A Short Introduction to Kettlebells

How it began?

Kettlebells began as a form of showmanship and entertainment rather than the fitness tool they have become today. Their use started in during city festivals and Russian men would use them to display their strength, balance, coordination and stamina.

After the first world war they slowly evolved into a fitness tool as weightlifting and fitness took off in the baltic states. They are currently used by a wide variety of fitness professionals and are seen as an affordable way to add to your home gym or you can even keep one in the boot of your car for a workout anywhere your life takes you. The beauty of kettlebells are that in order to get a good workout all you need is some free space, imagination and one appropriately sized Kettlebell.

What You need?

For most people all that is needed is one Kettlebell. For a Man who is good shape go for a 53LBS kettlebell, but if your beggining training and want something more manageable you’ll need something a bit lighter 35LBS will do fine. Most women should start with a KB of around 18LBS but if you have been training for a while and are pretty strong you can shoot as high as 32LBS. Dragondoor is a great place to get Kettlebells or even eBay is worth checking but ideally see if your local store has them as to avoid shipping costs…..

Check out this video below to see how easy it is to do an outdoor workout with simply a Kettlebell and some creativity:

httpv://youtube.com/watch?v=X6jb-ae9X3A&feature=channel_page

What You can do with them?

This is the awesome part with Kettlebells, they are so versatile in their use that anyone can pick one up and start using them for the basics.

  • Presses
  • Overhead Squats and Lunges
  • Floor Pressing
  • Rows

These are all very basic movements and allow you to use the kettlebell much like a dumbell, this will get you great results but in order to move to the next level you will need to start learning some more advanced technique’s

  • Kettlebell Swing
  • KB Clean and Press
  • Turkish Get-ups
  • Windmills

To learn these its definitely worth booking a short session with someone who knows how to use Kettlebell who will be able to teach you some of the basics and make sure you have your form down. Allowing you to train safely with a kettlebell.

Once you have figured things out and become comfotable with KB training you can start to get creative with workouts, here are some of my favorites….

– 400m Run and 30 Kettlebell Swings Repeat 3 times.

– Tabata Kettlebell Swings

– 10×10 Kettlebell Matrix – Basically 10 exercises some KB in a row with little rest.

The beauty of these workouts is that they all take 15 minutes or less and can be done in your back garden. If you need more space just stick the Kettlebell in the boot of your car and head to your local park where you could combine some sprinting and Kettlebell work for a short intense workout.

Recommended Reading:

5 Pillars of Kettlebell Training

Basic Kettlebell Circuit Training

Advantages of using a Kettlebell

To me one of the key advantages of using a kettlebell is their simplicity, they have no moving bits and are robust meaning you can store them anywhere and know that they are a solid investment that will last you a long while. Plus they don’t look ugly like Dumbell’s. As for the training advantages of Kettlebell’s lets have a look;

  • Kettlebells’ offset center of gravity maximizes shoulder strength, flexibility, and health. Most Russians have never heard of ‘rotator cuffs.’ shoulder injuries are virtually unheard of in people who train with Kettlebells.
  • Kettlebells’ are outstanding at developing grip and lower back strength. They will also make your lower back more resilient as things like Swings work your muscles from every angle strengthening your posterior chain.
  • They make it so easy to get in high intensity workouts.
  • Kettlebells’ are so versatile they give you instant workout freedom and simplicity, its easy t go outside with a kettlebell and create your own 15 minute workout
  • They are relatively cheap and along with a few other bits and bobs can completely replace a gym membership.

After having a kettlebell for a few months now it has become an essential part of my workout repertoire. I love the simplicity of it and the way it allows me to get some good resistance training in at anytime I like (especially first thing in the morning before work) or even after a long day an outdoor Kettlebell circuit is surprisingly refreshing and a good stress reliever due to the natural feeling of the workout. The things are just so fun and versatile I think everyone should try one out……

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