Below, we will go over the international color code if you need ideas and want to follow the standard. Competition style bells are usually all one color (pictured below), indicating the weight.
For example, a 10 Kg bell is pink with black bands on the handle, and an 18 Kg bell is yellow with black bands on the handle. We recommend you read more about receiving a quick, free, dynamic kettle bells workout every week you can click below.
Also, we recommend you subscribe to our posts, so we can notify you when we publish more in this series. Following is the color table for the kettle bell weight in kilos and pounds.
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. You’ve breached the barbells and dominated dumbbells, but if you’re still steering clear of kettle bells you’re missing out on arguably the best burn at the gym.
Think about a baseball bat, says trainer Jason C. Brown, creator and owner of certification program Kettle bell Athletics. “Kettle bells create a longer lever arm, which requires you to use more force to move an equal weight the same distance,” Brown says.
This recruits more muscles, challenges inter- and intramuscular coordination, and generally delivers one hell of a burn. But resistance is assistance, so going too light or too heavy can compromise technique — not to mention increase your risk of injury with the added momentum of most moves, Brown adds.
The general rule of thumb is the more joints involved, the heavier the kettle bell weight you can use. The dead lift is a multi joint move, so the average guy can probably handle 32 kg/70 lbs here to start, Brown says.
Not only are your shoulders and abs working hard to keep you stable, but there’s more challenge to your grip since all the weight is in one hand. “Most use a goblet squat solely as a mobility exercise — they get low and do a hip pry.
“It teaches a powerful hip snap and can be a great bicep and PEC builder — but it’s difficult to master the clean unless you really have your swing dialed-in,” Lopez says. Turkish Get-Up This move involves a lot more than just lying down and standing up with a weight overhead.
“The get-up is known in most training circles as the perfect exercise because the whole move — all 14 steps — includes every possible human movement pattern,” Lopez explains. Lopez actually makes clients ace all 14 steps while balancing their shoe on their fist before they’re allowed to try it with a kettle bell (you can opt for a two-pound dumbbell to save face at the gym).
When you feel confident that you have the form down sans resistance, reach for a 12 kg/26 lb kettle bell. Since form is so imperative here, Lopez says you shouldn’t move up a weight until you’re able to maintain perfect vertically with your arm, keep the elbow fully locked throughout all 14 steps, and feel comfortable going slow (most people rush due to discomfort).
But because it doesn’t require swinging momentum or extension, a carry has a lower risk of injury than other kettle bell moves, which means you can go a bit heavier. Grab a kettle bell that’s the equivalent of half your body weight to carry in each hand, Brown recommends.
Athletes who are successful at GS sport have perfected their technique to maximize the effectiveness of each lift and to use the least amount of energy possible. Preserving energy with each repetition allows athletes to lift heavier weights at faster paces.
Each point is earned but completing a specific exercise correctly and achieving “lockout”. Lockout is the term used for when the athlete stops the momentum of the kettle bell in the overhead position for a brief moment in time.
If the judge deems that the exercise was not completed properly or the athlete did not fully stop the momentum of the bell in the lockout position, or the knees or elbows were not fully extended, the judge will issue a no-count. Essentially the athlete went through the entire process of a repetition, expended energy that is not rewarded with an increase in score.
Almost all kettle bell athletes have experienced this and it can be heartbreaking, it is definitely something to be avoided with proper training and technique! Points are not awarded or deducted for style or individual lifter differences, only for proper execution of the exercise and achievement of lockout.
While these may vary depending on the federation, gender, and level of competition the lifts are as follows: snatch, half-snatch, double half-snatch, one and two arm long cycles, and biathlon (One set of single or double jerks and a second set of snatch). Some events will also include triathlon, long cycle, jerks and snatch scores all combined for one award.
All competition style kettle bells are the same size but vary in weight based on how hollow or filled the inside with the bell is. In traditional GS Sport (10 minute sets) lifters may only change hands once while longer marathon sets typically allow lifters to change hands as many times as they want.
Four testers were chosen (two females and two males), all of whom had a good amount of experience in the use of kettle bells. We then tallied the scores from the three raters on each of the following categories: appearance, use for the swing, value, durability, and use for the snatch and clean.
Thus, there are some omissions such as Dragon Door’s kettle bells, which used to be known for excellent quality (I used older ones a few years which were great). We also omitted the cheap, no-name brand kettle bells that we had accumulated over time (and usually sat in the back corner as no one wants to use them).
They have a great surface that holds chalk for competition-style usage, but the handle also provides enough grip. The color stripe around the handle allows for quick identification of the weight.
The Again Faster and Perform Better kettle bells were at the bottom of the appearance list as they look quite similar, except the rubber plate on the bottom of the Perform Better bell (these are the kettle bells Clark Kent would use; mild-mannered but effective). Many people just learning the kettle bell use it primarily for a two-handed swing movement or some sort of dead lift.
The Valery Federico is a competition-style kettle bell and has a handle made for one-handed movements. The Rogue kettle bell is a bit rougher and might be easier to keep a grip on when hands get sweaty.
It has a notch on the top where the forearm sits, which just calls for you to clean it when you take it out of the box. It was created for competition-style lifts where a person is performing many cleans or snatches, and as such it excels in this category.
The Perform Better and Again Faster kettle bells matte finish may feel good initially, but the smoothness can become almost sticky and lead to ripped callouses. The Perform Better kettle bells were a bit higher priced, but there are often better deals ($89.99 + $37.14 shipping for a 24KG).
The Valery Federico kettle bell ($221.00 with free shipping for a 24KG) is a high-end model and the cost reflects it. Again, if Bruce Wayne were equipping his garage with kettle bells, cost would not be an issue.
The Valery Federico kettle bell is made to be sanded and painted. Summary : A competition style kettle bell with great looks and durability.
Cons : A competition style does not allow for two handed grip; expensive. Cons : Matte finish can be tough on grip, rubber plate on bottom can snag ground.
This article will provide you with all the information you need to pick the correct kettle bell weight and perform exercises with proper form. And to make things easier for you, we have included a simple 15-minute kettle bell workout video to get you in the best shape of your life.
There are a few problems with picking a kettle bell weight depending on your training experience. I need you to throw away your current perception of weight training, and look at the kettle bell as something new and different.
While you may not think you need to, having at least one session with a trained kettle bell professional will make an enormous difference in your results. You’ll be using multiple muscle groups at the same time through ballistic, full-body movements.
A kettle bell professional can show you the basics; like, the Clean, Swing, Goblet Squat, Windmill, and Turkish Get Up. When performed properly, kettle bell movements will improve your body control, shorten your workout time, and give you functional results (and physique).
The core movements in kettle bell training have exploded into hundreds of new exercises and techniques. Assuming you’ve been to at least one session with a kettle bell professional and are ready to get started, here is what I recommend based on gender.
A new female kettle bell trainee might pick up the weight, and automatically try to perform a 1- arm upright row (without one thought of lifting technique, mind you), and immediately exclaim, “I can’t lift that!” When done properly, kettle bell movements will improve your body control, shorten your workout time, and give you functional results (and physique) unlike anything you’ve been able to achieve in the past.
A big mistake is selecting a weight that is too light (again, assuming that you have trained with a kettle bell professional). If you do this, you will never perfect your form, you will never progress to heavier weights, and you will not achieve the real benefits that kettle bells have to offer.
Unlike women, most men will look at the 16-kg kettle bell starting weight and say, “That’s way too light! Areas of your core (back, abdominal, and upper legs) will be on fire during your first session.
To maintain proper form, you need a weight that is in proportion to your skill level, which may be low initially. Men who have never used a kettle bell are especially susceptible to muscling through a movement, rather than performing it with proper form.
You will hear this term used more in CrossFit boxes and by most traditional kettle bell instructors. Innit Kettle bells are made with a high-quality, chip-resistant coating that’s strong enough to endure your most punishing workouts.
1) A chip-resistant coating, smooth enough for stamina-building work sets without irritating your hands, yet with just enough texture to take gym chalk. Some other aspects of kettle bell design to consider are: grip diameter, grip width, ball diameter, and the distance from the top of the ball to the bottom of the handle.
This workout will make you so beefy, Hollywood would be crazy not to cast you in the next Marvel movie! Whether you’re a trainer or fitness enthusiast the kettle bell should have a place in your training for the results it can deliver in less time.
Whether you decide to use your kettle bell to supplement your training or as a stand-alone tool you will gather the exact system on how to do so. The benefits of the kettle bell are immense and with this single tool one can create incredible strength, power output, and stamina if used to its potential.
At the Innit Academy we believe the kettle bell can create powerful athletes regardless of your chosen sport and with this system you will have everything they need to do just that. At the Innit Academy we believe the kettle bell can create powerful athletes regardless of your chosen sport and with this system you will have everything they need to do just that.
A 16-kilogram (35 lb) “competition kettle bell Arthur Saxon with a kettle bell, cover of The Text Book of Weight-Lifting (1910)The Russian girl (, plural girl) was a type of metal weight, primarily used to weigh crops in the 18th century. They began to be used for recreational and competition strength athletics in Russia and Europe in the late 19th century.
The birth of competitive kettle bell lifting or Gregory sport ( ) is dated to 1885, with the founding of the “Circle for Amateur Athletics” ( ). Russian girl are traditionally measured in weight by Food, corresponding to 16.38 kilograms (36.1 lb).
The English term kettle bell has been in use since the early 20th century. Similar weights used in Classical Greece were the halter, comparable to the modern kettle bell in terms of movements.
Variants of the kettle bell include bags filled with sand, water, or steel shot. By their nature, typical kettle bell exercises build strength and endurance, particularly in the lower back, legs, and shoulders, and increase grip strength.
The basic movements, such as the swing, snatch, and the clean and jerk, engage the entire body at once, and in a way that mimics real world activities such as shoveling or farm work. Unlike the exercises with dumbbells or barbells, kettle bell exercises involve large numbers of repetitions in the sport, and can also involve large reps in normal training.
Kettle bell exercises are in their nature holistic; therefore they work several muscles simultaneously and may be repeated continuously for several minutes or with short breaks. This combination makes the exercise partially aerobic and more similar to high-intensity interval training rather than to traditional weight lifting.
In a 2010 study, kettle bell enthusiasts performing a 20-minute snatch workout were measured to burn, on average, 13.6 calories/minute aerobically and 6.6 calories/minute anaerobically during the entire workout — “equivalent to running a 6-minute mile pace”. When training with high repetitions, kettle bell progression should start out slowly to build muscle endurance, support the joints and prevent injury.
Like movements performed with any exercise tool, they can be dangerous to those who have back or shoulder problems, or a weak core, when performed without proper education and progression. They can offer improved mobility, range of motion, agility, cardio vascular endurance, mental toughness and increased strength.
The following is a list of common exercises that are uniquely suited to the kettle bell for one reason or another. A kettle bell exercise that combines the lunge, bridge and side plank in a slow, controlled movement.
Keeping the arm holding the bell extended vertically, the athlete transitions from lying supine on the floor to standing, and back again. As with the other slow exercises (the windmill, get-up, and halo), this drill improves shoulder mobility and stabilization.
It starts lying on the ground with the kettle bell over the shoulder in a straight arm position, as in the top of a floor press, but with the other arm along the floor straight overhead. The trainee then gradually turns their body away from the kettle bell until they are lying partially on their front.
The kettle bell is held hanging in one arm and moved smoothly around the body, switching hands in front and behind. Also called a front leg pass, this is a backward lunge, circling the bell around the front leg, returning to the standing position, and repeating.
Like the slingshot, but the bell is swung forward until the arms are parallel to the ground. Starting with the bell in the rack, the bell is pushed away to the side slightly, the swung down to the other side in front of the body, and reversed back up into the rack.
A variation of the press where the other arm assists by pushing open palm against the ball. Stand on one leg and hold the kettle bell with the opposite arm.
By then lowering and raising the kettle bell you can work stabilization and power. A press utilizing a bent-leg windmill position to lift heavier weight than is otherwise possible.
One bell is rowed to the chest while maintaining the plank position, then returned to the ground and repeated with the other arm. Alternatively performed with a single kettle bell, one arm at a time.
This requires more control than an ordinary push up and results in a greater range of motion. Feet may be elevated to increase the difficulty, until the trainee is performing a handstand push-up on the kettle bells.
In any movement involving the rack or overhead position, the kettle bell can be held with the ball in an open palm (sometimes called the waiter hold) for a greater stabilization challenge, or for even more precise control and added grip challenge, the bottom-up hold, squeezing the kettle bell by the handle upside-down. Holding a single kettle bell in the rack position bottom-up with two hands (“by the horns”) makes for goblet exercise variants.
Conventional swing: The kettle bell is swung from just below the groin to somewhere between the upper abdomen and shoulders, with arms straight or slightly bent, the degree of flexion depends on the trajectory of the kettle bell. Hang clean: The kettle bell is held in the rack position (resting on the forearm in the crook of the elbow, with the elbow against the chest), lowered to below the knees, and then thrust back up in to the rack.
The kettle bell is held in one hand, lowered to behind the knees via hip hinge, swung to an overhead position and held stable, before repeating the movement. Jerk: As a push press, but with two dips, for more leg assistance (as in the barbell clean and jerk) Thruster: A rack squat with a press at the top using momentum from the squat.
Pistol squat: A single-leg squat with one leg held straight in front parallel to the ground, holding the bell in the goblet or rack position. An easier variant for those with less hip mobility is to perform the squat parallel to a step or ledge, so that the foot of the free leg can dip beneath the pushing leg at the bottom.
Carry: Walking with the kettle bell held in various positions, such as suitcase, rack, goblet, or overhead. Row: While bent over anywhere from 45 degrees to parallel with the ground, the kettle bell is held hanging from a straight arm, pulled up to the hips or laterally, and lowered again.
Keeping the bell arm vertical, the upper body is bent to one side and rotated until the other hand is touching the floor. The single kettle bell version is called the suitcase walk.
These build grip strength while challenging your core, hips, back and traps. The kettle bell is swung from just below the groin to somewhere between the upper abdomen and shoulders, with arms straight or slightly bent, the degree of flexion depends on the trajectory of the kettle bell.
The key to a goodkettlebell swing is effectively thrusting the hips, not bending too much at the knees, and sending the weight forwards, as opposed to squatting the weight up, or lifting with the arms. The one-arm swing presents a significant anti-twisting challenge, and can be used with an alternating catch switching between arms.
Within those variations there are plenty more variations, some are, but not limited to: pace, movement, speed, power, grip, the direction of thumb, elbow flexion, knee flexion. The kettle bell has more than 25 grips that can be employed, to provide variety, challenge different muscles, increase or decrease complexity, and work on proprioception.
Competitive lifter (Greek) performing jerk with 32 kg kettle bells (rack position). Contemporary kettle bell training is represented basically by five styles. Hard style has its roots in powerlifting and Gj-rykarate training, particularly hobo undo concepts.
With emphasis on the “hard” component and borrowing the concept of time, the Hard style focuses on strength and power and duality of relaxation and tension. Gregory, sometimes referred to as the fluid style in comparison to the Hard style, represents the training regimen for the competitive sport of kettle bell lifting, focusing on strength endurance.
Juggling is a training style where the practitioner releases and catches the kettle bell with all manner of spins and flips around the body. Kettle bell training is extremely broad and caters to many goals, some being, but not limited to: mobility, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, strength, speed and power.
The sport can be compared to what the CrossFit Games is to CrossFit, however, the sport has been much longer in existence, and is only recently gaining more popularity worldwide, with women participating as well. One such example being Valerie Wazowski, who at age 52, was the first US female lifter in the veteran age category to achieve Master of Sport in 24 kg Kettle bell Long Cycle.
^ , «» . « » “ ”, 22 August 2016 (with period photographs).
21 (1908), p. 505: “PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE USING SCHMIDT'S Celebrated 'MONARCH' DUMB-BELL, BAR BELL AND KETTLE BELL SYSTEM”; also spelled KETTLE-BELLS (with hyphen) in a 1910 advertisement for the “Automatic Exerciser”) ^ a b c Rathbone, Andy (2009-01-04). “The kettle bell way: Focused workouts mimic the movements of everyday activities”.
Blast Fat & Build Strength With Innovative Equipment!” Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies 15 (2011): 542-544 ^ a b Iv ill, Laura (2008-11-22).
“Exclusive ACE research examines the fitness benefits of kettle bells” (PDF). Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies 15 (2011): 125-127 ^ Kettle bell Swing Vs. High Pull”.
^ “The Kettle bell Clean, Stop Banging Your Wrists | The Complete Guide”. 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.
Those large cannonballs with handles, sitting in the corner collecting dust, look intriguing. But you're not about to start at the bottom, in the “pump” class with puny yellow and pink kettle bells that look like they belong in the daycare.
And as much as I love basic kettle bell moves like the swing, get-up, and snatch, I also recognize that not everyone is ready to subject themselves to the learning curve that goes along with those movements. By that, I mean that strength in awkward positions that fighters and other athletes seem to have in spades, but that barbells, dumbbells, and machines seldom produce.
The task is simple: You're simply going to carry a pair of kettle bells for either distance or time. “The farmer's carry can be summed up as simply 'pick up and go,' but a little cuing can help you reap the most benefits from the movement.”
Improved grip strength, obviously, but what often gets overlooked is how much that carries over to improved total body strength; stronger grip equals stronger A stronger core, which also translates to more overall strength Bigger traps from the strain of supporting the kettle bells The steely forearms like a farm laborer, from the increased tension required from holding the kettle bells Improved conditioning, because carrying a load while walking is incredibly energetically demanding Take a deep breath—about 75-80 percent of maximum—and bend down, folding at the hips, to pick up the kettle bells; exhaling as you do so, similar to a dead lift.
Tighten your abs, lock your rib cage to your pelvis, and keep it there for the duration of your walk. Spend about 10 minutes doing farmer's carries, at a point in your workout where it won't matter if your grip is fried afterward—like the end.
When you hold a kettle bell in one hand, your body has to contract all the muscles on the opposite side of your body—your obliques especially—to keep you from falling over sideways. The suitcase setup and execution is exactly the same as the farmer's carry, with the obvious exception of having that extra kettle bell for balance.
“The rack hold is a powerful position for building strength throughout the body.” Bend down as if you were about to dead lift the kettle bell and grab the handle with your working hand.
The kettle bell will be resting on two points of contact: The back of your wrist and on your upper arm, just below your shoulder. Your forearm and upper arm will form a triangle in which the kettle bell sits.
Your hand should be facing the center of your body, and your elbow pointed down toward your hip. Like the farmer's carry, 10 minutes at the end of your workout is a good plan.
It adds a level of difficulty to the carry that many people find surprising, in the form of increased abdominal stress, respiration demand, and the way it reaches the little stabilizer muscles along your spine. Many gym rats and bodybuilders don't have the necessary wrist and shoulder flexibility to perform a true barbell front squat with a clean grip.
Holding one or two kettle bells also puts a larger-than-normal pressure on the abs, making them work harder than a far greater barbell load would, as I mentioned in my last article. Additionally, I consider the kettle bell front squat to be an incredibly effective “loaded mobility” exercise.
Because of the way the load is situated, your abs automatically contract, your shoulders depress, and your hips magically seem to have more space in them, allowing for a deeper squat than many people can manage with just a barbell. It also serves as a little assessment, since if the two sides feel dramatically different, there's a good chance you have a side-to-side imbalance.
If that's the case, you may not want to load with a heavy barbell, due to the possibility of injury, until you spend some good time with the kettle bell alternative. Squat until you go as low as you can, maintaining pressure in your abs, and keeping a slight extension in your lower back.
The single-arm floor press will not only strengthen your triceps and your lockout, but it will help you refine your bench press groove by positioning your arm in the strongest position to lift big weights. Roll to your side, and grab the kettle bell by the handle, using the pistol grip, like you did with the rack hold.
Pause with your upper arm on the floor for 2-3 seconds and then press the kettle bell. These six movements are more than enough to teach you about the unique challenges and benefits of working with kettle bells.
Experienced kettle bell lifters regularly utilize things like loaded carries and floor presses to address strength deficiencies and practice building tension. When you're ready, the floor press also has the benefit of preparing your arms and shoulders for one of the best kettle bell exercises you can do: the Turkish get-up.
Until then, just keep picking up those heavy beasts, squeezing your core for all it's worth, and holding on for dear life.