Learning to Use Kettlebells
Kettlebells have been around for a long time but did not become very popular until the 1990s. The first US made Russian style kettlebell was made in 2001. Kettlebells are used to improve your physique and fitness level.
What sets this cast iron weight apart from other exercise tools is its unusual design; it has been likened to a cannonball with a handle. Some are filled with water, sand or steel shot. Unlike regular dumbbells where the weight is evenly distributed on each side, the kettlebell’s center of mass goes away from the hand.
Because of its design, the user can swing the weight to improve core strength. Each time you swing the weight, you are not just fighting the weight but the centripetal force as well. Using a kettlebell is no doubt more challenging than working out with a dumbbell of the same weight. Some are filled with water, sand or steel shot.
The ballistic and swinging movements combine cardio, strength and flexibility movements. These exercises can build strength and endurance specifically in the lower back, shoulders, butt and legs. Basic moves like swing, snatch and the clean and jerk work different muscle groups at once.
Kettlebell exercises are holistic in nature. Compared to exercises done with dumbbells, kettlebell training often requires large number of repetitions. Another concept of the kettlebell is the caution that needs to be practiced when using it.
One of the most common mistakes that beginners make is they bend at the waist and pull with their arms to move the weight. You need to use your hips and not your arms to move the kettlebell. Doing the exercises correctly will allow you to burn more calories and prevent injuries.
If you are a beginner, it will be best to try different weights and exercises until you find one that that will give you a challenging but functional workout. Learn the basics before you venture out to more advanced techniques. The basic core moves that you have to master are how to swing, clean and snatch.
You can’t be an advanced kettlebell user unless you practice the basic exercises. Since the exercises involved in kettlebell training use the same type of movements in regular work such as chopping wood and shoveling, you are able to develop functional or real life strength.
The weight itself does not look complicated but mastering the moves is a little difficult. There are certain techniques that are essential to master so as to prevent injuries. If you are planning to workout with a kettlebell, it is suggested you eithervpurchase a DVD so you can practice the moves at home or enroll in a class at a conveniently located gym.