Introduction to Kettlebells
The kettlebell has seen a large rise in popularity in recent years, partly due to the recent national lockdown’s which seen people rushing to get what home equipment they could, the kettlebell has really proven its versatility and what a staple it is in our workout routines. Below we have outlined further information on how to effectively utilise the kettlebell for maximum results.
What are kettlebells?
A kettlebell is a traditional Russian weight made from a cast iron ball and has a handle. A lot of people think that kettlebells are a recent addition to the fitness toolkit, due to them becoming popular in the “functional fitness” phase of the last 10 or so years, however they have been around for a long time originally coming from a tool to weigh crops in the 18th century to then being used by circus strongmen in the 19th century. The birth of competitive kettlebell lifting is dated to 1885 with the founding of the “Circle of Amateur Athletics”, while the sport of kettlebell lifting was created in 1948. The English term “kettlebell” has only been in use since the early 20th Century as well. Traditional Russian kettlebells were available in 16 kg increments, however in modern times more weights have become available with the typical being 4kg increments now.
Kettlebells: What do they work?
A kettlebell is intended to enhance power, strength, endurance, stamina, agility and balance, challenging both the musculoskeletal and cardiorespiratory systems with dynamic, total body movements.
So can you use a kettlebell for strength training?
Yes you can, as previously mentioned kettlebells were originally used by Russian strongmen and are stables of modern day athlete regimes due to their ability to build full body strength through the entire kinetic chain and not isolating movement patterns.
Can you use a kettlebell for weight loss?
Absolutely, a kettlebell is a great tool for this as not only will you be building muscle (which we all know the more lean muscle the more calories burned), but kettlebell exercises are full body dynamic movements that will challenge your cardiovascular system more than walking on a treadmill.
How is a kettlebell different to a dumbbell?
Well firstly, they look completely different, other than that the main difference comes down to balance. What I mean by that is that a dumbbell provides a balanced workload that is equally weighted on both sides and the weight will always feel “in your hand” and under control, while a kettlebell is weighted off-centre, the weight being not in the handle, but in the ball which is considerably heavier and only sits on one side. This means that as you move through an exercise the kettlebell wants to keep going in the original direction through centrifugal force, meaning it takes more muscles to redirect a kettlebell.
Are kettlebell exercises different to conventional exercises?
Well yes and no. In the end of the day, the kettlebell is another tool in the gym and can be used as so, you can still use them for bench press, deadlifts, squats, rows and other movements, and in certain movements a kettlebell can prove more challenging to the stabilisers meaning stronger joints, tendons and ligaments as well as muscles, however this will also mean a lighter weight will need to be used than a dumbbell. However there are specific movements associated with a kettlebell. Most people will have heard of a kettlebell swing, but there are many more such as windmills, snatch, clean, Turkish get ups and high pulls. These movements tend to be full body movements that use as many muscles as possible and encourage the entire neuromuscular system to work as one single unit.
Can I buy a kettlebell online and just get moving at home?
Well kettlebells were one of the first pieces of equipment that sold out worldwide when the first lockdown hit, but luckily they are available now, however that doesn’t mean I suggest buying one, sticking on YouTube and trying your best. The reason for this is that unfortunately the majority of fitness influencers online do not have a single fitness qualification, let alone a kettlebell instructors qualification! What that means is that the majority of people demo’ing techniques on social media will actually be teaching you incorrectly which will potentially end up injuring you and halting your fitness journey (let alone time off work sick). Kettlebell movements are fairly technical and need to be taught by a qualified instructor to not only get the most out of them, but also given the ballistic nature of the bell to prevent injury (and smashing your tv if working out at home).
Once I have learned the basic kettlebell movements is that all there is?
No kettlebells given their nature are a fantastic piece of equipment to enhance movement flow training which adds another level to your fitness, proprioception and overall functional strength.
So there you have it, an introduction to kettlebells.
If this is something you wish to learn more about, then read below to find out more about our Kettlebell CPD Course and get booked in to secure your spot.
What can I expect from the Level 2 Instructing Kettlebells CPD Course?
Our Level 2 Kettlebell Instructor Courses are always hugely popular and are one day. If thinking of signing up you will benefit from the following
An internationally recognised certification. Our course’s are endorsed by the three major fitness education bodies: The Chartered Institute for the
Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) ukactive and REPs (the Register of Exercise Professionals).
To qualify you must complete two units: The first is theory based and titled ‘Planning a Kettlebell Exercise Session’ here you will demonstrate everything you have learned and how to piece together and effective kettlebell training session to help your client achieve their best. The second is practical based and titled “Instructing a Kettlebell Exercise Session’ this is where you will put in to practice your kettlebell training session and display your competence at safely and accurately instructing the session.
Together, these units will help you to understand and teach well-developed kettlebell exercises and to create and deliver safe and effective kettlebell lesson plans.
Our Kettlebell training classroom lectures, practical seminars and face-to-face assessments are available at one of our our UK location’s. Why not book a call here to find out more and see what we can do for you?