Kettlebells, a perfect tool for optimal physical condition

Kettlebells are quite possibly the best piece of training equipment you could ever invest in. In addition to being a fun way to get in shape, kettlebells can be used in many ways. Strength, cardiovascular and muscular endurance are improved with kettlebell training. So what is this tool and where does it come from? Kettlebells originated in the 19th century in Russia. Who else to have a single exercise tool that could do so much? Kettlebells were used in markets in the past, as dumbbells, literally weights to hold things. Well, since men (and women now) can’t resist seeing if they can lift something, it became a sport. A kettlebell basically looks like a ball, with a handle. Not just any ball, but a weighted ball that can be purchased and used as a training tool starting at 5 pounds. and goes up to over 100 lbs. Make sure when you talk about this amazing tool, you say kettlebells – not kettlebells. That seems to be the common thing that people get wrong.

One of the biggest questions people ask is “what is the difference between using a kettlebell, versus using a dumbbell or free weight?” The answer is simple. A kettlebell has the center of gravity in the middle of the ball. To swing with a kettlebell, you have to keep your core engaged the entire time. This makes it a great tool for strengthening your back and abdominal muscles. It used to be said that we should “baby” have back problems. Now, countless studies have shown that when done correctly, kettlebell training strengthens the muscles that surround your entire core. Kettlebell training is great for preventing back injuries and keeping your back and abs strong.

The foundation of all kettlebell movements begins with the swing. With the kettlebell on the floor one foot in front of you, bend over with your knees slightly bent, feet hip-width apart, and grasp the kettlebell with both hands. The first move is to pull the kettlebell behind you and bring it in between your legs while in a slightly back squat. The core is engaged to keep you balanced with your chest and head up and facing forward. The kettlebell swing is a movement that is generated from a hip joint back, to propel the kettlebell forward and up.

It’s a movement that, when executed correctly, engages your core to remain stable and your glutes and legs to generate forward motion. The best thing about swinging a kettlebell is the way your heart rate soars and your blood pumps. This happens even with the best trained weight lifter. Due to the weight of the kettlebell and the power with which the kettlebell swings, you are getting a great cardio and muscular workout. This is a unique tool that can be used for many reasons. Weight loss due to the number of calories burned during a workout. Progressive strength due to the fact that as you become more conditioned, you can continue to gain weight on the kettlebell.

Most importantly for some, cardiovascular endurance is also improved, as this tool creates a higher oxygen debt than many other exercises. As one becomes more proficient in kettlebell training, the person’s weight to the weight of the kettlebell is the ratio that sustains the intense training. Above all else, kettlebell training is fun. It’s never boring. You’re always competing against your last workout in a way that forces you to get stronger and swing longer. Very soon you will begin to perform a large number of swings, while calories burn and muscles burn from fatigue.

Do you think this sounds like a great tool? I just started. Kettlebell swings are just the first movement to master when beginning a kettlebell program. From there, the possibilities are endless. There are many other exercises in which these handled weighted balls are used. From old school cleans to classic clean and jerks, the old style of hardcore training is back. One-handed swings to use double kettlebells while swinging are popular. Turkish lifts, rows, many forms of squats are used. Deadlifts, goblet squats, and lunges are some of the most popular exercises in bootcamps and classes. When you’ve mastered all of these, you might be ready to consider a competition. With a sport that just a few years ago was only heard of in other parts of the world, comes a competition that is not for the weak.

Kettlebell Sport is a fast growing competitive sport. Competitions are filled with as many women as men these days. In fact, pound for pound, women are cleaning up the trophies. With events lasting up to ten minutes of swinging the kettlebell from a clean and jerk to a snatch, this competition is grueling. Athletes congregate to try to out-swing and out-weight their peers.

Efficiency is the path to a winning place at the end of the day. Still, some of the world’s top competitors come from Russia to compete with us Americans, and they succeed on the platform almost every time! The Americans soon gain ground on them. Some of the smaller women are cleaning and shaking a kettlebell that is a third or more of their body weight. Since you are only allowed to change hands once in the ten minute event, these women and men have trained hard. Visit Kettlebell Sport on YouTube to see videos of this amazing competition that is quickly becoming popular. This is an athletic event that has to be seen. Although just about anyone can swing a kettlebell, those dedicated to training and intensity are on the platforms here. They are powerful and are some of the strongest and best prepared athletes around.

If you’re looking for a do-it-all tool in the world of fitness, grab and rock a kettlebell. It can take a few changes with a good trainer training you, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be hooked. Do you want to lose body fat? Swing with kettlebells. Are you looking to increase your cardiovascular capacity? Start swinging. Do you like to add some muscle to a weak frame? The kettlebell is your tool for everyone. If this sounds like something you’ve been looking for, then make sure you’re getting your training in the right place. Be sure to learn from someone who is certified in teaching kettlebells. When you find the gym with the right trainer, the sky is the limit.

Make sure that your family doctor clears you to train in this way. Even if you have back problems, you can get the blood flowing and strengthen the supporting muscles around your core. Elevate your heart, your mood and your strength levels with Kettlebells. The only piece of training equipment for optimum physical condition.

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