The kettlebell is an item of workout equipment that is avoided by many people. Perhaps that is because such people are stuck on the benefits of barbells and dumbbells. Whatever their reasons, they have probably made a mistake by overlooking this versatile and effective tool. In this article, we will explain a few things about the use of kettlebell training. We will also give you five kettlebell exercises that anyone can perform to improve their strength and mobility at the same time.
Origins Of Kettlebell Training
The idea of a swingable weight with a handle is far from new. The earliest example we can find comes from ancient Greece, where athletes would often train with a device called the haltere-Which was essentially just a rock with a handle carved into one side.
The kettlebell as we know it today comes from Russia. The first historical references come from the 18th century, and thus, we know that this device was originally used for weighing grain. Old-school scales required counterweights, and that’s what kettlebells were originally designed to be. Around 1880, a Russian doctor named Vladislav Kraevsky introduced the kettlebell as a fitness device. These methods were adopted by many, including a lot of circus strongmen, and they are largely responsible for introducing this tool to the western world.
Kettlebells Improve Strength
There is no doubt that kettlebells make great strength training. Some people feel that kettlebell training isn’t the best for strength, but the evidence seems to suggest otherwise. For instance, consider the results of this study.
The study was conducted on 21 healthy men between the ages of 18 and 27. The subjects were divided into two groups: One group did kettlebell exercises for six weeks while the other group did jump-squats. The results showed that both kettlebell exercises and jump-squats were effective for building strength in general and explosive strength in particular.
Kettlebells Improve Mobility
The main advantage that kettlebells provide over dumbbells and barbells is their increased range of motion. Range of motion refers to the ability of a person to move their body more freely, and kettlebells are great for improving that range of motion. As you will see, most kettlebell exercises involve swinging motions, which causes the body to get used to a larger motion than that provided by dumbbells and barbells.
For some proof of this idea, look at the following study. Researchers looked at a group of seven people: Four experts and three beginners. The more experienced kettlebell users showed a much greater range of motion than the beginners, showing that this type of training did, in fact, allow them to achieve greater mobility and flexibility.
Our Top Five Kettlebell Exercises
Let’s take a look at five of the best kettlebell exercises out there. This list is by no means complete, so feel free to modify it at your discretion.
1. The Basic Kettlebell Swing
This is a very popular exercise that is meant to torch your core. You just put the bell on the floor in front of you, and then squat down and grasp the handle with both hands. As you stand up, swing the bell outward and upward before allowing it to fall back down to its original position. Be careful not to hit yourself in the groin on the downswing, and be sure to use your abs and glutes more than your arms.
2. Greek Lunges
Based on historical depictions from ancient Greek pottery, we know that the ancient Greeks would use their weighted rocks in this way: They would perform forward lunges with the device in their hand, and they would keep their arms extended in front of them at all times. This one is meant to develop the shoulders, and it does that job very well. Here is a more common variation that is a little easier.
3. Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift
This exercise is meant to develop the legs, using a method that is a little awkward at first. Still, it is very effective when done properly. You just take a kettlebell in your hand, standing normally. Swing one leg back as you bend down with your upper body. The leg you swing should be on the same side as the hand with the bell. You support knee should remain slightly bent at all times.
4. Kettlebell Snatch
This is a strength exercise that is intended to work many different muscles, but it concentrates on the arms and upper legs. You start with a kettlebell in one hand, standing as normal. The bell should be hanging between your legs. Squat down (not all the way to the ground) and then stand back up again, thrusting the bell in the air with a punching motion. This one maximizes the potential of the kettlebell to develop explosive strength.
5. Farmer’s Walk
We chose this one because it is so easy, and yet so effective. All you really have to do is take a kettlebell in each hand and walk around for a while. You can walk back and forth in a small space if you don’t have much room. You should make sure to keep your elbows slightly bent and your steps quick and short. Don’t take big strides, take little tiny steps.
While it may not be everyone’s favorite tool, it is hard to ignore the great results that some people have achieved with kettlebells. It also helps to know that this is not a fad workout, as it has been proven to be effective over many years. We hope that this short guide has given you all the knowledge that you need in order to use the kettlebell as an effective tool. For those who need a good mix of strength and mobility, you couldn’t ask for a better option. If you have enjoyed this article and would like to see more of our work, please follow us on Facebook using the button below.