Kettlebells are some of the most versatile training equipment for beginners and experienced gym rats alike. These unique weights allow users to diversify traditional bodyweight training routines. While still perfectly fine for cardio workouts, kettlebells have lately been used to increase workout intensity.
The result? Higher workout intensity means you lose weight faster. Using more weights also means you can sculpt a more impressive physique.
That being said, kettlebells come in various sizes and weights. What you use and how you use it will determine the type of workout you can get.Keep reading to find out what are kettlebells good for, where they’re most used, and what are their advantages over more common workout equipment.
While kettlebells are used to enhance traditional workouts or remove the boredom of dumbbell training, they also come with their own unique training exercises. You can’t have kettlebell training without the kettlebell.
But what is this type of training really? It’s a workout routine comprising distinct exercises that at their core feature swinging motions.
The Russian swing is a particularly popular exercise that’s usually implemented in all kettlebell workouts due to its effectiveness, not just as a tribute to the Russian farmers who invented this style of training.
As you will notice from most kettlebell training DVDs, the exercises involve various swings and ballistic motions that simply can’t be replicated with a barbell or dumbbell, which has a regular center of gravity.
Kettlebells have been called functional, versatile, and so on. But what do these adjectives actually describe? Kettlebells have a unique design for starters. Because of this, they are a lot more efficient at training multiple muscle groups at the same time, as opposed to your standard gym machines.
The swinging movements that require the user to control the kettlebell’s weight almost always put a lot of strain on the core. It doesn’t matter if working your chest, biceps, triceps, or your back is the main goal.Whole body training accomplishes a lot:
Why is all this important? In your everyday life, you use all your muscle groups. Although people are hardwired to notice only certain muscle groups as they are more appealing, training just a few of them won’t improve your overall strength, posture, and well-being.
The advantage of kettlebells is that they can almost simulate the type of workout you would get as a swimmer. Swimming is known as a sports activity that puts nearly 90% of your muscles to work at the same time.Individual kettlebell workouts don’t approach that number but a complete set of workouts will.
Dumbbells are everywhere and still massively popular. However, in order to work your entire body with dumbbells, you will need a lot of them. Different shapes, sizes, and weights are required to train specific muscle groups.
The unique design of kettlebells means that you can use just one or a pair of kettlebells for all your exercises. The grip is more challenging, and therefore for some exercises, you raise the intensity not by adding weight but by trying to balance yourself around the off-center mass of the kettlebell.
That’s all great, but what does it really mean for the average Joe who’s trying to eat healthy, lose weight, and build some strength and muscle definition? It means that kettlebells are not only physically effective, they’re also very cost-effective.
With two kettlebells, you can tackle the same muscles – if not more – than switching between five or six pairs of dumbbells. Again, this is because of the unique design of the cast iron cannonball workout tool.
And, not only do you pay less, you don’t need to worry about space. Two kettlebells require nothing in terms of floor or storage space. This means you won’t have to go to the gym unless you don’t have the discipline to work out at home.Even then, you could just get a kettlebell training program DVD. In fact, this is recommended since kettlebell-specific exercises take some time to learn. There’s a certain posture that you have to master to get the most out of them.
If you’re an avid climber or if you just need a stronger grip in your line of work, there’s nothing better than kettlebells. Grip strength is something you simply can’t easily develop with traditional gym equipment or by just bulking up the size of your forearms.
Just browse some YouTube videos of professional bodybuilders trying to arm wrestle professionals half their size and you’ll understand what grip strength is all about. It’s not something noticeable in muscle or biceps size.
The larger handle of a kettlebell allows you to use either one or two hands. It also promotes a very uncomfortable grip compared to barbells and dumbbells.
The swinging motion is also a key ingredient. It stresses the muscles in ways you didn’t know were possible. That’s because you have to try and control the speed of the swing both when the kettlebell is ascending and descending.The kettlebell’s external center of mass makes this very uncomfortable and difficult. Therefore, it trains your muscles better and harder. More specifically, the off-center mass will activate small stabilizer muscles. Training those is what allows you to maximize your grip strength as well as develop pure strength in other muscle groups.
Kettlebells are great at putting a bit of oomph in traditional bodyweight workouts. They’re also great for saving money and storage space. They’re surprisingly efficient today, seeing as how they were invented almost three centuries ago.
The core design behind the kettlebell hasn’t changed. However, the number of exercises and the complexity of the routines surely have. If you’re looking for raw strength, extra muscle definition, and a full body workout, kettlebells and kettlebell exercises can deliver.Not bad for what were once crop weights, right?