Have you ever walked by a rack of kettlebells at your gym and wondered if you should incorporate them into your workout? Kettlebells can be intimidating as they’ve typically been used in competitions. That perception is changing as kettlebells are becoming more popular at gyms, backyards, and garages throughout the world.
Why is there such an appeal to using kettlebells for training? One of the biggest benefits of kettlebells is they’re portable and don’t take up a lot of space. Another reason is that a kettlebell workout can burn 400 calories in 20 minutes, producing results quickly. They’re versatile, affordable, and provide a full-body workout.
If you’ve been wondering about owning your own kettlebells, then you came to the right place. Aside from the obvious benefits that we shared above, it’s important to know the proper ways to use kettlebells for your next kettlebell exercise. Here’s everything you need to know about kettlebells.
That question may sound absurd to some, but it’s important to establish the groundwork. An authentic kettlebell is made from cast-iron or steel. The kettlebell shape resembles a cannonball with an attached handle. Visually, some have compared it to a teapot without the spout — referred to as a kettlebell.
The kettlebell first gained recognition around 350 years ago when Russians started throwing them around for entertainment, and later used for weightlifting. Although there is also a claim that ancient Greeks first developed such objects in the fifth century. Either way, kettlebells are extremely effective in burning calories and can be used to build endurance in the lower and upper body.
There are many size variations of kettlebells and they range from 4 pounds all the way to 175 pounds. Most kettlebells are labeled in kilograms (kg), so pay attention to the weight before begging your workout.
One of the biggest reasons kettlebells are so effective is because of their structure, often feeling heavier than a traditional dumbbell due to their center of gravity. This is why kettlebells are effective in improving strength and balance. In addition, kettlebells can be an alternative to running since they activate muscles that are responsible for respiratory activity.
Before you get started with implementing kettlebells in your workouts, it’s important to note that proper form is very important — just like with any other exercise. Now let’s break it down and get started.
It all starts with choosing the right weight. Start by evaluating your exercise routine and fitness level first. Next, outline how many repetitions you want to perform. For women, depending on your fitness level, a beginner would typically start at 9 pounds (4kg), where an expert might begin with 18 pounds (8kg). Test and decide which is best for you. Males typically start with 13 pounds (6kg) all the way up to 26 pounds (12kg).
Injury prevention is critical. You can avoid getting hurt and prevent injuries by starting with a strong foundation. This means having your feet planted securely (shoulder-width apart) with the weight distributed to your heels. In the most common exercise — the kettlebell swing — start by picking up the kettlebell off the ground, making sure you have a slight bend in the knees.
Check your back and core and make sure that there is no weakness in either. A slouched posture is a recipe for injury and disaster. The biggest reason to have a firm posture is that the driving force behind the kettlebell should come from your hips and legs, not arms.
Never swing or place the kettlebell directly over your head. Using the momentum from your lower body, with your arms straight out holding the kettlebell, swing so that the kettlebell meets the level of your head, without going over your head.
Swing back down to almost ground level to your starting position. This completes one repetition of the kettlebell swing. You can repeat the process as many times as needed, with the biggest takeaway being to have a strong core and foundation.
Why should you train with kettlebells? The benefits of kettlebell training are almost endless. One of the most significant advantages of using kettlebells is power endurance. That’s different from most of the typical workouts that focus on strength endurance, and not power endurance.
Power endurance involves moves that are performed quickly such as the snatch and the clean and jerk. These exercises force you to perform moves quickly and activate muscular contractions rapidly, giving you more power and a bigger calorie burn.
So, what are the top benefits of kettlebells? We’ve picked our top five favorite benefits of kettlebells. Here’s what makes kettlebells so great:
The list of usefulness and effectiveness of kettlebells continues. No matter what type of athlete you are, you can benefit from using kettlebells. Even runners see benefits of kettlebells because it helps with form and posture.
So what do kettlebells actually do? Here are some of the areas in your fitness life where kettlebells have such a big impact on:
Whether you’ve been browsing for a kettlebell (or two) of your own, there are many benefits of owning your own, as well as incorporating kettlebells in your workout program. Explosive workouts help burn more calories and can improve your stability and strength. The greatest thing about kettlebells is that they’re versatile, affordable, and provide a full-body workout.
If you’re in the market for new kettlebells and want to improve your home gym, Gymreapers will have kettlebells in our store soon. Be sure to check out the latest updates via our Instagram and Facebook page.
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