This video, featured on Eric Crossed’s blog, covers the correct way to hold the kettle bell in the rack position. A lot of times I see people placing strain on the forearm by holding the kettle bell with their wrists cocked back, or with a really tight grip on the handle, which requires an unnecessary expenditure of energy.
I'm a Personal Trainer, e-500 Hour Registered Yoga Teacher, and expert group fitness instructor. Kettle bells are powerful chunks of iron that finally are getting the respect they deserve.
But if you haven’t used them before, you might wonder what makes them different from dumbbells or any other type of free weight. You can do so many things with kettle bells: they can be pressed, swung, snatched, cradled, and rowed.
This makes them excellent for any type of interval work or HIIT workouts that require minimal rest between exercises, since you don’t have to waste time changing equipment. Research shows that kettle bell workouts can burn up to 300 calories in just 20 minutes, while also increasing aerobic capacity in as little as four weeks (1, 2).
In fact, performing kettle bell exercises with a heavy kettle bell is almost a guarantee that you will burn even more fat, thanks to something called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or after burn.” Here’s how the after burn effect works: during a workout you’re short of breath and feel an intense burn in your muscles, which is the result of depleted oxygen levels in your cells and the buildup of lactic acid in your muscles.
When you’re finished with your workout, your body has to work harder to restore these oxygen levels and clear out excess lactic acid — all of which increase post-exercise calorie burn, or the after burn. Nothing boosts after burn like the intense interval-style training you can achieve with kettle bells.
In fact, studies have found a 4.2 percent boost in metabolism following high-intensity resistance workouts that resulted in “significantly elevated” fat oxidation over a 16-hour period (3). If you’re ready to cash in on these fat-burning effects, check out the five new powerful kettle bell workouts below.
It’s essential to know how to properly rack your kettle bell against your palm and arm in order to safely perform many of these exercises. This position is used to properly guide the movement of the kettle bell without straining the forearm and shoulders, especially during exercises like snatches and presses.
One mistake many beginners make with the racked position is “gripping” the handle from the top, creating unnecessary pressure on the forearm. The kettle bell will be rotated roughly 45 degrees, and will “sit” on your forearm.
However, you shouldn’t feel any uncomfortable pressure if your form is correct. There are a lot of swings featured in these workouts, and you’ll notice they’re all Russian instead of American.
The reason I always perform Russian swings is, first and foremost, to protect the shoulder joints. Frankly, you should never do American swings if you care at all about your shoulders.
Below are five variations of kettle bell swing workouts that will have you melting away fat and building lean muscle in record time. For swings, power comes from the hinge of the hips pushing forward as you come to standing — not from your shoulder joint.
Don’t lean back during swings or any other movement; this can put the spine in a vulnerable position. This will increase your balance and build strength in your stability muscles.
Focus of keeping your head, neck, and spine in line at all times. Core-Strengthening Kettle bell Workout This workout focuses on kettle bell exercises that build a strong core and stability muscles, which zip up your midsection into a tight corset of muscle.
Beginner: Begin with a lighter kettle bell weight of 10 to 12 lbs. Advanced: Use a challenging kettle bell weight and lower your reps to 6 to 8.
Advanced: Choose personally challenging kettle bell weight. This glute and leg sculpting kettle bell workout will have your legs and butt burning during the workout, and you’ll love the post-workout results.
Beginner: Begin with a lighter kettle bell weight of 10 to 12 lbs. Upper Body Kettle bell Circuit While most kettle bell workouts give you a good upper body workout regardless of the movement, this one focuses intently on moves to sculpt your biceps, shoulders, back, and triceps.
Beginner: Begin with a lighter kettle bell weight of 10 to 12 lbs. The first thing you’ll notice after completing these workouts?
However, it’s this type of intensity that’s going to change your body for good. My Fat Blaster Workout will put you on the fast track to feeling fitter and slimmer.
It includes an instructional video, workout tracker, and follow-along audio. Ready to get in great shape, without sparing any more time than it would take you to watch one episode of your favorite show?
Kettle bells are sweeping the fitness world- promising quick results that boost endurance, burn mega calories, build tons of strength, and even increase flexibility too. Aside from simultaneously targeting almost every part of your body, when used properly, the beauty of kettle bell workouts is that they can be done quickly and require very little equipment (only 1 kettle bell!).
You can even complete this whole 20-minute kettle bell workout in your own living room if you wanted to! Some experts even feel that over time the negative impact of putting a lot of stress on the cardiovascular system (as it works hard to pump out extra blood during long-distance cardio sessions) can sadly even contribute to a shortened lifespan.
For example, recently The World Health Organization (WHO) began advising that “Adults aged 18–64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week, or an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous-intensity activity.” (1) This allows you to complete a healthy 20-minute workouts that benefits your body by building all-over muscle and simultaneously reducing fat, but it doesn’t put an unnecessary amount of prolonged stress on your heart, joints, or other susceptible organs.
Kettle bells Fight Age-Related Weight Gain Research has shown that adults experience an average of 3 percent to 8 percent loss of muscle mass every decade, which means that resting metabolic rate is reduced- or the number of calories someone is able to burn on an average day (2). Therefore, this means more dangerous fat winds up accumulating around susceptible organs like the heart and liver, which are especially important to keep healthy in order to prevent disease.
Similar studies have shown that just 10 weeks of consistent resistance training can help a slow metabolism and actually increase resting metabolic rate by 7 percent; this number may not sound like a lot, but who doesn’t want to continuously burn 7 percent more calories each and every day? While kettle bell workouts — along with other forms of exercise like high intensity interval training (HIIT) and burst workouts — lead to an increase in metabolism, they also tend to effect increases in appetite less so than prolonged cardio sessions do.
This means you are less likely to overeat if you focus on including a number of different exercise programs into your routine — resistance, burst, and interval training — as opposed to only performing cardio. Kettle bells Protect Against Numerous Age-related Diseases Aside from warding off unhealthy weight gain, studies show that strength training can also improve general physical performance, movement control, walking speed, abilities to concentrate and make decisions, and even general self-esteem.
Strength training also plays a part in preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes, which is closely associated with unhealthy weight gain and inability to control blood sugar levels. Resistance training may also be effective in defending against cardiovascular disease by reducing resting blood pressure and bringing cholesterol and triglyceride levels back to a healthy state.
Finally, studies have shown that strength training is extremely important for maintaining the structure of the skeleton and that resistance training may promote bone development and delay the loss of age-related bone mineral density. “Functional exercises”, like kettle bell workouts, help to keep our posture upright, our endurance at its peak, and our muscles prepared for whatever may come.
Because your body is moving in multiple directions and on different angles at every moment during a kettle bell workout, you experience dynamic, full-body results that are actually useful in real-life situations. Kettle bells have the ability to build strength in multiple muscle regions of the body all at once, offering full-body integration and core stabilization, and again saving you time!
Most kettle bells can be bought for around $30-$60 depending on the weight, and found at any large sporting or fitness store, as well as online. However, one of the biggest perks of owning a kettle bell is that it virtually turns your home into a gym!
Performing a 20-minute kettle bell workout takes little space, so you can practice in the comfort of your own yard, basement, or apartment whenever time allows you. While dumb-bells, large weight machines, and bench-pressing weights all require time to readjust alignment and your grip, kettle bells can quickly be shifted around in your hands without you needing to pause — making your workout more aerobically effective since you are able to keep your heart rate up, and shorter, too.
If you are brand new to kettle bells, it may be a wise idea to speak with a personal trainer or friend who uses them frequently and can make sure your alignment is correct before you get going. However, if you’re no stranger to the gym and using other weights and strength-building equipment, then you will likely be okay jumping right into the world of beneficial kettle bell workouts.
For example, “ballistic” moves which involve “explosive” bursts and quicker movements usually are most effective when done with heavier weights. Heavy weights work well with ballistic moves like swings, snatches, and “cleans” because you get momentum going completing these movements.
Usually require lighter weights since they need to be carefully controlled and do not just rely on momentum. For both men and women, it’s always a good idea to start out on the lighter, safe side and work your way up to using heavier weights during your kettle bell workout.
There is a big range in recommended kettle bell weights depending on your current fitness level and strength. In order to do this, it helps to first get familiar with the basic strength-training terminology if you aren’t already: sets, reps, and rests/intervals.
It is important to remember that your set and rep number always depends on how fit you currently are and your level of endurance. Most kettle bell workouts (and weight lifting programs in general) recommend aiming for 2-3 sets total.
Within each set, it’s best to stick with doing 10-30 reps. You will be able to determine the amount of reps you can successfully do by paying attention your form; once you are sacrificing good form due to becoming exhausted, it's fine to put the weight down and take a break, or else to move on to another move that targets other muscle groups. After you complete all 5 moves once, rest for 1-2 minutes and repeat the whole circuit for the second time.
Works: your quadriceps, hamstrings, creeps: About 20 (or as many as you can repeat in 1 minute straight) Sets: 2 1. Act like you are sitting back in a chair, using your quadriceps and hamstrings to keep you stable.
Come up as you straighten your legs and swing the kettle bell in front of you and up to about the level of your chin. Works: your core including quadriceps, glutes, shouldersReps: About 20 (or as many as you can repeat in 1 minute straight on each side) Sets: 2 1.
Works: your entire core, legs, shoulders, biceps, upper and low backers: Lift butt and feet off the ground, hold & then lower. Works: your shoulders, biceps, core, and Lesseps: About 20 (or as many as you can repeat in 1 minute straight)Sets: 2 1.
Return to back to starting position, coming up out of the squat and simultaneously lifting the kettle bell directly over your head using both hands. Works: your obliques, shoulders, biceps, lower backers: About 20 (or as many as you can repeat in 1 minute straight)Sets: 2 1.
Come back upright, repeating on the same side by using your arm strength to lower and raise the kettle bell in your right hand. It’s believed that they got their start in Ancient Greece and later spread to Russia around the 18th century, where kettle bells are still extremely popular and meaningful today.
At this time Russians began competing with kettle bells and featuring kettle bell strength competitions at festivals and fairs for amusement. To this day kettle bell competitions are popular across Russia and draw big crowds.
Kettle bells came to North America in the 20th century after a Soviet Special Forces physical training instructor introduced the cast iron weights and their various physical benefits to a new interested population of exercisers. It didn’t take long for fitness magazines, websites, and enthusiasts to pick up on the kettle bell workout trend.
So whether you’re new to strength training and the health benefits of resistance and burst workouts, or you’re a seasoned vet in the gym weight room, take note from Ancient Greek and 18th Century Russian athletes and give kettle bell workouts a chance; cut your exercise time in half, while gaining double the benefits!