What is a Kettlebell?
First of all, what are kettlebells? A kettlebell is a circular cast-iron ball with a handle attached to it for gripping the weight. The weights vary in how heavy they are and you should select the proper weight for your current fitness level.
Kettlebells offer many added benefits that traditional weights do not. With a range of motion not found in any other weight, you will be able to target main muscle groups while working smaller muscles that other weights do not engage.
Best Kettlebells also improve your balance as well as the strength of your grip. Kettlebell exercises are perfect regardless of your goals. They will help you lose weight, rehab from an injury and even increase flexibility.
Are kettlebells a good option on the journey to lose weight? Yes! The unorthodox ways that you are able to use these weights burns up those calories. Since many kettlebell exercises involve swinging the weight in some fashion or another, you are burning fat using a cardio workout as well as gaining strength.
Using kettlebells to workout has been shown to burn up to 400 calories in just twenty minutes as opposed to only 350-450 calories in one hour using normal weights. If you were to train roughly three hours a week while eating a fairly healthy diet, you could lose up to one pound per week!
Those of you who have attempted to lose weight before know that a pound a week is a significant accomplishment. If you put in the work for a half-hour a day, the pounds will start coming off and your cardiovascular system will grow stronger.
When people think of building muscle they usually associate it with heavy barbells or weight lifting machines. However, with the right size kettlebell and consistent use, one can build muscle in every area of the body. It’s a versatile tool and due to the off-center of gravity, your muscles are forced to work harder than usual.
There are several exercises in particular that are very beneficial for gaining strength. The kettlebell snatch, for instance, has you lifting the kettlebell from the floor all the way overhead with your arm fully extended. It’s a full-body exercise that works your quads, back, shoulders, and hamstrings. Plus, it doubles as a cardio exercise since it keeps your heart rate elevated through each rep.
The kettlebell windmill is another example of a great strength building exercise that targets your core, triceps, shoulders, and hips. Essentially, the kettlebell is kept in a raised position overhead as you slowly bend at the waist and use your other hand to reach for the floor. It’s a combination of grace and strength. It’s best to start off with a lighter kettlebell since the difficulty can be exponentially harder with more heavier bells.
If you really want to go all out there are super-sized kettlebells, referred to as monster kettlebells, that weigh in excess of 100 lbs. Some upwards of 200 lbs. You won’t be doing any fancy kettlebell exercises. Rather, simple exercises like squats and lifts will suffice. However, this is something that only experienced kettlebell lifters should try. It’s extremely important that you have the basic fundamentals of kettlebell exercising before attempting to perform more demanding moves.
What About Rehab?
Kettlebell exercises can be used to rehab a variety of injuries including lower back pain, knee pain, and shoulder pain. No one enjoys being sidelined by injuries so why not speed up the process?
In order to rehabilitate a lower back injury or shoulder injury, the kettlebell swing is quite effective. The kettlebell swing is an exercise where you swing the weight between your legs while bending at the waist and then return to the upright position with the weight held out in front of you. You then repeat the process of swinging the kettlebell for a predetermined amount of repetitions.
This motion uses the extra weight of the kettlebell to reinforce the proper alignment of the spine at the lower back. The swinging motion strengthens shoulder muscle groups while stretching rotator cuff tendons. Using this exercise, you will be back to full strength in no time.
To rehabilitate an injury to the knee, the kettlebell squat swing is a popular exercise. This exercise is similar to the regular kettlebell swing except you will be bending at the knees instead of the hips. This safely stretches and strengthens tendons in the knee area.
Exercises like these will speed up the recovery process and get your body back to its original state.
Flexibilty and Mobility
Maintaining a flexible body will help to avoid injuries while ensuring you feel loose and limber. Kettlebells are versatile and can be used in a variety of different ways to stretch muscles and tendons. Depending on the exercise, you can increase hip mobility all the way to hamstring flexibility.
The two previously mentioned exercises (kettlebell swing and kettlebell squat swing) will work the hips and hamstrings. While you are stretching out your body, you will also be gaining strength which is why kettlebells are so effective. Make sure you are using proper form and you will feel the difference in mobility before you know it.
With all of the benefits of kettlebells, it doesn’t make sense not to work them into your workout routine. Whether you are training for strength, to lose weight, or to stay in generally good shape, kettlebells are the way to go.
Even though, Nogii only mentioned a few exercises in this article, the list of possible workouts with kettlebells is astounding. With a quick google search, you will find more exercises than you can handle.
Nogii have found kettlebells to be fun as well as addicting. The mundane task of moving weight in the same direction every workout is never an issue. Go checkout a kettlebell set on kettlebell krusher today and start reaping the benefits!