Introducing the Kettlebell
For all of you who are new to the word Kettlebell, it is not a completely new kid on the block in the fitness industry. Kettlebells have been used for nearly 100 years in countries such as Russia. More recently in North America, Kettlebell training is exploding in gyms due to its simplicity and it’s effectiveness.
The kettlebell is a strength training tool similar to the dumbbell only shaped differently and usually made out of cast iron. Resembling small bowling balls with thick, large handles the sizes of these weights begins at 4kg (8.8 lbs) and goes up to 50 kg. The kettlebell allows for ballistic movements and swinging that you cannot perform with traditional weights. Colored rubber coated kettle bells are now available in fitness stores, so if you’re not into the cast iron look and feel this may be your choice.
Pricing starts from around $22.00 for the 4kg to $265 for the 50 kg kettlebell. The best deal in my opinion would be to try them out at a gym that carries them to see if they are a fit for your goals and body type.
Why train with Kettlebells?
Many strength coaches feel that no single other training tool does it better. Here are some of the clear benefits from using the kettlebell:
- The kettlebell helps to develop power in the hip thrust, a power generator in all athletics. Whether you jump, kick, throw or swing for your sport, there is a great amount of power coming from the hips.
- The kettlebell will help stabilize and strengthen your back.
- Kettlebell’s offset center of gravity really works the shoulder’s strength, flexibility, and mobility.
- The kettlebell is popular as a grip, wrist, and forearm developer.
- Explosive power improvements
- Core strength increases
- Stabilization and balance improvements
Drawbacks of the Kettlebell?
The drawback cited most frequently is that kettlebells only work the core and upper body conditioning, leaving out the lower torso. Kettlebells can also be awkward if using for isolation in muscle groups or trying to increase size, so maybe leave this task to the dumbbells. Another important thing to remember when training with kettlebells is that they will be most effective in interval-based workouts, so traditional strength training sessions aren’t a wise fit.
Is this a good addition to your workout?
With the many benefits that kettlebells can offer they should be added to your workout routine, especially if you are looking to improve functional movements and focus more on conditioning and explosive strength. As I always tell my clients, variety in your training brings results! Perhaps the best way to decide if this training tool is a good fit for your workout is to ask yourself what you ultimately want to get out of training.