People spend a lot of time using different forms of exercise to reach their goals, such as losing fat, building muscle or working to improve or maintain fitness levels. This was confirmed by a study directly comparing the two-handed kettle bell swing with modern intensity treadmill walking (Thomas et al. 2014).
Whilst the movements involved in kettle bell training act as a cardio exercise, the fact that a weight is being lifted at the same time, also works your muscles. Studies have found that this form of exercise improves power, endurance (Pinocchio, 2010) and maximum strength (Lake and Lauder, 2012).
Another advantage of working and strengthening your muscles is that it increases your metabolism, meaning you can burn fat all day after your workout. This combination of cardio and strength training, allows you to get the best of both worlds and reap the benefits that both offer in one challenging kettle bell workout.
Another specific benefit of kettle bell movements is that these can work all of your major muscle groups at once and can achieve remarkable results in less time. The high number of calories that can be burned with this training is accredited to it being a total body movement exercise (Forward, 2010).
In this way, it is hailed as being superior to other kinds of weight training, due to forcing your body to work as a unit with every swing or lift. As kettle bell training involves a lot of movement, it is important to perform the exercises correctly, ensuring your back is straight, shoulders are relaxed and head is in a neutral position.
This is a remarkable advantage of kettle bell training, as having a strong core is important in everyday life, particularly for balance and posture. Osteoarthritis is the most common kind of arthritis, which is caused by the breakdown of cartilage that the body eventually cannot repair, often in older age.
A study found that joints subjected to heavy impact are relatively free of osteoarthritis in older age (Verkhoshansky and Sight, 1998). Thus, the ballistic exercises using a kettle bell, such as the swing, snatch, jerk and clean, appear to be highly beneficial and strength your joints, promoting protection against osteoarthritis in older age.
Making lifestyle changes, such as incorporating regular exercise into your routine along with a healthy diet, can keep your heart and arteries in good condition and reduce blood pressure and its associated risks. Studies have found that kettle bell training can be a good form of exercise, which can lower blood pressure (Jay, 2009).
With it being both a cardio and strength workout, it can assist in the control of and help to prevent high blood pressure, and therefore reduce the dangers to your health. Whilst it does promote a healthy lifestyle, if you do have high blood pressure, always ask for advice from your doctor first before you start any new physical regime.
There has been an increase in the number of adults developing Type 2 Diabetes, due to living an unhealthy lifestyle and being overweight. Whilst there is no cure for Type 2 Diabetes, blood glucose levels can be managed to minimize the risk of health problems that can develop.
In particular, a recent study found that kettle bell training could improve glucose clearance in young, sedentary males (Greenwald, 2014). In conclusion, training with kettle bells is advantageous not only in meeting individual fitness goals but also in protecting against medical conditions.
We live in a world of infinite knowledge, yet we rarely stop to think about the dangers of such innovation. Well, maybe not that many, but in this day and age of strength and conditioning the kettle bell is turning into a standard training tool among coaches and trainees.
If you ’re new to the kettle bell and want to jump in with both feet, three full body workouts hitting each movement pattern per week is plenty. The conventional gyms and department stores of the world would have you believe that a 10lb kettle bell is all a man needs and a 5lb is plenty for a woman.
Well, my friend, I hate to burst your kettle-bubble, but if you want to see any benefits from the bell you need to challenge yourself. 99% of the time (a statistic I just made up to prove a point but is still going to be high) trainees go too light.
There’s no set standard per se as each person is different, but here’s a good guide for non-injured, healthy men and women: Challenging yourself is important, but if you ’re breaking form for the purposes of lifting a certain weight, then the potential harm outweighs any good could be doing.
If I had a nickel for each time I’ve seen someone attempting a technical move like the snatch at a conventional gym with zero knowledge of the movement outside of watching a video I’d be a rich man. Finding a reputable coach in your area or absorbing instructional videos will do your body good.
Juggling, intense movements, and programs with a ton of volume can look enticing, but if you ’re not ready for it take a step back. Check out the Durability channel on Innit Academy On Demand to work through tight areas and open up new movements.
Double kettle bell work, heavy one arm swings, bent presses, goblet squats, and incredible flows will do far more than get your heart pumping. A powerful routine that will build incredible strength AND conditioning is utilizing the kettle bell (or a few) for a strength-geared circuit.
For example, you can perform a press, goblet squat, renegade row, and one arm swing. This gives you PLENTY of room for growth since you can’t change the weights easily.
Between get-ups, arm bars, windmills and sots presses kettle bell deliver amazing strength, but also incredible mobility from your hips to your shoulders and everything in between. You can incorporate challenging movements as a warm up or what I do is pick the toughest ones based on my body’s abilities and spend a whole session playing with them.
For example, I’ll incorporate a longer mobility warm up and then hit multiple sets (never to failure) of sots presses and deep goblet squats using lighter weights. Because of the position of the kettle bell even simply pressing it will pull your arm back a bit further stretching your lats and opening up your shoulders a hair more.
Your glutes and hamstrings are your power source for building hip speed and explosive strength. This can be alternated with heavy and lighter weights and aiming for 50-200 reps (not necessarily at once).
Sets can be broken down and performed ladder-style, on the minute, or pair them with a calisthenics move like push ups for a more robust session. A strong grip is more useful than the mainstream fitness world gives it credit.
The off-center placement of the bell gives the kettle bell an advantage over other tools as it forces you to keep a flexed forearm while in the rack and overhead position. Combine that with kettle bell flows, juggling, and ballistic movements to strengthen your grip from every angle.
Eventually, you can try tougher routines and juggling complexes to unleash the power of the bell. Most strength training is done with trunk flexion and extension with the occasional rotational movement medicine ball throw.
Squats and dead lifts are awesome, but when you combine powerful movements with the likes of rotational swings, lateral punches, and 360 snatches you ’ll build strength from a multitude of angles. Strength in motion (what we’ve dubbed the outside the box thinking and kettle bell flowing) is almost meditative.
There are no sets and reps. You just move, and this allows you to explore different ranges of motion, planes, and movement patterns. If you ’re a coach or group class leader kettle bells are fantastic to lead clients through a plethora of movements that will deliver strength and conditioning in record time.
If you ’re a solo practitioner nothing beats the simplicity of one or two bells and some fresh air. Some simple complexes and movements can help you continue on your strength quest without skipping a beat and minus the tons of equipment and weight needed.
An easy way is to limit your tools to a kettle bell and club or mace, a suspension trainer and your body to build a high-functioning physique without all the fluff. This will help you take your kettle bell abilities to the next level and help you unlock your imagination for some fantastic, out of the box strength and conditioning sessions.
For those out there who aren’t confident in doing kettle bell workouts due to the high intensity and expected grip strength, don’t turn away yet! Our patented Dark Iron Fitness lifting straps are made of durable cowhide suede and are the perfect accompaniment to kettle bells.
Their numerous benefits include strength gain, endurance, flexibility and weight loss. Many of the movements and skills required in CrossFit focus on learning to have fast and effective hips.
Dumbbells have a tight center of gravity and mainly utilize the major muscle groups. A kettle bell ’s odd shape and off-center mass forces you to use muscles that mimic real-life activities.
Its odd center of gravity forces you to do more work involving your stabilizing muscles to create explosive movements with the bell. Enjoy the ease of use and appreciate that such a unique weight can help streamline other exercises you already do.
Always practice correct form and safety in all exercises, but be content in the fact the kettle bell is one of the safer weights to work with. If you have previously been avoiding barbell exercises due to safety concerns, look into the kettle bell alternatives.
The kettle bell alternates periods of intense contraction and controlled relaxation, to give you a superior workout that combines strength, as well as endurance. Other exercises such as the windmill, and single leg dead lift, also build flexible strength.
The kettle bell stimulates tremendous abdominal contraction because of the explosive conditioning movements. The fact you can work your core indirectly, just through the dynamic aspect of kettle bells, is truly amazing.
Kettle bells are so effective because they stimulate the muscles and surpass standard cardio exercises. They enable you to increase your strength, build up speed as well as your endurance level at the same time.
This gives you a great strength and endurance workout in a shorter amount of time. So rather than moving on to a heavier kettlebellyou simply complete more reps or change the exercise to a more difficult option.
Killer strength and endurance work can be achieved without necessarily having to use the heaviest weight you can find. Some people are naturally stronger, but ultimately the kettle bell isn’t a strength tool— it’s a strength-endurance tool.
If you find yourself becoming bored with traditional exercises or having to be in the gym, consider using kettle bells. This is especially valued by physical therapists because kettle bells actually teach you to move in a way that is better, stronger, and safer.
Unfortunately, many of us today lose some of our basic movements as a result of sedentary occupations and lifestyles. That’s what happens when we don’t move our bodies with the full range of motion or become used to certain unhealthy postures (like sitting in front of a computer all day).
They are terrific for overall fat loss, improving lean body mass, and helping teach proper use of the hips (important for speed and power sports). They are so effective that serious lifters should definitely consider them as a way to enhance and supplement their barbell or dumbbell workouts.
Dark Iron Fitness leather suede lifting are guaranteed not to rip, tear, or fall apart — the perfect compliment for your kettle bell. I recently got asked “Are kettle bell swings good for you ?” so I thought I would answer the question here.
So the kettle bell swing is very demanding on the cardiovascular system without the need to move your feet or impact your joints. So another advantage of the kettle bell swing is the large amount of muscle recruitment you get from the exercise.
As you drive the kettle bell up using the hips and legs you recruit a large amount of muscles in the back of the body. The kettle bell swing is different because it strengthens the posterior chain, improving your upright posture which in turn pulls your shoulders back and reveals the chest.
With a strong emphasis on desk jobs and computer work many people spend too much time seated. The kettle bell swing helps to combat this by strengthening the abs as you lock into the upright position.
The abs work hard at the top to prevent the body from over extending backwards, similar to a vertical plank position. During the swing the lower back should also be kept in a static (isometric) position so the movement can be generated by the hips.
The kettle bell swing uses 100’s of muscles in one movement, is very cardiovascular without the need to move your feet, improves your posture and burns lots of calories. If you experience pain when you lean forward or bend backwards then the kettle bell swing is not for you.
However, to do the intense, highly grip-based and cardio-driven exercises associated with kettle bells, I recommend some weightlifting accessories. The main reason I would think about purchasing these, or similar accessories, is to maintain form and safety.
However, it is important that you first start with some easier exercises to properly understand how to use kettle bells. Then, once you are familiar with the mechanics of the kettle bell and feel comfortable gripping them, you can really amp up the workouts.
This is important, especially in relation to this article, because cardio and strength training are what promote weight loss. We will be discussing why kettle bells are optimal for weight loss, as well as some preferred exercises.
It’s very important to always remember that cardio is a huge pillar to the house of weight loss. Most weightlifting movements do not implement a high amount of cardio, unless they are HIIT routines or focusing on CrossFit training.
When adding in that cardio aspect to kettle bell exercises, like swings, jump squats, etc., you ’ll experience faster results. In fact, intense lifting puts you into a longer residual fat burning zone.
Now, imagine combining the longevity of fat burning from weights with the intensity of a cardiovascular workout. With their strength building aspect, you will be hitting all the proper channels that lead to further weight loss.
The focus needed, the grip strength, the core balance and even hip drive will ensure you see success. The swinging movement, along with the squat and explosiveness, lead to the foundation of kettle bell exercises.
After choosing the best kettle bell weight for you, give it a gentle swing between your legs as you drop into a squat. Make sure to go strong and controlled, getting deep into the squat and swinging the kettle bell to the same spot for each rep.
Keep your head forward, looking up at the line of sight to where the kettle bell should end up swinging to. Adding just this one adjustment to your kettle bell swing will amplify the explosive nature of the workout almost by tenfold.
The dumbbell jump squats will be so much more explosive and tiring (due to the cardio-centric nature) that you ’ll burn fat quicker. Dark Iron Fitness has one of the best weightlifting belts available, and it’s worth investing in, as you ’ll only ever need to buy it once.
Hold two kettle bells up by your shoulders with your hands up, and proceed to perform the jump squats. If you perform any of these, you ’ll feel the burn, the sweat and the weight begin to slowly melt off with time.
Give them a try and continuously work them into your weightlifting routines or even just as supplemental workouts on cardio days. A lot of people are looking for quick results, clear-cut answers and a strict guide to lose excess weight.
You need to find what works for you, stick to it and let the journey become a large part of your happiness and success. Don’t fall for the tricks of someone selling you one specific exercise routine or “10 minutes or less” workouts as the end all be all.
If you hold a lot of weight in your stomach, it’ll most likely be the last place that fat leaves your body. Kettle bells aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but they are gaining more and more popularity for a reason.
Other than helping you lose those extra unwanted pounds, these exercises have more benefits. Research published in 2019 proved that kettle bell exercises were quite effective in improving muscle strength and aerobic power in people (2).
Unlike fat, muscle burns a higher amount of energy, thus effectively helping bring down your glucose levels. However, if you are diabetic, be sure to consult your doctor, not only before incorporating kettle bells to your workout routine but also before attempting any form of exercise (4).
ShutterstockSince you will be getting in some cardio, this form of physical activity may enable you to control your weight and reduce your chances of developing conditions that may put a strain on your heart. Restore muscle mass and improve grip strength in older adults
In 2018, a clinical trial involving older women aged 65 – 75 years old, proved that kettle bell workouts enabled these women with sarcopenia (loss of skeletal mass and function), increases the sarcopenia index, grip strength, and back strength (1). Please note that you must always make an appointment to talk to your doctor before attempting any new workouts or incorporating kettle bells or any other forms of weight into your exercise routine.
This is especially important for pregnant women or anyone with a pre-existing health condition such as heart disease, arthritis, or diabetes, among other illnesses. Whether you ’re looking to simply pep up your fitness routine, jazz up your diet with mouth-watering low-calorie recipes or want to get your act together and significantly drop that number on your scale — Better Me app has got you covered!
Shutterstock Before you tackle any of these exercises, please note that as a beginner you will not be using the same weights as your friend who has been working out for several years. 12 kilograms (26 pounds) — For any woman who has lifted weights before but is new to kettle bell workouts.
19 kilograms or more (44 pounds) — For men who have done weight lifting before but are unfamiliar with kettle bell exercises. Hold the handle of the kettle bell in both hands and extend your arms to waist level in front of you.
Push your hips back and bend your knees and grab the weight with both arms. Exhale as you make an explosive upward movement to swing the kettle bell out in front of you.
Push your hips backwards, and bend your knees to reach the kettle bell handles (like a squat position). Slowly step forward with your left leg, bending your knee while keeping your right foot in place.
Shutterstock The goblet squat is a great example of a compound exercise. Engage your core as you move back up to your original standing position, pulling the weight to hip level as you go.
Raise the kettle bell until the handle reaches chin level, pointing your elbows up in the process. Also, note that, if you do not have a gym membership, or are not willing to purchase one, these exercises are also perfect examples of home kettle bell workout for weight loss.
As long as you have a go-ahead from your doctor and are dedicated, you can use the above workouts to shed the extra pounds in the comfort of your home. Shutterstock Here are some great workouts that both young and older men can do with kettle bell weights.
With one hand on the floor and the other on the kettle bell, lower yourself as close to the ground as possible, keeping your back straight. Quickly raise your body and swap hands before doing a push-up on the other side, then keep repeating this fluid motion.
Holding the kettle bell handle with both hands, lean back so that your torso is at about a 45 — degree angle to the floor. With your heels a few inches above the floor, rotate your torso from right to left, swinging the weight slightly across your body.
It works for the core as a whole and is especially great for the external and internal obliques (also known as love handles). Shutterstock The kettle bell snatch is a great core workout and a full-body strength and conditioning movement.
It also helps boost shoulder stability and upper-back strength in the long run. Holding a kettle bell in your right hand between your legs, squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
Rest for 60 seconds then repeat the whole process with your left hand holding the kettle bell. Drive your heels into the floor and as you explode up from the squat position, press both kettle bells overhead.
Lower the weights back down to your shoulder and drop into the squat position. Intense sweat sessions, working weight loss tips, lip-smacking recipes come in one package with the Better Me app.
Shutterstock It should be noted that both men and women can do all the above workouts for weights loss. However, here are some full body kettle bell workout for weight loss routines that women can do at home or in the gym.
Start in a squat position with a kettle bell in each hand, arms extended toward the floor between feet, palms facing away from the body. In one motion, press through heels to stand up, raising the kettle bells overhead, rotating palms to face inward and stopping when biceps are by the ears.
Start standing with feet hip-width apart holding the handle of a kettle bell with both hands in front of your face, elbows bent and wide at sides. Complete 15 clockwise turns before changing sides and doing the same thing 15 more times counterclockwise.
In one motion, press hips forward and rise up to a high kneeling position using that. Momentum to rotate palms away from the body and press the kettle bells overhead until arms are straight and biceps are by your ears.
However, you must keep in mind to only use weights that you are comfortable with and seek medical advice before starting a new exercise routine. This is a great option for someone with a busy day who cannot only afford to spend hours at the gym but would still like to lose some weight and/or build some muscle.
If we are counting down calories lost per minute, high-intensity workouts may help you burn at least 20.2 calories per minute which is the equivalent of running at a pace of 6 miles per hour (approximately 9.6 km per hour). As seen above, these forms of weights can help you burn many calories within a very short time.
For many people, this can be a very exciting and tempting idea that may lead them to exercise with kettle bells every day. After all, for a healthy and sustainable weight loss journey, you should aim to lose half a kg to one kilogram every week (3).
In most if not all cases, people end up adding more weight than they initially lost. A quick 20-minute kettle bell exercise routine can be enough to give you a full body workout.
You can switch them up with the other example above if you please, or check out this 20-min Full Body Workout at Home. This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances.
It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any medical conditions.
Effects of 8-week kettle bell training on body composition, muscle strength, pulmonary function, and chronic low-grade inflammation in elderly women with sarcopenia (2018, NCBI.elm.NIH.gov) Kettle bell Exercise as an Alternative to Improve Aerobic Power and Muscle Strength (2019, NCBI.elm.NIH.gov) Losing weight (2020, CDC.gov) Kettle bells are the cannonball-shaped workout tools you should add to your routine if you want to get a leaner, tighter figure without spending much time.
You ’ll have an easier time performing daily activities Working out with a kettle bell is the definition of what fitness pros call a “functional” workout. We bet your purse or work bag will feel a lot of lighter after a few kettle bell sessions anyway!
You ’ll fire up more muscles One of the biggest mistakes novices make with kettle bell training is not taking a session or two with a certified trainer. Sure, you can hold the weight in front of your chest as you do squats or lunges or use it to do arm curls, but if that’s all you do, you ’ll be missing out on all the incredible three-dimensional movements it’s made for—and the effects those exercises can have on your body.
Seaman recommends going beyond walking or jogging to get your cardiovascular system and your muscles and joints loosened up. She recommends doing some shoulder rolls, squats, lunges, plank holds or push-ups (on knees, if necessary), and jumping jacks before starting the kettle bell portion of your workout.
You ’ll lose more weight in less time Kettle bell workouts can tighten and tone your whole body, but the dynamic all-muscles-on-deck movements also burn a heck of a lot of calories—on par with running a 6-minute mile, according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, who evaluated the energy output of a typical kettle bell session. You ’ll realize you ’re stronger than you thought You might have never reached for a dumbbell heavier than 5 pounds before, but Seaman suggests women start with a 15-pounder and a 25- to 30-pounder when you switch to kettle bells.
Your posture will improve Using so many muscle groups in conjunction means your core has to stay engaged 360 degrees to stabilize each and every movement. Good form is essential in kettle bell workouts, so stop and rest if you feel like yours is deteriorating.
The number one thing to keep in mind is that the whole structure of your back and abs should unconsciously stay straight, as though you ’re wearing a stiff corset. Any forward bending you do should come from your hips or the crease at the top of your leg, rather than from an arched back.
Signals that you need to stop your workout include feeling like you can’t hold onto the kettle bell securely (hint: skip the hand lotion preworkout) or your arm shaking excessively in an over-the-head position. Here’s how to do it: Standing with your feet hip-width apart, your hips and knees slightly bent, and your back and arms straight, pick up the kettle bell by the handle with both hands, knuckles facing forward.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. A lot of people are under the impression that the use of kettle bells are some gimmicky fad that burst on the fitness scene within the last decade or so.
The benefits of Kettle bell Training are backed by valid science & extensive studies conducted in the exercise industry along with many hours of practical application experience. While referencing all this science and studies lends credence to the effectiveness of using kettle bells, I only need to trust my own experiences with these amazing implements and the great results I have gotten myself and for those who have practiced with them under my guidance.
A supreme benefit to Training with kettle bells is that they elevate the heart rate and work many major muscle groups at the same time. Plus you will build lean muscle and turn your body into a calorie burning, fat eradicating machine while at rest experiencing this incredible metabolic effect many hours after the workout!
If you are going to put forth the time and energy to work out, why not choose a program where you can get great back- end benefits like this for your up- front efforts? If you were to read no further, just that reason alone would be enough to position most people for success in their quest for their ideal body composition.
Unfortunately, that hack trainer over at the 24-hour super-duper mega techno gym considers throwing you on a treadmill like some mindless hamster followed by doing some curls and crunches a total body workout. Spare yourself the disappointment and frustration of participating in thoughtless and ineffective workouts like this if you really want to improve your fitness.
Many of my reasons I state in this article for why I use a kettle bell in my training also cover what a total body workout should consist of. Hopefully, you realize that our stay on this planet is finite and that we don’t have a lot of time to waste doing unproductive things.
I train with kettle bells because they allow me to design safe, brief, sustainable workouts to experience Maximum Fitness in Minimal Time leading to Stellar Results. Everybody talks about the ‘core” and all of its virtues, but really never train it too productively from what I see while walking around gyms in different cities I visit.
Rarely do I witness worthwhile or meaningful efforts to train the core besides people throwing together some type of crunch or setup routine they have etched in their brains from somewhere in time. Many kettle bell exercises will give you a metabolic effect similar to sprinting, BUT without beating the hell out of your knees, ankles or joints.
The challenge is to pursue a fitness program consisting of exercises that will not only give you a productive workout, but promote an existence of rich, pain free movement as well. High-repetition kettle bell exercises, such as swings and their variations really get your heart rate up and push the limits of your cardiovascular endurance.
Kettle bell exercises push your muscles, especially those in your core, to keep working repeatedly for long periods of time. This builds muscular endurance, which helps maintain posture and form in your workouts as well as throughout everyday life activities.
Good posture prevents injuries, unhealthy muscle tension, and other aches and pains we all seem to have accumulated to varying degrees over our lifetime. The good news is that you can get incredible fitness and health results with just 2-3 short kettle bell workouts per week in conjunction with a well-designed program.
I loved the fact that I could get in a challenging and fun kettle bell workout that literally addressed every fitness goal I valued with a minimal time investment that yielded maximum results. This really uncomplicated my routine, freed up more time to devote to other responsibilities/leisurely pursuits and boosted my fitness and health to levels that surpassed my expectations.
This is very true if you define quality as moving better and pain free, performing daily tasks more efficiently and confidently, enjoying new levels of activity and finally achieving that ideal lean, tight and strong body worth bragging to the heavens about! I’m convinced that sound, thoughtful and challenging physical training in general does wonders for your mental well-being and will contribute to a positive outlook on life.
Furthermore, kettle bell exercises are extremely efficient at building lean muscle mass, which elevates the metabolism and helps maintain a healthy body weight long term. Kettle bell training will help you forge your ideal body without wasting a lot of unproductive time in the gym.
If you value a physique that looks as good as it moves and will get you excited about parading around in a bikini or bathing suit again then the kettle bell is the fitness ally you should partner up with. Whether it is building muscle, losing fat, improving coordination, conditioning, increased joint mobility or just trying to perform better — kettle bell training can get you to your fitness goals.
Thoughtfully programmed variety is beneficial because it keeps the body challenged, which helps avoid training plateaus. Add new exercises only if you can justify its purpose in furthering your training goals, it’s safe and you can perform them competently.
Beginner, intermediate, and advanced trainees will all be challenged since there are so many exercise regressions and progressions that can be applied in a kettle bell training program to keep all levels engaged and moving forward with their goals. If you can’t move well and with a requisite amount of strength, then your quality of life and performance of your everyday activities will suffer.
Heed my warning and train in such a way where you will promote and preserve your joint mobility and pain free movement quality. Renowned coach Steve Maxwell stated that in his many years of teaching fitness worldwide, he has never had a client tell him that they wished they had done more bench presses over their lifetime.
Instead, they all overwhelmingly regret not practicing and staying connected to exercises that improved their movement quality in order to live an active pain free life. This is a great warning that I wished I would have heeded in my younger training days, but fortunately it is rarely too late to improve your movement quality if you have the desire to take action and practice meaningful exercises.
I absolutely love the comradery of training with others in the mutual achievement of fitness goals as I am the consummate social animal and am not the grim guy with the ear buds training in the corner of the gym screaming to the heavens on every cheat rep with a perpetual scowl on my face. But, let’s put some perspective to this — Kettle bells won’t cure cancer, give you superpowers, suddenly make people leap from their wheelchairs and spontaneously River dance or bring about world peace anytime soon.
While kettle bells play a huge part in the programs I design, they are by no means the be all and end all fitness modalities. But if you want to torch the fat, increase mobility, get lean & strong, develop killer legs, tighten your butt & perform better physically and live a life of active vitality and longevity, then a well-designed kettle bell based program may be for you.
If you like the fitness benefits you can experience from training with kettle bells, then take action and dare to transform your body and your quality of life. Grab a friend, spouse or loved one or go it alone and give kettle bell training a shot if you want to experience meaningful results, achieve that ideal body and even have some fun and excitement.
Many gyms and health clubs wanting to jump on the kettle bell bandwagon and cash in on their dynamic reputation and “cool” status for propelling one to their fitness goals will make the knee-jerk decision to add them to their facility with little thought as to their proper use or how to integrate them safely into their master plan if they have one at all. I have been to more facilities than I care to remember that will just let trainees and trainers do all kinds of unsafe movements and buffoonery with a kettle bell ranging from truly cringe worthy technique to using the kettle bell to gang dance around in some kind of disjointed routine of meaningless expenditures of energy.
I couldn’t take my eyes off of this ridiculous and unsafe performance — much like one does when they are about to witness a car crash or train wreck. When confronted with attitude and logic such as this, I usually politely excuse myself quickly as dealing with clueless characters like these types is pointless.
People get hurt when they don’t take the time to learn safe, sustainable technique or take instruction from inept, unqualified, unprepared instructors who do you, me, the kettle bell and the fitness industry a colossal disservice by muddying the effectiveness and reputation of this excellent tool. Regarding scenarios such as this, trainees and trainers will usually get hurt at some point due to their lack of proper technique training and then ridiculously blame the kettle bell for their shortcomings instead of their own ineptness and failure to learn proper technique and program design as to the reason for their failure or injury.
In the wrong hands the kettle bell becomes nothing more than an Attractive Liability for irresponsible gym owners, trainers and members who are either ignorant of sound technique or their colossal egos dictate that they are above learning from others with greater skill than their own. I politely questioned one gym owner why he lets his admittedly unqualified staff have free rein of the kettle bells without any legitimate training.
I told him you are allowing your staff to teach horrendous technique to your client base in a dangerously unsustainable manner. Don’t get me wrong- everybody at some point regardless of their experience or qualifications will sustain some type of injury or tweak a muscle here or there performing any exercise using any fitness tool.
Proper kettle bell training works everything — the core, heart, lungs and entire body from the toes to head. While I use and advocate many fitness tools, the kettle bell does represent the foundation of my training play book because they simply are that damn good, and they work.
With proper instruction, kettle bells are easy to learn, yet will keep you challenged and progressing without boring the hell out of you. I have been using kettle bells for over a decade and I have yet to experience boredom or lack of enthusiasm and I have sampled just about every fitness tool and method out there.
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.
This can lead to a serious injury to your back, shoulders, or neck. 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. Talk to your instructor and your doctor; they might suggest switching out your kettle bells during your last trimester.
Sources American Council on Exercise: “Exclusive ACE research examines the benefits of kettle bells.” Build a Better Butt: Workouts for Slim and Shapely Glutes
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