts for 8-10 reps, increase weight. From dumbbells to rowing machines, there is a seemingly endless list of options for building strength from a home gym.
This old-school method of building muscle and burning fat consists of a ball with a large handle for gripping with one or two hands and a flat base. Kettle bell exercises provide a full-body workout that builds muscle while burning calories.
Ahead, learn about the three types of kettle bells and what features you should take into account when determining which one to purchase. They also feature wider handles that allow for a two-handed grip when needed, making them more diverse than a competition kettle bell.
This means you won’t be able to perform two-handed exercises, such as halos, goblet squats, and two-handed swings. An adjustable kettle bell allows you to change its weight to suit your ability level and the type of exercise you’re doing.
This type of kettle bell is an excellent option for those with limited space in their home gym or multiple users with different strength levels. Kettle bells cast from a single piece usually have a more accurate weight and size and a more consistent balance.
Powder and rubber coatings offer durability by adding a protective layer that prevents rust from forming on the kettle bell. Rubber coatings also prevent the kettle bell from scratching smooth surfaces in your home, such as hardwood floors.
When you become more experienced, it may make sense to purchase a second kettle bell to complete more advanced workouts involving both sides at the same time. The kettle bells below feature one-piece designs with coatings that promote a good grip while protecting the metal from rust.
They are forged from one piece of iron instead of scrap metal, giving them accurate weight and a balanced feel. A broad base allows users to set these kettle bells down easily without them rocking or rolling over.
With its quality construction and affordable price, this kettle bell is an excellent choice for those setting up their home gym on a budget. This model features solid cast-iron construction with no gaps in the handle or body, which provides proper balance.
A black-painted exterior prevents rust and corrosion from forming on the iron, while a textured surface allows for a better grip. Kettle bell Kings polishes its weights after forging, eliminating any seams or rough edges that might cause discomfort.
They also use their own unique powder-coating formula to create an exceptionally smooth finish for optimal grip. With that in mind, this adjustable kettle bell from Titan Fitness is a suitable choice for beginners.
It offers unparalleled versatility with nine cast-iron plates that individuals can add or remove to adjust the weight between 10 and 40 pounds in 5-pound increments. A tough plastic lock holds the weights firmly in place during exercise.
A flat base adds stability when setting the weight down, while a black powder coating prevents corrosion and rust. With Kettle bell King’s attention to detail and workmanship, this model is a worthy option for competitive lifters or those looking to do more advanced exercises.
It continues up the food chain—and weight class—to include a sneering chimp, orangutan, and gorilla, with the mythical Bigfoot serving as the 90-pound kettle bell. Each head is cast out of chip-resistant iron and features a black powder coating that resists corrosion while creating a rough surface for a solid grip.
A weight that is too heavy could slip free from your grasp during a two-handed swing, hurtling through the air to damage property or injure a bystander. Protect your back by positioning yourself so the hips and legs absorb the force of the kettle bell.
A good foundation is key to ensuring you can handle the added weight of a kettle bell without slipping. A good set of athletic shoes will help create a solid base for lifting.
However, if you’re dealing with heavyweights, chalk can assist with grip, helping to minimize the chances that a kettle bell will slip from your grasp. If you’re still wondering what kettle bell you should purchase, look below for answers to some of the weightiest questions about these free weights.
For beginners, you should find a kettle bell that you can comfortably grip and lift while still receiving a decent amount of resistance. Given that many kettle bell exercises focus on strengthening your core, they are a very effective means of burning belly fat.