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What are the benefits of kettlebell training

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What are the benefits of kettlebell training?

Kettlebell training has been around for hundreds of years. While this type of old school training is both effective yet simple, please don’t think it will be easy. Kettlebell training is extremely effective, and has been building strong humans for quite a long time.

However, before I get too far into the lore of the kettlebell please let me get everyone on the same page.

What is a kettlebell?

A kettlebell is basically a cannon ball with a handle attached to it. They are made from cast iron and are therefore almost indestructible pieces of equipment. As the saying goes “you never really own a kettlebell. You simply look after it for the next generation”.

kettlebells

Kettlebells are compact, portable, and very versatile. Because of these features they make excellent tools for a garage gym or a small space workout.

The weight is measured in “poods”. One pood = 35lbs (or ~ 16kg). Traditional practitioners only speak of kettlebell weight in poods or kilograms (kg) rather than pounds (lb). 

So to make you sound like a kettlebell pro, here are the quick conversions:

One pood = 16kg = ~35lbs

One and half poods = 24kg = 52lbs

Two poods = 32kg = ~ 70lbs

What are the physical benefits of kettlebell training?

Kettlebell training develops strength, speed, power, endurance, stamina, overall athleticism, accelerates fat loss, builds muscle, develops hip power and grip strength, and builds a functional core.

As you can see the list of benefits is quite extensive.

This type of all around fitness is known as “GPP” or “general physical preparedness”. Because KB work prepares you for whatever life throws your way, you will be better prepared to move furniture, carry groceries, jump into a pickup racquetball game, or run full speed to catch a bus. Basically you will be better prepared to handle life.

pianomove

I’m not a competitive athlete. I work at a desk. Why should I use kettlebells?

Kettlebell training is not just reserved for athletes! If you work a desk job I strongly recommend you add kettlebell work to your routine.

Here’s why…

•1. KB training reduces low back pain→

Kettlebell exercises, especially the swing, train and develop the glutes (aka your butt) and your hip. Numerous studies have proven that athletes with small glutes tend to experience higher rates of low back pain. Why is this? Small glutes (aka a small butt) is a good indicator that they aren’t firing properly. This causes the muscles in your low back to compensate and become overused.

Sitting for prolonged periods mutes the function of the glutes and thus causes your lower back to compensate, leading to low back pain. The back muscles are not intended to replace the function of the glutes, one of the largest muscles in our body. My recommendation is to give kettlebell swings a try.

←KB Swing

•2. Strengthens joints and ligaments→

Kettlebell work is a relatively simple and safe way to repeatedly load your joints. Repeatedly loading your joints with weight has been proven time and time again to create strong and healthy joint cartilage. Strong joints are also much less likely to develop osteoarthritis than joints which are not subjected to the stress of repetitive loading.

←Farmers Carries

•3. Improves flexibility→

Due to their dynamic nature kettlebell exercises are a great way to improve flexbility. The kettlebell swing is a very effective stretch to loosen up tight hip flexors. As we know, tight hip flexors cause movement dysfunction and can lead to pain. KB movements also teach your glutes and hip to work together. This is an important movement pattern for being human.

←KB Getup

Best kettlebell hip opener is the kettlebell hip pry (see video below).

←kb hip pry
•4. Strengthens the core→
Kettlebell work is a great way to teach abdominal bracing. The technique of using your breathing to create stability and rigidity within your core. This concept is the same as squeezing your stomach muscles prior to getting punched. And finally, training with kettlebells will actually help you develop a strong and functional core.
←KB Deadlift
If you missed my article on core strengthening, you can check it out here

Sample kettlebell workouts

If you are unsure what a particular exercise looks like, please checkout the video section

Workout # 1

4 Rounds without stopping of:

10 KB Deadlift

100 Foot farmers carry with KB

10 Burpees

Workout # 2

1) KB Getup, 3 sets of 1 rep each arm. Take a 1 minute rest between sets

2) Five Rounds without stopping of:

8 KB Sumo deadlift high pulls

8 KB Swings

8 KB Front squats

(Click here for a video demonstration)

Workout # 3

1a) KB Walking Lunges, 4 sets of 10-14 reps total (5-7 per leg)

1b) Jump lunges, 4 sets of 6 total

2a) KB Snatch, 4 sets of 3 each arm

2b) Pushups, 4 sets of 10-15

3) KB Swing, 3 sets of 10

Cool, but how much should I pay for a kettlebell of my own?

If you are only going to buy one piece of training equipment, I strongly recommend making it a kettlebell. First of all they are easy to store and, in my opinion, are the only piece of household gym equipment you need.

Prices for kettlebells vary to a degree, but expect to pay roughly $1- $1.25 per pound.

 

Final thoughts

In conclusion I’ll keep this simple. If you are not currently using kettlebells, you should start now. In addition to a reduction in low back pain and an increase in core strength, kb training improves body composition (aka helps you look better naked). While these are just a few of the many benefits, I highly recommend that you begin incorporating kettlebell training into your own routine. You will thank yourself.  

If you have any future questions about kettlebells, please email me. I would love to hear from you.


BURN MORE CALORIES IN 20 MINUTES FROM HOME…
…THAN MOST PEOPLE DO IN 60 MINUTES AT THE GYM

Want to learn how?


Read this next:
Grease the Groove: The skill of strength

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