Kettlebells are great for a wide range of people, they are very adaptable, cheap and they don't take up much space if you prefer to train at home which makes them a cheap alternative to gym membership. They are versatile and a fun and effective way to train the whole body.
The other great thing about training with kettlebells is you can combine 2 or 3 exercises together which you just cant do with a barbell and more difficult to do with Dumbbells.
Every movement challenges the core as the way they are shaped challenges the centre balance. It also promotes functional fitness as the exercises mimic the way we move on a day to day basis using multiple muscles at once.
STRENGTH AND POWER
If you train using the traditional kettlebell exercises you will find you develop
1 a stronger core
2 strength and power
3 functional abilities
4 sports performance
6 Body composition
7 Muscle hypertrophy
8 cardiovascular fitness.
The Kettlebell has a thick handle, so this combined with the way in which you train with kettlebells helps to develop a strong grip.
HIP SNAPPING POWER ZONE.
Many of the kettlebell lifts involve strength and speed this is power. The Hip snap I mention is the key in developing the power. This will be emphasised during lifts such as The Kettlebell swing and the Snatch. The area surrounding the hip is where the forward motion and speed come from to perform the lifts. correctly and effectively.
Kettlebells can greatly improve the strength and therefore the function of the core which plays a huge part in supporting the trunk when performing the kettlebell lifts. This improved strength will be of a huge advantage to your body in every day life when you lift or push any heavy objects but also in protecting your back. However If you suffer from a pre existing back problem or chronic back or joint problem I would not recommend you begin Kettlebell training until you have spoken with a GP, qualified physio, or other professional first.
Allot of the Kettlebell lifts use large range of movement that really stretch as well as strengthen the muscles compared to other training methods, which encourages flexibility in our movement which is something that we all need more of.
When we think of the posterior chain or the back of the body , many people think of the butt (glutes) and maybe the upper back . But there is allot more to the posterior chain.
The Posterior chain is a chain or group of muscles that run up the backside of your body.
These are :
Erector Spinae(muscles around your spine)
Latisimus Dorsi (muscles in the mid back)
Glutes ( Butt Muscles)
Hamstrings ( 3 muscles at back of thigh)
Calf muscles .
as wells as the back of the obliques
We call them a chain because they all form a chain that works together and it supports many movements you make not only in the gym but outside of the gym ion your everyday life.
WHATS SO IMPORTANT ABOUT HAVING A STRONG POSTERIOR CHAIN?
A strong posterior chain, is very much needed for athletes in the way that it propells you forward, helping you to jump, pivot and rotate smoothly without causing injury. It also helps you maintain good posture and balance, helping to prevent every day life injuries that can occur and assists with moving, turning and lifting of heavy objects which we all need to do. E.G lifting a heavy load of washing and or shopping. When was the last time you lifted, carried or pushed or pulled a heavy object in a straight line!
Very rarely in life do we lay down to push something over our heads if we need to lift it its usually above the head, rarely do we push something with our feet when we are seated, rarely do we use just one group of muscles at a time when we are performing activities in our daily life. This is what I love about kettlebell training and this is why I use then and why I Use them with My Personal Training Clients.
Because the movements we make during training with Kettlebells (assuming you don't mimic standard squats, bent over rows and bicep curls) are very similar to the movement we use in our daily lives, There a multiple muscles used with every kettlebell exercise just as there are when we move heavy furniture, lift loads of heavy washing, carry suitcases, lift children etc..
HOW DO KETTLEBELLS BURN FAT?
Kettlebells are great for fat loss and here is why.
With kettlebell training you are using multiple muscles at once as you are using compound exercises that move through a variety of planes of motion. for example in the kettlebell one arm high pull you are using, Quadriceps, Glutes, trapezius, bicpes, deltoids, pectorals and triceps) hamstrings, rhomboids, latissimus dorsi.
How about that for multiple muscle usage in one exercise!?
Traditional weightlifting will burn a good amount of calories it will not be in the same league as kettlebells, as kettlebell workouts are typically more explosive and intense. This means the kettlebell workouts will increase both your aerobic and anaerobic capacity. So its a double whammy! More bang for your buck It offers fat loss and muscle building.
I'd also add that because the kettle bell exercises are unbalanced unlike dumbbells and barbells so more muscles have to work to stabilize your movement in your training and the more muscles worked the fitter you become and also more calories are burned. It is said that Kettlebell training work more muscles in one movement than any other training tool.
There are some kettlebell exercises that can work up to 600 muscles in one movement!
Moat people have heard of the AFTER BURN EFFECT (the continuation of calorie burning for quite a long time after you have finished your workout) which comes after an intense workout such as HIIT and Interval running this is called EPOC Post exercise oxygen consumption.
Kettlebells are pretty much well recognised as the best training tool for EPOC Not only because the exercises are intense but because of the amount of muscles used in one workout.
KETTELBELLS V RUNNING FOR FAT LOSS
Running is widely associated with fat loss and it is very effective.
Running for long periods of time will cause your muscles to break down. Kettlebell training burns more calories in less time than running (Unless it is interval running at a very high pace, which can burn very similar amounts of calories to a kettlebell workout.
The other thing is, You wont be burning muscle in Kettlebell training and the more muscle you have the more calories you burn at rest. Also don't forget the EPOC I talked about earlier, so whatever calories you burn during your workout there is the added benefit of the EPOC .
WHAT SIZE KETTLEBELL SHOULD I START WITH?
But this does depend on your existing fitness levels . If you are already involved in exercise and weight lifting you may find you can go a bit heavier but it does vary from person to person. Better to start of light and get used to the exercises and use the correct technique to avoid injury and build up to a heavier kettlebell . You may need a lighter kettlebell for your
upper body and heavier for your lower body. Its not a one size fits all in my experience. So use your own judgement.
A WORD OF CAUTION
I have outlined many benefits of using Kettleblells as a training tool, but please use caution and if at all possible get someone with experience or a professional to show you how to use them correctly to avoid injury and make sure you are using them correctly to avoid injury.