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What Is Kettlebell Used For

author
James Lee
• Friday, 20 November, 2020
• 16 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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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 good kettle bell 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.

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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.

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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”. The workout gets your heart pumping and uses up to 20 calories per minute: about as much as running a 6-minute mile.

Buy a DVD or sign up for a kettle bell class at the gym to learn how to do the moves safely. It won’t take long to understand why celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Biel, and Katherine Hall are huge fans of kettle bell workouts.

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You’ll work up a sweat doing a series of fast-paced cardio and strength-training moves like kettle bell swings, lunges, shoulder presses, and push-ups. Most kettle bell workouts include squats, lunges, crunches, and other moves that work your abs and other core muscles.

The kettle bell is used as a weight for arm exercises like single-arm rows and shoulder presses. Lunges and squats are among the most popular moves in a kettle bell workout.

Your tush will be toned by using the kettle bell for added weight during lunges and squats. Using a kettle bell for a dead lift helps tone your back muscles.

The kettle bell is an effective weight that will build muscle strength. You may want to buy DVDs or sign up for classes to learn the basics of a kettle bell workout.

Yes, if you take a class or pick a DVD that's for beginners and use a lighter kettle bell. Depending on the program, you may be getting both your strength training and your aerobic workout at the same time.

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If you choose a kettle bell that is too heavy or if you have poor form, you are likely to lose control of it. Start out with an experienced trainer who can correct your technique before you hurt something.

Adding a kettle bell to your existing workout is great if you want to burn more calories in less time. This type of high-intensity workout is not for you if you would rather do a more meditative approach to body sculpting, or if sweating isn’t your thing.

With your doctor’s OK, you can include kettle bells in your fitness routine if you have diabetes. Muscle burns energy more efficiently, so your blood sugar levels will go down.

Depending on the workout, you may also get some cardio to help prevent heart disease. Using kettle bells in your workout puts some serious demands on your hips and back, as well as your knees, neck, and shoulders.

If you have arthritis or pain in your knees or back, then look for a less risky strength-training program. If you have other physical limitations, ask an experienced instructor for advice on how to modify your workout.

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If you worked out with kettle bells before becoming pregnant and are not having any problems with your pregnancy, then you will likely be able to continue using them -- at least for a while. Talk to your instructor and your doctor; they might suggest switching out your kettle bells during your last trimester.

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These sections are best read in order but feel free to jump around to the information you’re specifically looking for Enjoy ;) 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. The Russian military began using them within their training regime because they work the bodies’ energy systems simultaneously.

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.

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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. 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.

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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. 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.

When it comes to kettle bells proper breathing is so important and often overlooked in most exercise studios. Focus on quickly squeezing your glutes and thrusting your hips forward to create momentum that will launch the bell into the air.

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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.

However, when performed incorrectly it is also a movement that can create back, hip, or knee injuries. 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. Swings, high pulls, and lifts such as snatches and cleans, originate out of a squat position, and keeping good form is essential to avoiding injury.

Remember this checklist and use it as your guide for getting into the right start position for all your kettle bell exercises: 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.

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Sources
1 www.healthline.com - https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/kettlebell-workout
2 www.bodybuilding.com - https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/the-6-best-kettlebell-exercises-you-need-to-do.html
3 www.menshealth.com - https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a26011360/best-kettlebell-workouts-men/
4 muscletoughness.com - https://muscletoughness.com/kettlebell-exercises-for-mass-and-strength/