Some know Kettlebells as strange round weights that look a lot like a cannon ball. If you haven’t yet tried Kettlebells, it is time to change that! Use them at the gym or buy a pair and use it at home post a 30 minute jog or brisk walk.
If you have recently joined a gym or embarked upon a journey to weight loss, you must have noticed that a lot of experts are now putting more emphasis on weight training. So many fitness equipments and workouts come and go….so is there a sure shot way to choose something that is sure to give you positive effects?
Sure there is – try Kettlebells. Its increased popularity, especially in home gyms, is owed to the convenience with which anyone can start using Kettlebells and also the fact that they are highly functional. Kettlebells are the easiest way to do a cardio plus weight training workout when you are pressed for time!
Kettlebells were first used in Russia, though the original purpose of creating them was not strength training. They were used to work as counter weights in farms and local produce markets, and that is the reason that till date Kettlebells are measured in pood. If you are wondering what a pood is, it is roughly 16kg.
Over time people noticed that those who used these Kettlebells in every day work developed much more strength, their bodies well conditioned and this marked the starting point of Kettlebells being used for exercising.
The Soviet Military forces have been using Kettlebells since 1948, even though it wasn’t until 1985 that weight categories and rules & regulations regarding Kettlebells were fully established.
A Highly Effective Fitness Tool?
Kettlebells have gained a lot of popularity because they offer a fun and versatile way to train. Not only do they offer a complete body workout, they feel more purposeful and are far easier to store and use when compared to heavy gym weights.
If used correctly, Kettlebells will stimulate every single muscle fiber in the body and offer a two-in-one workout – cardio as you lift and burn calories and strength training with a whole range of motions involved. Further, what makes Kettlebells stand apart is the fact that it has some advantages over dumbbells.
This is the shape of the Kettlebells – it creates more functionality and allows for total body movements. The weight is well rounded and stabilized, so unlike dumbbells users don’t have to concentrate more of form and how to hold the fitness equipment correctly. Unlike dumbbells where the centre of the mass has to be concentrated upon, Kettlebells are far more flexible and generate more force from the ground below, which in turn means a strengthened core.
But like dumbbells, Kettlebells also allow for deadlifts, presses, swings and snatches. It is highly effective, easier to store at home and better for total body movements. It is best to use Kettlebells right after the initial warm up – they continue to increase your heart rate which works like a cardio while engaging every muscle in the body as well.
Two Effective And Simple Kettlebells Workouts
The Kettlebells Swing
This is a strength conditioning exercise, easily incorporated in to an aerobics workout. Stand with legs a little more than shoulder width apart, bend your knees and stick out your buttocks. Place a kettlebell between the legs, grab it and lift. Remember to thrust forward with your arms straight and as you are coming up, clench the glutes and hamstring muscles. All this should be done in one clean smooth motion, and you can drive your heels in for more intensity. Repeat 10 to 15 times for a beginner and work your way up. Remember, don’t look down as you thrust upwards and keep your face looking forward at all times to avoid back injury.
The Turkish Get-Up
Create a total body explosion as you combine multiple moves and create a single exercise. Start by lying on the floor on your back. Stretch the arms up towards the ceiling and hold a kettlebell in one hand. With the other hand placed firmly on the ground, lift your knees and slide to a modified plank position.
From here, step in to a lunge. Place the hand back down and slide back in to lying position. Repeat with the other hand to work the other side. Remember, the trick here is to start slow so that you master all steps before you can bring in speed and intensity in to the workout. Begin with 5 to 8 reps on each side for a total body workout.
A Word Of Advice For Beginners
Kettlebells are designed for intensity and full body movements and can utilize a lot of force. They can be substituted with most almost all other weights in any kind of a workout.
However, while advertisements might portray them to be a simple mean to achieve a lean physique, Kettlebells are no fad and they need a lot of training. Simply picking up Kettlebells and trying to do some simple exercises will not have the effects you want.
Yes, they are great for losing weight and getting in superb shape, but for that you need to work hard and understand the true potential of these simple weights. They are used extensively in cross fit training because of their functionality and multi-purpose capabilities that surpass even dumbbells.
Use Kettlebells to target posterior chain muscles. These are the muscles in the hamstring and the upper back and Kettlebells are very effective in working these out perfectly.