Sample Content Preview
Kettlebell is one of the exercises that most people regard as cool and interesting. If you have not seen a kettlebell before, you may be curious how it looks like. Well, it's pretty straightforward. It is a black cannonball with a handle that is cast of iron. While there are so many other workout tools that you can employ to achieve your health goals, kettlebell training has many unique health benefits if you choose to incorporate it into your workout routine.
Part of what makes kettlebells exercises mystical lies in its origin. They were popularized in Russia in the 18th century. During this time, the kettlebell was used as counterweights when measuring things like cereals and other dry products.
Soon enough, the farmers started challenging each other to lift the heaviest kettlebells and eventually, they found their way into the hands of strong circus men. After the Second World War, the Soviet Red Army took up the kettlebells in training their soldiers and later in the 1970s, lifting kettlebells was declared an official sport.
While kettlebells have been around in the US for over a century, they have enjoyed its fair share of resurgence and eventually found their way into the gym and fitness stores. It comprises a bell, a handle, and horns. The bell, in this case, refers to the round cannonball shaped weight, and the handle is what connects the kettlebell by simply sloping downwards on each end, hence referred to as the horns.
It is this design that makes the kettlebell quite a unique tool. You may be thinking “what is the difference between kettlebells and dumbbells?” Well, one thing that you have to take note of is that unlike the dumbbells in which the handle connects two weights that are evenly distributed and lies at the center of them, the kettlebell’s center of gravity is usually offset from its handle. This is mainly because it rests several inches away from the center.
It is also important to note that with a kettlebell, it is quite easy to grasp it by the handle, bell end or horns. It is the mainstay to grip the kettlebell by its handle. However, when it comes to certain exercises like squats, it is much easier to grasp them by the horns. To achieve a greater grip on certain poses like rowing, it may be better if you hold the kettlebell by the bell itself. This is because it will help force the hand to squeeze harder to prevent slipping.
Chapter 1: How To Choose A Kettlebell
According to a study conducted at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, there are so many ways in which you can choose a kettlebell. Mostly, the kettlebells vary in designs. There are those that are coated with rubber to protect the floors from the resulting impact. Other designs are designed specifically for competitions. Such kettlebells have a straight handle and are uniform in shape and size irrespective of the weight.
Over the years, some manufacturers have designed kettlebells with a concave face for ergonomic factors. Others like the newfangled kettlebells work the same way as dumbbells, which means that they can be loaded with plates for weight adjustments with just a single implement. For instance, kettlebell swings and getups are said to get the heart rate up and burn more fats in the same manner a cardio machine does but can do more in re-enforcing good mechanics.
Therefore, if you plan on buying your first kettlebell, it is important that you do the test before making the purchase. Start by holding up your hand and touch your thumb to the tip of your pinkie. Take note of the channel that forms on your palm. This is the point at which the kettlebell handle is supposed to rest most of the time. That is from the outside knuckle of your index finger down to the opposite side of your wrist in a diagonal orientation.
Follow this by picking up the weight and then holding the handle in the middle so that it fills the channel. Ensure that the bell rests on the back of your forearm and that the wrist at this point is straight. It is important that it does not impinge on the boney profile of your wrist. If at some point you pick up the kettlebell
and it rubs against the bone protruding on the lateral side of your wrist, then this means that the weight displacement from the handle is not ideal. In other words, there is a high risk of you getting injured.
The best safety tip at this point is for you to avoid choosing a kettlebell that has a thick handle. You will realize that Onnit's handles have a diameter that is a little over an inch. This is enough when it comes to working your grip strength, while not causing unnecessary fatigue.
When performing an exercise like a swing, there is a possibility that you will be making so many reps in a single workout. The key here is to ensure that your grip does not burn out. This is mainly because it is counterproductive from a technical standpoint. When the grip is overworked, there is a chance that you will see a whole slew of mechanical problems that will occur. As for how much weight you should begin with, men can typically lift 16 kilos while women can lift 8 kilos.
Chapter 2: The Benefits of Kettlebell Training
There are so many benefits that you get to enjoy by performing kettlebell workouts. One thing that is important to note is that kettlebell training offers a unique combination of benefits from strength exercises and cardio. As mentioned earlier, kettlebell workout is more unconventional and quite resembles a cannonball with a handle attached to it. You can use it to build your strength, agility, boost balance and endurance while at the same time burn fat.
Kettlebell exercises often feature a wide range of lifts and swings. The good thing is that the training tool is quite flexible and can be used for a broad range of intense training exercises. Therefore, if you need a hybrid system for both strength and cardio, the kettlebells are your best option at creating workouts that are not only effective but also time efficient.