Kettle bells can be used for a variety of exercises that improve both your strength and cardiovascular fitness. And, if you want to learn more about the benefits of working out with a kettle bell, we’ve got that covered, too.
Russian strongmen in the 1700s developed kettle bells as implements to build strength and endurance. You’ve probably seen depictions of bare-chested carnival strongmen hoisting them over their heads.
Using lighter kettle bells at first allows you to focus on using the proper form and technique for the different exercises. Fitness experts suggest using kettle bells with the following weights if you’re at an intermediate to advanced level with your strength training:
Aim to add more reps each week, then work toward adding more sets as you build strength. Push your hips backward, and bend your knees to reach the kettle bell handles.
Firmly grip the kettle bells, keeping your arms and back straight. This is an excellent exercise to boost both your muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness.
While your shoulders and arms will do a lot of the work, most of the effort should come from the hips and legs. Engage your abdominal muscles and set your shoulders back.
Exhale as you make an explosive upward movement to swing the kettle bell out in front of you. Squats are an excellent lower-body exercise that work your quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, as well as your abdominal muscles.
Slowly bend both knees so that your thighs are almost parallel to the floor. Using your leg muscles, with your upper body still, straighten up to your starting position.
Alternatively, you can hold a kettle bell by the handle in one or both hands, with your arms at your sides. Slowly step forward with your left leg, bending your knee while keeping your right foot in place.
A great exercise for working your abs and obliques (the muscles on the sides of your abdomen that run from your hips to your ribs), the Russian twist can also be done with a weighted medicine ball or barbell plate. When using a kettle bell, be sure to keep a firm grip so that you don’t drop it on your lap.
Sit with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor. 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 kettle bell slightly across your body. When you’ve completed your repetitions, return to your starting position.
When your chest is even with the kettle bell handles, exhale and push your body back up to its starting position. Hold a kettle bell by the handle so that it rests against the outside part of your shoulder.
There are many benefits to working out with kettle bells, for both men and women, across all age groups. According to a 2019 study, a kettle bell workout is a highly effective way to improve your strength, aerobic power, and overall physical fitness.
Compared to resistance circuit-based training, the same study found that a regular kettle bell workout is just as effective at improving cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength. A 2013 study reported that participants who completed an 8-week kettle bell training session saw noticeable improvements in their aerobic capacity.
Kettle bell exercises have the ability to restore muscle mass and improve grip strength in older adults, according to a 2018 study. According to Harvard Health, kettle bell exercises can also help improve your posture and balance.
You typically use your core muscles more with kettle bell exercises than with dumbbells or barbells. If possible, ask a certified personal trainer at your local gym or fitness center to show you the proper form for kettle bell exercises.
Stop immediately if you feel sudden or sharp pain. A little mild soreness after a workout is normal, but you shouldn’t feel sudden, sharp pain while working out.
Kettle bells can take a little getting used to, but working out with them is a highly effective way of improving your muscle strength and cardio fitness. The key is to start slow and, if possible, with the help of a certified personal trainer.
One of my favorite things about the Kettle bell is the fact that you can achieve an incredible level of fitness using this one piece of equipment. Exceptional strength, incredible work capacity, a champion’s conditioning, and mental toughness are just a few of the benefits of Kettle bell training.
The Kettle bell offers efficiency in a small package that can easily fit in a backpack, duffle, or can simply be carried (all of which I’ve done plenty of). It’s times like this when individuals that are wrapped up in traditional methods start to consider the Kettle bell as a viable option.
Not having (or wanting) much equipment to work with also prompts you to look at another fitness tool that is the best one we have: our own bodies. Body weight training alone is an awesome option for developing strength, conditioning, mobility, and flexibility.
When coupled with Kettle bell training, it is the perfect combination to gain and maintain peak levels of fitness. You can claim a small corner of any office, squad bay, tent, room, or spot at the park and get to work with just your body and a Kettle bell.
From deployments to long road trips visiting family to vacation my Kettle bell comes along for the ride. No use for a room full of mirrors to stand in front of; just my body, my Kettle bell, a small space, and some simple, but highly effective, movements.
Master Sergeant Angel Otero (34) is from Toughkenamon, Pennsylvania and has been in the United States Marine Corps for 15 years. He is currently serving as an Infantry Weapons Company Operations Chief with 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment in Camp Jejune, North Carolina.
He currently resides in Hubert, North Carolina with his wife (Carmen) of 13 years and his two children Area (7), and Angel Jr (6). Notify our team, telling us why it wasn't a fit for you, and we’ll get you a refund right there on the spot — no return necessary.
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If you have any questions or issues with the verification process, please don't hesitate to reach out to Customer Service. Kettle bell training is a simple, excellent tool to utilize for metabolic conditioning, improving work capacity, getting lean, and strengthening joints, ligaments, and tendons.
Kettle bells require a little patience and some practice to use efficiently and utilize movements that target every muscle group. Always ensure you have a sufficient space around your training area to swing a kettle bell without interfering with other trainees.
If you are extremely fatigued or not able to complete a movement or task, rest up and train when you are ready. Note: This will allow the weight of the kettle bell to rest on your forearm, not your wrist, during your movements.
Practicing the low swing will groove your hip movement to allow maximum power output and help you to efficiently accept the weight of a descending kettle bell. Forearm stays fixed to your lower abdomen during the low swing.
Note: Practicing the low swing will assist all other movements with a kettle bell. The swing is a back-and-forth pendulum motion of the arm, holding a kettle bell between your legs and using your shoulders as a hinge.
The swing is a full-body movement but focuses on the musculature of the posterior chain; hamstrings, glutes, quads, both upper and lower back, as well as core, grip, and arms are all utilized. The one-arm clean is described as a swing action of the kettle bell, catching the bell in the rack position.
The one-arm clean is a full-body movement but focuses on the musculature of the posterior chain; hamstrings, glutes, both upper and lower back, core, grip, and arms all get targeted with cleans. Relax your grip and slide your hand underneath and into the kettle bell handle finishing in the rack position.
Three points of contact for a good rack: hand, shoulder, and hip. For one-arm, straighten your knee, ensure three points of contact, and lean back.
The one-arm press is described as lifting the kettle bell overhead from the rack position without the use of the legs. The lifter should first clean the kettle bell to the rack position and begin pressing.
The press is strictly an upper-body movement; it focuses on the shoulders, triceps, and upper back and torso. The push press is described as lifting the kettle bell overhead from the rack position with the use of the legs.
The kettle bell should be cleaned into the rack position prior to the push press. The arms support the weight in the overhead position and through high repetitions at a rapid speed, the joints, tendons, and ligaments get a superior conditioning effect.
Flex your knees forward and explode the weight of the kettle bell upward. The arms support the weight in an overhead position and through high reps and rapid speed, the joints, tendons, and ligaments get a superior conditioning effect.
The quads, glutes, arm, and core are targeted with jerk sets. Immediately begin a second knee dip while the elbow locks the weight of the kettle bell.
When the elbow is in lockout position, straighten the knees to full extension. When first attempting long cycle, it is difficult to get the timing of the second knee dip.
In the first phase, the lifter must clean the kettle bell into the rack position, completely standing up. The hamstrings, quads, glutes, upper and lower back, grip, and core are all targeted with long cycle.
The goblet squat is a simple exercise a beginner may use to build the legs with a push movement. Grab the kettle bell by the “horns” (handles) and hold it upside down against your chest, With your head up, pelvis back, slowly descend as deep as you can into a squat.
Even simply adding a few sets of heavy swings to finish up your strength-training day is an easy, effective way to add some simple conditioning to your routine. If you take the time to learn some proper technique, you will find a way to utilize them on a regular basis and will reap the benefits of these simple, effective tools.
Tour any modern gym and you're bound to stumble upon a section littered with kettle bells. It is unclear as to when kettle bells officially became a recognized tool for strength and conditioning, however it's estimated their history dates back over 300 years.
Known as a “girl” in Russia, kettle bells were originally used to help balance scales while weighing crops. The man most notable for Westernizing the kettle bell is Pavel Tsatsouline, chairman of Strongest Inc. and former PT drill instructor for Smetana.
Tsatsouline's authored several books that outline simple but effective kettle bell training programs. Entire workouts can be executed with nothing more than a single kettle bell, whether the aim is strength, hypertrophy, power or endurance.
A kettle bell is relatively small (though I dare not say it's “light,” as that all depends on the weight you select) and relatively affordable in comparison to most other gym equipment. Compared to training with machines or even dumbbells, the kettle bell provides variability and offsets the load so that no one rep is ever truly the same.
Kettle bell exercises can at times be the biggest bang for your fitness buck, targeting numerous muscle groups and moving you through multiple planes of motion. As Tsatouline writes in his book Simple & Sinister, “the kettle bell is an ancient Russian weapon against weakness.”
Every piece of equipment brings something unique to the table, and every person is different, so it's foolish to speak in definitive. Barbells make it easy for a newbie to load a movement heavier than they can handle in a fixed position.
A perfect example is that of a Barbell Bench Press, where the hands are pronated and the shoulders are inherently placed in an internally rotated position. Kettle bells are a great option to keep an individual's load lower while growing their movement competency.
It targets the posterior chain and teaches individuals how to hip hinge properly with some force. This exercise involves holding the kettle bell with both hands (although single-arm and double-bell variations do exist) and using the hip hinge to forcefully drive it out in front of yourself.
Your gripping muscles may eventually burn if the set is long or enough or the weight's heavy enough, but your arms and shoulders should essentially contribute no power to the movement. Once the Kettle bell Swing is mastered, it is an excellent addition to any program or a convenient stand-alone option for a conditioning day.
However, that simple act requires a lot of technique, shoulder stability, core strength, hip mobility and focus to execute effectively. There are also many scenarios where replacing a classic barbell or dumbbell exercise with a kettle bell version can make sense.
It might seem like an insignificant swap, but kettle bells naturally lead to better scapular position, making the move more effective and reducing wear and tear on your body. The opportunities for swaps are endless, and ultimately, you or your coach/trainer must decide what makes the most sense in a given scenario.
Undoubtedly the kettle bell is an extraordinary tool with a long history of producing excellent results. The kettle bell is a piece of versatile workout equipment that you can use in a wide variety of exercises.
One of them is the kettle bell swing, a simple workout that you can do in the comfort of your home. Kettle bell swings are famous because of their versatility and quickly raise up your heart rate.
The benefits of the kettle bell swings are an increase in total-body movement, overall strength development while also improving your speed, endurance, and balance. Once you lift it up, your abdomen and abs contract to maintain the upwards motion, strengthening your core.
For small women, older people, and young kids, you can start out with lighter kettle bells that weigh 2.5, 5, 7.5, or 10 pounds. If you can handle them easily, you can go with what’s recommended for strong people like 15, 20, 25, 30, or 35-pound kettle bell.
This convenience is one of the main reasons why they’re so popular among fitness enthusiasts. Kettle bell swings allow you to train in multiple fitness routines in one workout.
Kettle bell swings give you a combination of strength and endurance training. As mentioned before, kettle bell swings greatly help with physical endurance.
It’s the basic premise of stronger muscles that will lead to more kettle bell swings and so goes the cycle. You will also notice improvements in other aspects like being able to lift more, throw harder, or run faster.
Your proprietors are the receptors in your muscles that adjust your body to balance. They make you automatically adjust in order to stay upright and by constantly training it improves your ability to maintain balance.