The exercises are designed to strengthen the muscles groups you need to handle heavier clubs, improve your cardiovascular fitness, and build your skills to learn more complex moves. A PDF download of each circuit is available for quick reference, so that you won’t need to watch the videos after you have learned the exercises.
There are 4 single kettle bell lifts to choose from within full and half-marathons events, these are: • Jerk • Long Cycle • Snatch • Half Snatch To lift as an elite athlete you need to achieve a minimum of CMS rank level.
Please check the IMF Ranking tables to establish your CMS requirements. This was developed by Kim Henning and is run by the IMF annually.
There are 3 rounds each year and you can compete in any of the 4 lifts, all of them if you are feeling brave enough. These are sometimes carried out at dedicated UGC events or if these aren’t available in your area, a video submission to your countries representative is acceptable.
For events from 2 hours and up, some prohibitions are lifted to ensure the athletes safety. Tape (and gymnastic grips) for hand protection is allowed, but no gloves.
The athlete may rest in a static hang position, perform low amplitudes swings between reps without having to change sides or even place the kettle bell on the shoulder. The athlete may also use 2 hands on the kettle bell while resting elbows on the knees in all disciplines.
The athlete must have a CMS (marathon) rank at the minimum to qualify for such an event. IMF certified judges must supervise and attest to the validity of the record.
Pavel Tsatsoulin was the main driver of a movement that started from “What you use cowbells to train” to mainstream level with DVD sets delivering kettle bells for free with their program (hint, as this kettle bell comes for free, you guessed it, its crap). As I do not own many kettle bells myself, because I am simple and did my research on my first time purchase, refer to the links at the end of the article if you want to know details about specific models and learn from others.
Always consult a doctor for a new exercise regimen before you take it up, especially if you have not been active for a long time, you are older than 50 or have been already diagnosed with chronic disease. If you have any questions, recommendations or tips please leave a comment at the end of this article or look up my email address in the about section of this webpage.
Generally, kettle bells will be bigger for males than for females in size and weight, but not as big as the individual might think. Just because you can perform multiple repetitions of a 225-pound bench press that does not mean that a 10 kg something kettle bell is child's play.
Remember that when you pick a kettle bell and do a curl or row you are not performing the main exercise which you will do with this piece of equipment. The main exercise is the kettle bell swing in which you can make use of more muscle groups than in the row and curl.
This rule might not just apply to kettle bells as I also see quite a bit of writing about this phenomenon in books regarding career advise, Lean in and Nudge being two of them. Generally, you will find that women, given that all other factors compared to a man are equal, will use half the weight in the kettle bell swing.
In some cases, you might even avoid using the kettle bell altogether as you should not load a movement if your body is not capable of doing so. If you have joint pains, arthritis or other chronic diseases which kept you from heavy exercising in the past kettle bells might be a solution but consult your doctor first.
Without being ageist it is a fact that you produce lesser growth hormones the older you get. The laws of physics dictate that the heavier a body is the more it is at an advantage of moving another object.
So for all of you who are a lot smaller and lighter than average also consider going down a kettle bell size to get the best results. The most commonly recommended sizes for kettle bells for men are 16 kg and women should start with 8 kg.
Another thing to consider is whether you will be mainly doing grinder or ballistic movements with your kettle bell. Grinder movements are exercises performed with long time under tension and which are not meant to be explosive.
For grinds, pick a kettle bell which you can easily press ten times overhead. For ballistic movements like the swing and snatch, you can pick slightly heavier weights.
Be humble when you think you are hulk, be wise according to your age and be brave if you are a pink wearing weekend warrior when picking your first kettle bell. How big and what type of kettle bell you will buy is also depending on the style of training you are intending to pursue.
Is the kettle bell your main tool of strength regime or considered accessory work? The more you gravitate towards the main tool of exercise and cardio the lighter your first kettle bell will be.
If your focus is on strength, you will not perform more than ten kettle bell swings per set. If your focus is on cardio you will swing in the 12 – 20 repetition area and therefore you might even go down a size from the recommendation.
The kettle bell should not be too light as you can not execute the swing properly then and also not too heavy because this leads to the weight dominating you rather than you controlling the movement. This is the raw version of training which is focused on strength and in which you try to brutalize yourself and the weight in the most intense way without exposing yourself to unnecessary risk.
The Gregory sports style is more focused on skill and endurance as it is not allowed to put the kettle bell down during such a routine. This style is usually followed by people who are more interested in full body control and acrobatics than raw strength.
As a beginner, do not sweat these different training methods too much and stick with the simple considerations around body weight, age, and fitness. If you are an advanced athlete think hard before you buy a set of heavy kettle bells.
The heavier they get the more it will hurt your purse when you do not think through how kettle bells will fit into your already full workout schedule or that of your athletes. When it comes to equipment like barbells and kettle bells good quality will last you for a lifetime and keep you safe.
In the iron game, quality means craftsmanship and high-end material which cannot be gotten for small change. They are bigger than cast iron or competitive kettle bells of the same weight and are more prone to poor finish or design which will literally hurt you in the long run.
If that is the case make sure that you find a kettle bell which has similar dimensions to what the pros use. Plastic and vinyl are a lot more forgiving to your children when it gets dirty, or they do other things with the cannonballs with a handle on them.
The challenge with them is that the mechanics of changing the weight are either cumbersome if it is a sturdy design, or downright terrifying during the swing if you can adjust quickly. Based on the extra mechanics these kettle bells are also bigger than their actual weight would demand which makes them often unbalanced and hard to handle during the swing which takes away the focus from what matters, your body.
Cast Iron kettle bells have been around the longest and are a great entry point as a compromise between your wallet and getting the real deal of Russian exercise bliss. You usually will not find monster kettle bells in the competition segment as there are not many people walking this face of the earth who can juggle 92 kg for ten minutes.
You also do not get the highest tech speed swimsuit if you only go for a splash on the weekend with the kids. Nice swimming trunks will work as you also do not want to look cheap when you are out (aka plastic kettle bells).
There are some standards in the kettle bell world which are either confusing to beginners or not pointed out for lack of knowledge or attention to detail with instructors. Back in the day kettle bells were used as weights on markets to determine the worth of certain goods brought there, such as sacks of grain.
When the locals started to get bored and do tricks with these weights the kettle bell sport was born. While Pavel Tsatsoulin has advocated big jumps to shock systems to make them adapt Mark Ripped outlines the principle of incremental increases' workout for workout in his book Practical Programming for Strength training.
As of late, the kettle bell master seems to be a bit less extreme in what kind of increments he advocates. This might be due to the wisdom he gained in older days or seeing a chance to sell more kettle bells.
Make sure that the kettle bell you choose can be comfortably placed into a double hand grip. Especially light kettle bells from low price vendors can have a tendency to be too small dimensioned to get a proper grip.
If you do not have a gym membership, make use of one of the free trials to try some kettle bells out and get instruction. The situation is improving, but if your personal trainer does not use kettle bells himself/herself and is not ROC or Strong first certified the instructions might even do more harm than good.
Painted kettle bells of all sorts have a higher risk of chipping and therefore losing their structural integrity and balance. Seams are the result of the manufacturer skipping the filing of the handle in the production process.
Simply run your finger at the lower part of the handle and if you feel one long rough line from one end to the other put the kettle bell down and step away. These can occur when the metal cools down at different rates in the cast which also leads back to poor manufacturing.
Imagine swinging away at full power and 22.5 kg (you can keep the handle) go flying towards a fellow gym member or even worse, your children. Best case scenario is some severe property damage or a piece of modern art which you can sell.
Worst case scenario is a dead body which you have to explain to the police or you're impaling yourself. Gimmicky kettle bells like ape heads, Iron Man masks and other demons and beasts are fun to look at.
However, if you are not a collector or have surplus money to spend go for a balanced, professionally designed kettle bell. It should be smooth to the touch, not need a lot of chalk so that you can keep your grip and slightly curved to be easy on the wrists.
The excitement of getting your new toy can be severely dampened when the transport is almost as expensive as the tool. Rogue Fitness is one of the main sponsors of the CrossFit games and all the products I have gotten from them are of good quality and shipped in time.
If you want a very good kettle bell under the top prices of the market this is your place to go. KettlebellsUSA is the gold standard of kettle bells in my opinion based on how they present themselves, their pricing and the reviews they get online.
Real kettle bells are designed to be balanced in a certain way, and they are actually precise tools. If a kettle bell can be improved by new materials or a new engineering insight or manufacturing process so that real users will benefit then we will do so, however, we are not interested in gimmicks that are solely designed to misinform consumers and take their hard-earned money from them.
We have been in the kettle bell business for some years now, and we will not compromise our principles just to make money off innocent, uninformed consumers. If you have the spare cash buy a 16 kg, 24 kg, 32 kg set as an average guy and you will have fun for life.
Until 2010, it was considered more of a personal challenge than a competitive sport. Today the popularity of kettle bell marathons is increasing around the world, and the IMF is leading the way in standardizing rules and promoting competitions. Since 2020, IMF has been open to other disciplines such as IMF games (created by Stéphane Diverge, IMF founder president) and pentathlon (created by Valery Fedorenko) in order to reach out t a wider audience.
Running is a tough exercise and although it comes natural when we are kids as we get older it becomes a lot more challenging. Any joint misalignment, muscle imbalances or weaknesses will be magnified as you continue to make impact with the ground over and over and over again.
Now for the bad news, most people have joint misalignment, have muscle weaknesses at the hips and core and carry too much weight. For some people who carry too much weight or have bad alignment or stability issues then yes I recommend you strengthen your body first before hitting the running track.
The single leg dead lift heavily activates the glutes and hamstrings while at the same time teaching good core and hip stability. Also, excessive pronation of the feet (caving of the arch inwards) may not require fancy running shoes with built up arches but rather just a strengthening of the hip stabilizers to improve leg alignment.
Finally, the single leg dead lift will strengthen the Hamstrings which are your body’s natural brakes so excellent for controlling speed while running. Lunges can be performed slowly and therefore more controlled than running so focus can be placed on great technique and keeping the foot, knees and hips in alignment.
The pistol squat is the ultimate single leg strength building exercise. If you maintain good technique and progress the exercise slowly it forces excellent hip stabilization as well as strengthening the quads and hamstrings.
Practice first without any weight by holding onto a Tax or rope or bands secured in front of you. An excellent addition to any kettle bell workout for runners is the Farmers Carry, this exercise will strengthen the core muscles that help stabilize the pelvis as you move forwards.
Holding a kettle bell just in one hand by your side forces the core muscles to work hard to maintain an upright position. A powerful core rotational exercise for runners bird dog with rotation will help link up those natural cross body sling systems that run from the shoulder to opposite leg via the core muscles.
Keep the exercise slow and deliberate performing 10 reps on each side for 3 sets. It is vital during this exercise that the core is engaged and the lower back keep nice and flat to the floor.
In theory, you should be able to perform this same exercise while standing and engaging the core muscles and swinging the leg forwards and backwards. Running is a challenging exercise that requires very good hip and core strength as well as joint alignment and mobility.
When you run you are really performing a series of single leg hops with the full force of your body driving through your joints from the foot upwards. Marathon training demands a large amount of physical energy.
A recent article in the New York Times suggests that marathoners need to incorporate strength training, particularly lower body strength training, into their race preparation. The researchers concluded that the muscle damage led to the marathoners slowing down during the second half of the race.
In this post, I want to share what exercises you can do to create a quick and effective strength workout during marathon training. To make those most of your time at the gym, stick to functional movements.
Exercises that isolate a small muscle group will not be the best use of your time. Instead, try to pick five to eight exercises, focusing on the basic movement patterns and major muscle groups.
These programs do not crush the volume, so they can be performed alongside a regular running routine. I only follow the A+A principle, and enjoy the benefits of long-time cumulative effect.
Maintaining strength had been critical to my previous performance and relatively easy recovery, not just after the race but throughout the preparation. Distance running requires good movement and endurance.
How could a strength program lead to half- marathon success after only 5 training runs? Almost all of my “running” is at MAF pace, but I do throw in strides about once a week.
This summer, my strength work is a basic push/pull hinge squat. On Monday I usually do pull-ups/push-ups, box step-ups, reverse lunges and a few heavy, powerful swings.
I also try to throw in some TGU's, either for warp-ups or as a finishing exercise, at some point through the week. I am running 50 miles this weekend, and depending on how that goes, I may sign up for a 24-hour race in November.
You will not make huge strength, or endurance gains, but ya won't get out of shape, either. Almost all of my “running” is at MAF pace, but I do throw in strides about once a week.
On Monday I usually do pull-ups/push-ups, box step-ups, reverse lunges and a few heavy, powerful swings. I also try to throw in some TGU's, either for warp-ups or as a finishing exercise, at some point through the week.
I am running 50 miles this weekend, and depending on how that goes, I may sign up for a 24-hour race in November. You will not make huge strength, or endurance gains, but ya won't get out of shape, either.
On the other side I like to follow a strength routine for the many benefits that I experimented in many years of SAS. I could go on with SAS for all my lifetime, but I was interested to hear other experiences and all these answers are opening my eyes.
I am very intrigued from A+A Snatch, it seems a way to develop great strength and also seems to be flexible and a good combination with running. I believe this is Al Amapá's brainchild, and his website is: Once again, tons of good info. A + A is something I plan on pursuing at some point.
I was in the best shape of my life when I did the Top and ran on variety days. I was in the best shape of my life when I did the Top and ran on variety days.
Hello, +1 @vegpedlr I used Top to prep for an OCR and it worked super well. Top can be interesting for running and rucking, but up to a point it gets taxing because it remains a “peak program”.
For maintenance, I tend to think that SAS with TGU and press on alternate may be a better Hello, +1 @vegpedlr I used Top to prep for an OCR and it worked super well.
Let’s compare the two exercises based on three categories: cost, strength gains, and effective weight loss. So, people turn to indoor options like purchasing a treadmill ($900 on the low end) or going to the gym ($20–100 monthly).
Contrary to many fitness preachers’ sermons, running does build strength. It also makes you much better at an incredibly practical skill and burns tons of calories.
It drills the hinge pattern, one of the best ways to improve your ability to pick things up off the floor. It can be done for an aerobic or anaerobic workout, meaning it totally counts as cardio and lifting.
When done properly, the kettle bell swing teaches you how to brace and forces you to do many short interval planks. It works your whole posterior chain, specifically targeting your hamstrings and glutes, but it even gets your lats firing.
Figuring out the number of calories burned is far easier to do for running than it is for kettle bell swings. Both running and kettle bell swings are incredibly effective calorie burning exercises.
I think it’s fair to say that performing light to moderate weight kettle bell swings for 15 minutes burns roughly the same amount of calories as a 40-minute jog. While the calories burned will only change slightly, the heavy resistance training will have a gradual effect on your resting metabolic rate (i.e., calories burned throughout the day when not exercising).
In a study that observed the changes' strength training had on Mr in men ages 50–65, researchers found that after 16 weeks of heavy-resistance strength training, Mr increased by an average of 7.7 percent. Then you do a 16-week heavy-resistance strength training program, and boom: your Mr is now 7 calories short of 2,000 (an increase of 142.45).
With that same information, we can estimate that you would burn about 137 calories as a 5’10, 180-pound, 60-year-old man running a respectable nine-minute mile pace. So theoretically, thanks to weightlifting, your body burns additional calories equivalent to running an extra mile every day.
Although kettle bell swings are not the same type of simple resistance training used in the study, it is safe to say that performing them routinely will also lead to an increase in Mr. And because there is nothing better than burning more calories sitting on the couch, this category has to go the way of the previous ones.
Overall, kettle bell swings dominate running in the categories that most people are concerned with. But if your goal is to get the most efficient workout with the least amount of equipment, you can’t beat the kettle bell swing.
Kettle bells come in all shapes and sizes, and it is hard to know which ones are top-notch when starting your home gym. Don’t be deceived by soft handles and bright colors, the best kettle bells are simply a big piece of coated metal.
Beginner Budget Option : This is a bundle of lightweight bells that you can start off with. Premium Option : Kettle bell Kings, Dragon Door, and Rogue make the best bells.
Kettle bell Kings is the only company with extensive options on Amazon, so I featured them. If you ever intend to start competing with Kettle bells I strongly recommend exclusively training with competition bells.