Monday, September 14, 2009

Training Tips: Kettlebells

What are Kettlebells?

Kettlebells are bowling ball-sized cast iron weights with a single looped handle on top. Kettlebells range in weight from two pounds to over 100 pounds. Kettlebells have been used in Eastern Europe since the early 20th century, but are taking off in the West thanks to programs at popular fitness centers like CrossFit!

How Would I Benefit from Using Kettlebells?

The reason for the boost in kettlebell training? When lifted and extended away from the body, they provide a low-impact, total body workout in under an hour. Kettlebells require an athlete to focus on whole-body conditioning because lifting and controlling a kettlebell forces the entire body, and specifically the core, to contract as a group, building both strength and stability at the same time. Kettlebell workouts engage multiple muscle groups at once. In this way, they are a great option for getting a whole body workout in a short time. That means fast results in fewer hours a week, who wouldn't love that?

Kettlebell Safety

Proper form is very important when it comes to training with kettlebells. You need to start out slow so you avoid injury. This training causes you to use many different joints and muscles at once so it may take some time for your body to adjust to these new movements. It may take time and patience but it is well worth it!
To find a certified kettlebell trainer near you, check out this SITE.

Kettlebell Exercises

The first kettlebell exercise most athletes learn is the kettlebell swing . To do this, women will need a kettlebell that weighs around 12 to 25 pounds and men will need a 25- to 35-pound kettlebell. For this exercise, the weight needs to be heavy enough to fully engage the hamstrings and buttocks.
Also, there are quite a few kettlebell DVD's. These are great because they really help you with your form. Here are a few:
Kettlebell Dynamics
Dragon Door Kettlebell Goddess

Buying a Kettlebell

Look for a kettlebell with a smooth, cast-iron handle. Make sure it's comfortable to grip and purchase one that is appropriate, weight wise for you. See above.
US Kettlebells sells an adjustable kettlebell so you can adjust your kettlebell as you get stronger.

US Kettlebells - Adjustable Kettlebells!

If you're looking to spice up your fitness routine, kettlebells may be the answer!



Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said...

I've heard nothin but great things about KB's. I havent tried, but am game! Thanks for the post!

Jennifer said...

I would love it if they brought these to my gym and I was able to try them out.

TheFitnessFreak said...

If you go to the Crossfit website Jennifer, they have a list of gyms affiliated with them. A lot of them offer classes. On the right sidebar about 1/3 of the way down they have a list of affiliated gyms : )

Lizzie M. said...

These sound really neat, can't wait to try them!!


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