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Kettlebell For Strength

You often read about kettle bells as a fat loss and conditioning tool, but what about using them to build serious size and strength ? The bigger the glass, the more stuff — power, explosiveness, mobility, flexibility, conditioning, speed, and agility — you can fit in.

author
Danielle Fletcher
• Monday, 02 November, 2020
• 7 min read
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(Source: exercisen.com)

Barbells and dumbbells are wonderful tools, but they're not always forgiving, and many a fledgling lifting career has been cut short by just one momentary lapse of concentration or lack of judgment. Kettle bells can dramatically reduce the wear and tear on the body while still serving to increase strength, muscle, and power.

With kettle bells, you can decrease the training load by up to 75% and still make significant progress in strength, power, and body composition goals. While some may argue that kettle bells put you at a mechanical disadvantage (which is what forces you to use less weight), it really all boils down to tension.

The Central Nervous System (CNS) doesn't know the difference between 300 pounds on your shoulders and 120-pound kettle bells in each hand. Ask anyone who's ever tried to put half their front squat weight in each hand with kettle bells if it felt the same — I guarantee you'll get a resounding no.

After the kettle bells have been cleaned into the rack position, a posterior pelvic tilt should be performed to ensure proper alignment. Crush the handles of the kettle bell and develop lat tension by imagining pencils in your armpits that you're trying to snap in half.

Maintain tension throughout the entire movement and initiate the ascent with a forceful grunt and exhalation. The double kettle bell military press requires intense focus and tension through the whole body.

lb strength kg kettlebells fitness conditioning crosstraining mark
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The kettle bell also increases the demand on the external rotators of the shoulder in order to stabilize the weight at the top of the press. Maintain a neutral spine and pelvic alignment, tense the glutes and lats, and use breathing behind the shield throughout the lift.

Avoid arching the lower back and allowing the rib cage to rise as you near the top of the press. Olympic lifters have some of the most impressive physiques in the sporting world thanks in part to the many cleans and snatches they do.

What makes these lifts such great muscle-building exercises is that they can't be narrowed down to one particular muscle group being worked. However, the problem with barbell cleans and snatches is that there's a very high learning curve coupled with extreme mobility demands.

One must have very mobile wrists, thoracic spine, hips, ankles, and a near perfect overhead squat — a tall order for most everyday lifters. While there are mobility demands and a learning curve to the kettle bell clean and snatch, it's much lower than the barbell variations but with just as much benefit.

But they're still a butt-kicker — watch anyone perform heavy double cleans and snatches and you'll see a level of savagery not found in many lifts. A forceful hip snap and quick bracing of every muscle in the body during the top portion of the lifts, followed by a massive eccentric loading of the glutes, lats, and arms.

kettlebells strength fitness kg lb kettlebell rep training conditioning crosstraining mark markings cross swings
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With kettle bells, the weight can be swung between the legs, increasing the eccentric load and leading to more powerful hips. Key Points Ensure that you lock your arm out overhead with a neutral wrist at the top of the kettle bell snatch.

The aim here wasn't to dismiss the barbell variations, but to simply offer alternatives that have similar movement patterns albeit with a different implement. If you are looking to gain strength then Kettle bells can be a great tool to help you achieve your goal.

The truth is you can build strength with any type of added resistance, whether that is Dumbbells, Barbells or Power bags. During the Squat the Kettle bell can be placed in the rack position nicely resting against the upper arm and forearm and enable much larger weight to be held against the body.

Efficiency of movement means recruiting more motor units which in turn will activate more muscle fibers for greater contractile strength. With practice, you can educate your body to recruit the maximum amount of motor units during each lift and therefore increase your strength.

In fact when most people begin resistance training (lifting weights) it is this efficiency of movement or motor unit recruitment that gives the impression of gaining muscle. The beginner weight lifter becomes more skillful at lifting over time and this helps improve their strength much more than muscle development.

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However, there does come a time when efficiency and motor recruitment are maxed out and additional muscle mass is the only way to develop further strength. I’ve noticed this principle of strength as a skill rather than being related directly to muscle mass many times when training clients and educating personal trainers.

If you started training at your max lift of 7 reps x 3 sets it would leave you beaten up and tired for days. Also remember that more practice time means more development of skill and improved motor unit recruitment.

For example, it is no use getting strong at small isolation exercises like bicep curls or tricep extensions. The double kettle bell clean and press or long cycle is possibly the best full body strength training exercise.

The kettle bell double racked squat exercise will heavily strengthen the legs, buttocks, hips, core and back. You can use the double clean exercise in order to get into the top position ready to begin your set.

You can build a lot of strength with the double kettle bell swing but I would recommend slightly higher reps for this exercise. Extra caution needs to be taken when swinging heavy kettle bells due to the dynamic nature of the exercise.

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I really like this exercise because when loaded up nice and heavy it really challenges the core sling system that runs from the hip across to the opposite shoulder. The Central Nervous System (CNS) will fatigue heavily if you push yourself too hard and although you may feel physically ready to exercise again, mentally you will not have recovered.

Again, another reason why training at 50% of your max is so important, you can lift more often without totally fatiguing your central nervous system. For strength building workouts rest periods should be extended to 2.5 – 3 minutes per set.

Double Kettle bell Clean and Press x 5 reps Rest 3 minutes Repeat x 3 sets All efforts should be placed on lifting heavy at 50% of your max and then taking nice long rests between sets.

Don’t forget to use the correct weight, frequency, exercises and rest periods as laid out in steps 1 – 4. Double Kettle bell Clean & Press — 1 Rep every 60 Seconds Repeat for 10 minutes

What many believe to be initial physical strength gains through muscle are actually an increase in motor unit recruitment. Use large full body kettle bell exercises for your training to develop more useful strength.

kettlebell kettlebells hd strength fitness training lb conditioning kg transparent rep rated crosstraining mark markings cross pngmart amazon
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Well, if you explore one of the neglected corners of the gym (or your garden shed for that matter), you may well find a brilliant alternative to your standard weight workouts: the kettle bell. While dumbbells and barbells are popular and effective weight training options, they’re definitely not the only method of building muscle.

“The thing about kettle bells is that they genuinely do offer a full-body workout,” explains personal trainer Hannah Lewin. Just do a quick Google search and you’ll find over 50 exercises — ranging from good mornings and single arm dead lifts, to Turkish get ups and kettle bell snatches.

Because you tend to use one kettle bell at a time, you’re naturally working on your core power, balance, flexibility and coordination — all of which are crucial to everyday fitness, as well as strength training. If your core is not activated, you can’t get a weight into the air during a clean and press without putting untold pressure on your back.

You need balance and pelvic floor strength to complete a set of kettle bell swings, while coordination is crucial for getting through any heavy weights' session safely. One person who knows all about strength and conditioning is Laura Higgins — a certified trainer, author and director of The Foundry.

Even a kettle bell halo (circling your shoulder girdle with the weight) activates your traps, lats, deltoid and core. Marimba explains that they’re a great tool for spiking heart rate “very quickly due to their functionality”; they don’t require any effort to set up, but they do get us working hard to move them from point A to B.

kg strength fitness kettlebells lb crosstraining conditioning mark
(Source: www.ebay.com)

Utilizing higher rep ranges and ballistic movements with appropriate rest has big cardiovascular benefits.” Follow @StrongWomenUK on Instagram for the latest workouts, delicious recipes and motivation from your favorite fitness experts.

Well, if you explore one of the neglected corners of the gym (or your garden shed for that matter), you may well find a brilliant alternative to your standard weight workouts: the kettle bell. While dumbbells and barbells are popular and effective weight training options, they’re definitely not the only method of building muscle.

“The thing about kettle bells is that they genuinely do offer a full-body workout,” explains personal trainer Hannah Lewin. Just do a quick Google search and you’ll find over 50 exercises — ranging from good mornings and single arm dead lifts, to Turkish get ups and kettle bell snatches.

Because you tend to use one kettle bell at a time, you’re naturally working on your core power, balance, flexibility and coordination — all of which are crucial to everyday fitness, as well as strength training. If your core is not activated, you can’t get a weight into the air during a clean and press without putting untold pressure on your back.

You need balance and pelvic floor strength to complete a set of kettle bell swings, while coordination is crucial for getting through any heavy weights' session safely. One person who knows all about strength and conditioning is Laura Higgins — a certified trainer, author and director of The Foundry.

kettlebell swing glute exercise exercises kettlebells workout legs variations kb strength form glutes bell butt hip bicep lower moves functional
(Source: redefiningstrength.com)

Even a kettle bell halo (circling your shoulder girdle with the weight) activates your traps, lats, deltoid and core. Marimba explains that they’re a great tool for spiking heart rate “very quickly due to their functionality”; they don’t require any effort to set up, but they do get us working hard to move them from point A to B.

Utilizing higher rep ranges and ballistic movements with appropriate rest has big cardiovascular benefits.” Follow @StrongWomenUK on Instagram for the latest workouts, delicious recipes and motivation from your favorite fitness experts.

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Sources
1 www.t-nation.com - https://www.t-nation.com/training/kettlebells-for-size-and-strength
2 kettlebellsworkouts.com - https://kettlebellsworkouts.com/kettlebell-workout-for-strength/
3 www.stylist.co.uk - https://www.stylist.co.uk/fitness-health/workouts/benefits-kettlebell-workouts/463169
4 www.stylist.co.uk - https://www.stylist.co.uk/fitness-health/workouts/benefits-kettlebell-workouts/463169