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What Are Kettlebells Used For

author
Carole Stephens
• Sunday, 01 November, 2020
• 23 min read

At this point in the pandemic, you may be getting tired of your same old home workout routine and inspired to try something new. As a personal trainer who is missing working out in the gym, I certainly have started looking for ways to keep exercise interesting.

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Contents

They have an odd center of gravity that requires you to recruit your stabilizing muscles to do traditional exercise moves. They’re a great piece of workout equipment to use to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time.

One study found that during a twenty-minute kettle bell workout, participants were burning about 20 calories a minute. Kettle bells are a great investment for your home gym because they give you a lot of bang for your buck.

Many of the workout moves allow you to be stationary on a mat or in a small section of your home that allows for movements like swings, squats and overhead presses while lunging. A quick Google search will turn up dozens of exercises that you can perform using a kettle bell.

As you squeeze your glutes and straighten both legs to stand, use the momentum to swing the kettle bell out in front of you. With this simple exercise, you're working your entire backside and core, while also getting your heart rate up.

Kettle bells do provide a better cardio workout because of the swinging action and extra movement involved in the exercises. Kettle bell exercises also activate all the muscles in the back of the body in a way that dumbbells do not.

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(Source: www.bristolkettlebellclub.co.uk)

Plus, since the weight isn’t balanced like a dumbbell, your body needs to work harder to stabilize your core because the center of gravity constantly changes. Stephanie Man sour is health and fitness expert, certified personal trainer, yoga and Pilates instructor and weight-loss coach for women.

Kettle bells are one of the most versatile workout tools when it comes to toning, gaining muscle, and even burning fat. They’ve since gained popularity with fitness buffs and gyms around the world and come in a wide variety of colors and weights.

Since the center of gravity of a kettle bell is much different from a dumbbell, it is an excellent tool for improving core strength, balance, and explosiveness. Beginners should start slowly, getting comfortable with the grip and balance before graduating to a higher weight range for their kettle bells.

Because the weight shifts the center of gravity in front of the body, inexperienced users run the risk of injury if exercises aren’t performed properly. Next, with the feet planted, the legs push off from the ground, creating the power to swing the kettle bell in an arc overhead.

As an added benefit, holding the kettle bell close to the chest creates stability and makes it easier to maintain the proper form. There are countless kettle bell exercises that work various parts of the body and accomplish differing strength goals.

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(Source: nutcaseinpoint.com)

The key to any exercise is to start slowly, practice proper form, and build up to higher weight gradually to prevent injury. Cute clothes, and less of them, make it almost a necessity to work out to feel great and confident.

What if I told you there was an exercise modality that was so efficient that you would reap faster gains in far less time than more traditional methods? I would then tell you that you would no longer need to spend time doing separate strength and cardio sessions because it would be all encompassed in this one workout.

Next I would tell you that you would improve your balance, power, coordination and flexibility while building amazing core strength, blasting fat and seeing beautiful muscle tone. Author, Pamela Micks Will Show Youth Many Benefits Of Kettle bell Training.

When I am recruiting people to try kettle bells, they often balk at first, telling me they are not into the latest fitness “gimmicks”. This is a shame because what is often seen as a “gimmick” is actually an amazing and efficient training tool that will challenge the beginning exerciser as well as the seasoned bodybuilder.

Additionally, working out with a kettle bell guarantees to get your heart pumping which translates into aerobic and metabolic benefits. With rest breaks and the increase in heart rate, it's like getting a cardio interval workout while lifting and gaining strength.

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(Source: www.post35.net)

If you are overweight, you will melt fat by burning tons of calories. The kettle bell is an amazing tool for obtaining your ideal body composition no matter which way it needs to go.

As a personal fitness trainer, I have yet to find any client who has not benefited from the kettle bell and seen rapid improvements. I Have Yet To Find A Client Thomas Not Benefited From Kettle bell Training.

Millions of people spend tons of money on gym equipment that ends up being a fancy clothes hanger. Best of all, the power involved in using kettle bells makes them fun and addicting.

The Power Involved In Using Kettle bells Makes Them Very Fun & Addicting. Since I am a woman, the trouble I have when introducing men to the kettle bell is that they think it is a tool just for women.

Get in touch with a qualified instructor to teach you proper form and give expert guidance. Author Contact: Pamela Micks is a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer specializing in Kettle bell classes and In-Home Personal Training in the Dallas, Texas Retroflex.

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(Source: www.kettlebellkings.com)

She also offers Online Training for clients living outside her traveling area. Originally a tool used by Russian strongmen for training and competition, multi-colored, vinyl-coated kettle bells are now becoming a popular fitness device that you can find at many gyms.

These movements include full body exercises like the swing, snatch, and the clean and jerk. Because they handle so much differently than a dumbbell, you can easily hurt a body part (particularly your wrist, shoulder, or lower back) if you don’t use a kettle bell properly.

The first time I hoisted a kettle bell overhead, I tried to push it just like a dumbbell, felt as through my wrist was going to snap, and had a sore arm for the next few days! First, for nearly every kettle bell exercise you do, you should keep your feet planted and your weight on your heels.

Whether you’re picking it off the ground or swinging it up in the air, you should never slouch your lower back. 1)Spread your feet shoulder width apart and lean forward while holding on to the kettle bell with two hands and allowing it to hang down between your legs.

If you complete just 3-5 rounds of this circuit, you’ll feel a full body burn, and develop both strength and cardiovascular endurance: Brokerage services are offered by Betterment Securities, an SEC registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/SIPC.

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(Source: www.quickanddirtytips.com)

Kettle bell swings were introduced to the US by Russian fitness expert Pavel Tsatsouline at the turn of the 21st Century. Since their introduction, Russian kettle bells have become a familiar sight in many gyms and a popular choice for home workouts.

They also come in a wide range of weights, which means that you can use them at any stage of your fitness journey and can benefit whether you’re an experienced or novice user. But the question on many people’s lips is, “what muscles do kettle bell swings work?”, and that’s what I want to answer in this post.

The two-handed swing uses the hamstrings, glutes, quads, hips, core, back, trapezium, shoulders, and forearms. The intensity means that you will feel the burn after a decent set, and with a good 30-minute workout you will be sweating profusely, your heart will be pumping faster, and oxygenated blood will be coursing through your veins.

As long as you maintain good form, you don’t have to use a heavy bell, especially for cardio training. He also advises having two additional, heavier, bells for progression and for use in some other types of kettle bell exercise.

As the kettle bell descends from the swing, gravity ensures that the bell will feel a lot heavier, especially as you reach the end of your set. As with any exercise, but perhaps more so with a full-body kettle swing workout, good form is vital to ensure the best results.

(Source: www.fitnesshq.com)

When performing the swing, all your weight should be placed on the heel and middle of the foot and should never transfer to the toes. You should also keep your neck and head in alignment with your back so ensure that you are always looking ahead at the horizon while performing this movement.

The height you raise the kettle bell will be determined by the amount of power you can muster from your hip thrust. The number of reps and sets you need to perform depends on your fitness level, what you’re trying to achieve, and the weight you’re using.

The length and frequency of your kettle bell workouts depends on the intensity and difficulty of the session. Kettle bell swings are a full body workout, and whether you are training increasing strength or stamina, or even to lose weight, research suggests that shorter sessions are more effective.

They utilize virtually every muscle in the body, and they are effective for weight loss as well as explosive strength training. In this article, which was wonderfully written by one of our Dark Iron Fitness writers Tina NGA, we explain everything a beginner should know and might have questions about when it comes to using kettle bells.

A kettle bell is a cast iron weight shaped like a bowling ball with a thick suitcase-style handle. Kettle bells first appeared in Russia over 100 years ago., and were used in fairs and markets to balance scales when weighing heavy objects.

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(Source: www.tunturi.com)

The Russian military began using them within their training regime because they work the bodies’ energy systems simultaneously. A Food is an old Russian measure of weight, which equals 16 kg, or roughly 35 lbs.

In terms of weight lifting equipment kettle bells gained popularity in the east while dumbbells went to the west! They actually have pretty decent article on the benefits of kettle bells that can get you some extra additional information.

Legs: Lunges and squats are some of the most popular moves in a kettle bell workout. Glutes : Tighten and tone by using the kettle bell for added weight during lunges and squats.

Weight-bearing exercises increase bone density and make the muscles in the body stronger. With older athletes, or people who are just starting a workout program, focusing on proper form and choosing an appropriate weight for your fitness level is crucial.

So rather than moving to a heavier kettle bell you can complete more reps or change the exercise to a more difficult one. You can get a great strength and endurance workout without necessarily having to use the heaviest weight you can find.

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(Source: www.kettlebellkings.com)

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. It won’t take long to understand why celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Biel, and Katherine Hall are dedicated fans of kettle bell workouts.

Whether your main focus is strength or endurance, the kettle bell will fit the bill. The kettle bell alternates periods of intense contraction and controlled relaxation to give you a superior workout that combines both strength and endurance training.

It's round shape lends itself to unique exercises and its odd center of gravity forces you to stabilize your muscles to create explosive movements with the bell. It’s also a good tool for helping teach Olympic lifts safely with a small learning curve.

It’s much easier on the wrists and shoulders to rack kettle bell cleans and to hold for front squats than it is to use a barbell. The main muscle groups that are involved and strengthened the most with the basic kettle bell swing motion are the hamstrings, glutes, quads and abs.

When learning how to “clean” the kettle bell, people often experience some banging of the bell on the backside of the wrist. If you are new to strength training or have small hands, check to see if the kettle bells you are comparing have different handle sizes for different weights and buy accordingly.

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(Source: christiansfitnessfactory.com)

Wrap one hand around the handle to make sure the tips of your fingers are only a couple of inches from your palm. Your kettle bell shouldn’t be too heavy or too light; you should be able to press it over your head with control and stability, but with some resistance.

The 4 kg may not be heavy enough to provide a solid weight lifting effect for most women. Most men will eventually progress to a 53-pounder, the standard issue size in the Russian military.

Focus on quickly squeezing your glutes and thrusting your hips forward to create momentum that will launch the bell into the air. Explosive power from your butt will protect your lower back, not hurt it.

Working out with a kettle bell gives you what fitness pros call a “functional” workout. That means it works your muscles in the same way as when you do everyday activities: such as picking up a toddler, carrying your briefcase, or hoisting a gallon of milk.

The kettle bell swing is a powerful movement with amazing health benefits that can increase strength and flexibility. However, when performed incorrectly it is also a movement that can create back, hip, or knee injuries.

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(Source: www.kettlebellkings.com)

Be sure to squeeze the glutes and quads every time you swing and tighten the abdominal muscles as if you are bracing hard for a punch. Swinging correctly will make you stronger and more flexible than ever before, however incorrectly performing the movement can create or increase back strain or pain.

Make sure the area immediately surrounding you is clear and you have room to swing and move freely. Don’t wear running shoes with a high, cushioned platform; you could roll your ankle.

Ultimately learning in person is the best scenario, but a quality DVD is definitely sufficient if that is your only option. The kettle bell swing is a full-body exercise that uses muscles for grip, posture, stabilization, to keep the spine erect, and the actual movement (prime movers).

Truth be told, there are plenty more muscles used during the kettle bell swing but I’ve tried to stick to the most common and known ones, I also categorized them a bit differently than normal. If your grip has no endurance then you won’t be completing high reps unbroken.

Throughout the swing, your erector spinal muscles need to work to keep your spine erect, and there is actually a lot more going on inside as well to protect the spine and brace the abs. These are the muscles that create the movement which is the hip and knee extension only when we’re talking about the conventional kettle bell swing.

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(Source: www.sweatband.com)

Keeping the knee above the ankle is important when hip hinging, if the knee comes excessively forward, then the movement starts to turn into a squat. Not a great quality video at all, but the content is, I explain how to prevent the common back aches from the kettle bell swing, whether using the conventional/Russian or American swing.

The following is a drill I use for teaching the deep hip hinge insert which is what happens during the back swing and is also used to prevent bobbing of the kettle bell. If you want to be efficient with the American swing, stay safe, and be able to perform high reps then there is no doubt in my mind that you should lay the foundation with the conventional kettle bell swing and then continue that knowledge through the kettle bell snatch.

Taco Fleur Russian Gregory Sport Institute Kettle bell Coach, Caveman training Certified, IFF Certified Kettle bell Teacher, Kettle bell Sport Rank 2, HardstyleFit Kettle bell Level 1 Instructor., CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, CrossFit Judges Certificate, CrossFit Lesson Planning Certificate, Kettle bells Level 2 Trainer, Kettle bell Science and Application, MMA Fitness Level 2, MMA Conditioning Level 1, BJJ Purple Belt and more. Owner of Caveman training and Kettle bell Training Education.

Watch this video on the best starting weight for kettle bell training All kettle bell exercises are based on full body movements so unlike dumbbell training there are no isolation based exercises like bicep curls or tricep extensions.

Kettle bell exercises use 100’s of muscles at a time meaning you are able to lift more weight but also condition the body quicker. The Kettle bell Swing is based on our strongest movement pattern: the Dead lift (see image below).

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(Source: www.gymsource.com)

Whenever you pick something up from the floor you are using the dead lift movement pattern. A light kettle bell will not challenge your full body especially not your powerful hips and legs.

Kettle bells are traditionally available in the following sizes and classified in goods, a Russian weight measurement: Remember you should start with those big strong exercises using the dead lift movement patterns for the best results.

Trust me, I’ve never trained a lady who has started on anything lower than a 8 kg (15lbs) kettle bell. Women will drag suitcases, carry shopping bags or hold children under one arm, you are stronger than you think, so start with at least a 8 kg (15lbs).

I have trained men using kettle bells above 24 kg (53lbs) but for the majority of your basics this is as heavy as you will need to go. It is possible by changing exercises and increasing the difficulty of movements to only ever need one kettle bell if you make the correct purchase to begin with.

Most women will start their kettle bell journey with a 8 kg (17lbs) and progress to a 12 kg (25lbs) relatively quickly. Most male beginners will start with either a 12 kg (25lbs) or a 16 kg (35lbs) depending on their weight training background.

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(Source: www.kettlebellkings.com)

Just like dumbbells, barbells, steel maces, and other weightlifting equipment, there’s no one-size-fits-all with Kettle bells. Different kettle bell sizes will be best for certain genders, ages, exercises, and overall fitness goals.

What is the best Kettle bell size for building muscle, gaining strength, burning fat? It's all organized by sections, so if you want to scroll down to your specific question, it will be easy to find.

Before the end of the 19th century, Russian girl had found its way into the sphere of competitive weightlifting sports in Russia and some parts of Europe while the term, “Kettle bell,” was widely adopted at the dawn of the 20th century in the Western world. Unlike the simple structures of Dumbbells and Barbells, Kettle bells have complex, equally-important parts, each of which contributes to its uniqueness.

The anatomy of a Kettle bell, as seen from the above picture, includes the Handle, Corner, Horn, Window, Bell, and Base. The Bell is the center of mass of a Kettle bell while the Window is the space that separates the Handle from the Bell, affording the user convenient and flexible movements that are lacking in Dumbbells and Barbells.

If you are new to weight training, it's best to start at a beginner level so you can learn proper mechanics. Your age, fitness, and experience determine the type of Kettle bell training you can take-on.

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(Source: www.roguefitness.com)

Kettlebell grinds are not only the best for beginners, but they are also very great for experts as its technique is perfect for building muscle and strength. The obtuse shape of the Handle also helps in ensuring a perfect grip and some products now come with a chip-resistant coating that enhances grip and lets users see the weight written on the Kettle bell through contrast.

Note: Although those increments may seem big, a jump from training with 15lbs to 20lbs is normal for kettle bell lifting. For one, it gives users greater flexibility to choose between the wide range of weights and ease scaling-up a bit if they please.

When we talk about men here, we mean active males starting from the age of 18 years. The most important thing is an improvement, the ability to fulfill your potentials as your training progresses.

It is our professional recommendation that you start with a weight that is proportional to your skill level and fitness. This helps you to maintain a good form while you scale up with smiles and less stress.

Starting with anything in this range will help you to conveniently learn how to use proper techniques whether you’re training on your own or with a trainer. Like we mentioned with men, the talk of women here refers to females starting from age 18 years.

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While we advise everyone to carry just enough weight, some women have been found to underestimate their strengths, opting for Kettle bell sizes that are too small. A general rule of thumb is for you to carry a Kettle bell weight with which you’re able to do 5 repetitions (reps) of any workout you’re starting with.

Also, if you’ve reached a stage whereby you can conveniently do 20 reps of that workout, then it’s the right time for you to pick up something heavier. The American Academy of Pediatric shad since the year 1990 asserted the potential benefits of monitored weightlifting for children and adolescents on health and athleticism.

A kid’s Kettle bell size for a workout will depend on fitness and age. In the end, it will be the level of fitness that will determine the number of Kettle bell workout reps each child will perform.

Kettle bell lifting for kids should be limited to simple exercises. They can help you build your strength and balance, as well as improve your cardiovascular fitness.

And it will be wiser for you to focus on cardio-based kettle bell exercises such as swings, squats, cleans, and presses because you're no longer trying to build excessive muscles, but just enough to keep your bones together and covered. No doubt, Kettle bells are one of the best home gym equipment for all age groups.

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If you had done some moderate ballistic workouts before, 35LBS is a good start for men and 26LBS is okay for women. When you aim to do lots of slow lifts with the kettle bell and you have never done anything like that before, starting with 22LBS is good for you as a woman while 30LBS for you as a man.

Some people start doing kettle bell workouts because they want to build their size and strength. To build your size and strength using kettle bells, you need to focus on exercises that can give you the most beneficial results.

Additionally, you can include another free-weight equipment in your Kettle bell exercise to get the most out of your workout. Excellent free-weight equipment you can combine with Kettle bells for incredible muscle build-up is the Steel Mace.

You can learn more about how to get the best out of these two weightlifting equipment from our Steel Mace and Kettle bell Arm Blast Workout. The kettle bell swing is a ballistic exercise that you can use to train your posterior chain muscles and it’s most useful in building your hip power and speed.

To perform the kettle bell swing, you need to move the bell in a pendulum motion from between the knees to anywhere at your eye-level or above it. It isn't as simple as it sounds because improper kettle bell swings just worsen your postural imbalance and cause more damage than good.

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(Source: www.kettlebellkings.com)

However, another thing that can cause more damage than good is using the wrong kettle bell size for your swings? For average active men doing Basic Goblet Squats, the best Kettle bell size is 40LBS.

The Goblet Squat is a typical beginner’s exercise to help new Kettle bell lifters get positional awareness, accumulate basic squat strength and technique, and get a better balance. You can learn more about perfecting your squat by reading our How to Fix Hip Pain article.

The Kettle bell Turkish Get-ups are very useful for developing your solid movement foundation as they tend to focus on your small stabilizing muscles. Not only does it reveal your problems, but it also helps you develop a functional core, serves as a safeguard against back pain and improves your posture.

Beginners, intermediate and advanced flows exist for individuals fitting each level. It is best to use the Kettle bell size that you are most comfortable with for two to three exercises you want to put into a flow.

Complexes can be done in a sequence or one exercise after the other (i.e. 5 x squats then 5 x presses then 5 x sumo dead lifts, without resting or putting the kettle bell down). Unlike other Kettle bells, their handles and other parts are always of the same shape and dimension regardless of their weights because of the need to maintain consistency in competitions and fairness among competitors.

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(Source: www.joe.co.uk)

What size Kettle bell should I use to tone-up, burn fat, and keep fit? A kettle bell workout is a great way to tone your body, burn fat, earn some killer abs and keep fit.

For average active women, the best Kettle bell sizes for tone-up, burning fat and keeping fit is 18LBS for beginners, with a gradual build-up to 26LBS as you get used to the bells. For average active men, the best Kettle bell sizes for tone-up, burning fat and keeping fit is 26LBS for beginners, with a gradual build-up to 44LBS.

If your goal is to burn fat, you want a weight that you can use with little rest and for HIIT workouts. This means you should go lighter than what you would use for traditional sets and reps workouts with longer rest.

If we had to choose the three overall best Kettle bell sizes, we'd go 26, 35, and 44LBS or 20, 30, and 40lbs, depending on the supplier you buy from. It enhances core strength and stability through its multi planar and unilateral movements.

It’s the most convenient way to reduce body weight, burning up to 400 calories in 20 minutes. Embedded in this ancient weight-measuring tool is everything you need for your total body-conditioning goals and you can know more about what you'll start to gain from it by reading our 18 Benefits of Kettle bells article.

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(Source: www.darkironfitness.com)

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Sources
1 www.walmart.ca - https://www.walmart.ca/en/sports-rec/exercise-fitness/strength-weight-training/kettlebells/N-4574
2 www.treadmillfactory.ca - https://www.treadmillfactory.ca/kettlebells
3 kettlebellcanada.ca - http://kettlebellcanada.ca/
4 fitnessexchange.com - https://fitnessexchange.com/collections/weights-dumbbells
5 www.johnsonfitness.com - https://www.johnsonfitness.com/Used-Exercise-Equipment/Index
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