Kettlebells have made a comeback! Primarily used in athletic fitness programs, they are being reintroduced to health clubs and fitness centers around the globe.
Kettlebells are a great alternative to other types of free weights or machines.
What is a kettlebell?
A kettlebell is basically an iron ball with a handle. They can vary in size or weight. Kettlebells are unique in the fact that they can be swung around creating resistance to your muscles in a controlled fluid movement.
Why use kettlebells?
- They allow for training that mimics actual human movement patterns. This means that you can train for activities that take place throughout your day such as; lifting groceries, carrying items to the car, playing with your children, etc.
- Works many muscle groups in unison. Typically free weights and machines move in a single plane of motion. This eliminates the use of stabilizer muscles so you don’t get to work as many muscles as you would if you use kettlebells.
- Working more muscle means a faster workout. Since you are moving so much muscle at once, you get more done in a shorter period of time.
- Postural muscles are also used. In addition to stabilizing your body because you are moving in different planes of motion, you are typically doing kettlebell work while standing. This engages the muscles that assist or account for you being upright on two legs. Training this way will keep you moving correctly as you get older.
How to get started.
- Get the appropriately weighted kettlebell for you. Typically a woman with average strength can start with a 10-15 lb. kettlebell while a man with average strength will use 25-35 lbs.
- Wear proper footwear. Since balance and movement are key to kettlebell use, you want to wear shoes that are flat on the bottom. This helps you to be more stable during training.
- Safety first. Train outdoors if possible. You are moving the kettlebell and need to make sure that there are no objects around you that you may connect with. a 10 x 10 foot space is a good amount of room to begin. If the kettlebell falls or slips from your grip, let it drop and move out of the way. This is also a good reason to work outside so that you don’t damage your flooring.
- Learn the two handed swing. This is the basic primary movement of kettlebell training and must be learned first to develop the sense of movement and strength that all of the other movements are based on.
Finally, have fun with it and enjoy what you’re doing. Get your mind right!