Over the past decade, kettlebell training has become increasingly popular, making its way into bootcamps and CrossFit classes around the world. Yet somehow, the whole-body conditioning tool is often overlooked and underutilized in regular fitness routines.
As an effective weight training alternative to dumbbells and dumbbells, the kettlebell is a fantastic way to shape and strengthen your body from head to toe. By design, the domed iron weight can be used to stimulate strength and power development, build core strength and stability, and increase endurance. While beating boredom and exploding the plateaus.
The reason for the effectiveness of kettlebells? “Kettlebell training combines explosive strength with muscular endurance to provide an effective and athletic workout,” says Sarah Gawron, a New York-based strength coach. ONNIT-certified kettlebell flow expert and founder of Kettlebell Strong, based in Comfort NYC.
Gawron, aka “Coach Sarah”, who is also CrossFit L2, USA Weightlifting L2 and Kettlebell Athletic certified, is here to bust the myths surrounding kettlebell training while providing all the reasons why you should add kettlebells to your routine. regular training.
Coach Sarah Busts Common Kettlebell Myths
If you’re one of the many gym-goers still reluctant to engage in kettlebell training out of fear of injury or simply worry about technique and the benefits of the training tool, Gawron says don’t leave these common kettlebell misconceptions behind. Knowing the truth about fictional kettlebells is the first step to extra gains for your workout.
1. A person cannot gain strength with kettlebells.
- Truth: “Building strength and size can be done in many different ways and depends on many factors such as genetics, diet, training regimen, body type,” says Gawron. Case in point – Yes, kettlebells can build strength, but the end result depends on how you train, how/what you eat, your genetics, lifestyle (and more) that create an environment conducive to strength. growth (or lack thereof).
2. Kettlebells can cause back problems.
- Truth: “Using kettlebells requires technical development and skill; Therefore, a lot of people don’t use them because they think they’re going to hurt themselves and end up getting bruises,” says Gawron. If you’re new to using kettlebells, she encourages you to work with a trainer and take a course or online course that covers the fundamentals. This will ensure proper technique and safety.
3. There is only one way to lift and use kettlebells.
- Truth: Short answer: FALSE! “There are many ways, styles, and schools of kettlebell training,” says Gawron. “All will confirm and encourage that the movements must be performed efficiently and without pain.” She explains.
“Some people get confused when they see hardstyle, Kettlebell Sport or a hybrid of the two and want to know which style is ‘correct,'” she says. But since movement can take so many different forms, there’s no “wrong” way to get around.
The difference between kettlebell training and dumbbells
Although both kettlebells and dumbbells are good for the body, there happens to be a surprising difference between the two.
Interestingly, the design of the kettlebell allows for a fuller and greater range of motion when working out. “For example, the strict press (when using a kettlebell), you can use the full range of the shoulder joint,” says Gawron. “When using a dumbbell or barbell, due to their design, the movement is shortened.”
Unlike dumbbells or dumbbells, kettlebell exercises allow the body to train different planes, where the movements performed with a dumbbell and barbell are usually performed only in the sagittal plane), more recruit the stabilizing muscles, thus strengthening the joints and requiring the body to evenly generate force to perform the movements efficiently.
“The design of the kettlebell makes it unique and different from conventional tools like dumbbells,” says Gawron. “A kettlebell’s center of gravity is offset from its handle — it rests several inches away, which forces the stabilizing muscles to engage more to balance the weight during a movement,” she says, which gives you gives more for your money when pumping iron.
The Benefits of Kettlebell Training
Be prepared to add kettlebells to your sweat sessions as they have proven to be a great tool for total body conditioning. “Kettlebell training strikes a good balance between improving mobility, joint stability, increasing muscle, and developing power,” says Gawron.
Conventional and traditional movements in kettlebell training such as the swing, clean, and snatch are all power and strength movements. “It’s important to have such power moves in your workout to help build stronger, more resilient connective tissue; specifically, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and joint capsules,” she explains.
Kettlebell training also develops grip strength and helps improve coordination and mobility. And of course kettlebells also crush the core.
“You can use kettlebells in a variety of ways: circuits, flows, strengthening exercises to build strength and improve your cardiovascular system,” says Gawron. And you can train anywhere; the beach, a park, in the comfort of your own home or local gym!
The Best Kettlebell Brands to Get You Started
You don’t need to invest a lot to get into kettlebell training. In fact, a person can accomplish a lot with light, medium and heavy weight. Here are Coach Sarah’s three favorite kettlebell brands to choose from:
Keep in mind that each company’s kettlebell mold is slightly different. A brand may have a longer or thicker handle and the kettlebell will sit differently in the rack position. Consulting a kettlebell instructor or professional will help take the guesswork out of what’s best for you.
go with the flow
Often people can be intimidated by the terminology of kettlebells, one of them being a flow. A flow, according to Gawron, is like a dance, a combination of one move, say, a kettlebell swing, leading into another, like a clean, and continuing in what feels like a choreographed routine. It’s almost like being in a zen state with a kettlebell, and before you know it, you’re rocking the bell for five minutes without putting it down. follow those around us, but if we can really channel and move forward with purpose. So I find flow work really helps with that. Because now that you are focusing on the movement, you are in tune with your breathing. This way you can walk around with the bell for more than five minutes at a time without putting it down.
“I find with a lot of students or people who want to start using the tool is they see all these crazy feeds, or they look really awesome on social media. But that simple that the flow can be a swing, even simplified, it will be like a clean, a press, a squat. That’s it. And you can just do the clean squat overhead. And once I explain or tell people it’s a stream, they’re like, oh, I can do this.
Inspired by kettlebell training? Let’s start!
Trainer Sarah’s Entry-Level Kettlebell Workout Workout
Block A (3 laps, in circuit). Use it as a warm-up for the next two blocks.
- Halo squats: 10 repetitions
What he does: This is used to warm up and help mobilize the shoulders as well as relax the lower body.
How to do: Start by holding a lightweight kettlebell upside down (bell up) while grasping the bell horns. With feet about shoulder-width apart, squat down, then come up and rotate the bell around your head from side to side, then bring it back towards your chest. He is a representative. Repeat for five reps before changing rotation (right to left).
- Suitcase + Luggage rack: 30 seconds per side:
What he does: This is used to warm up and stabilize your core as well as help activate the shoulders.
How to do: Hold a lightweight kettlebell in one hand in a forward rack position (holding the bell against your chest while keeping your wrist strong and your elbow tight). Hold a heavier kettlebell with your other hand by your side (like a suitcase). Walk in a straight line or in place, focusing on keeping your core tight and your hips straight. After 30 seconds, switch sides.
- Chest swings: 15 repetitions
What he does: This hip hinge movement is used to warm up and help activate the hamstrings and glutes. (You shouldn’t feel this in your lower back.) It’s also a great starting point for learning how to master the kettlebell swing.
How to do: Start by holding the kettlebell with both hands on your sternum with your feet about shoulder-width apart and directly below your hips. (Keeping the weight close to your center of mass will eliminate the possibility of feeling it in your lower back). Hinge at the hips, then, pushing your feet into the floor, engage your glutes and stand up. He is a representative.
Block B (Strength): 3-4 sets / Rest as needed between sets. Try to maintain the flow from one movement to the next.
- Clean to Squat with two hands: 5 reps (each side)
What he does: This is a great move for developing lower body power and explosiveness.
How to do: Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart when placing a light to medium kettlebell on the floor between your ankles. Send your hips back and grab the bell with both hands. Then, using your legs and glutes, pull the bell towards your chest. Stand up straight with the bell still across your chest, lower yourself into a squat then place the kettlebell on the floor. He is a representative. Reset and repeat.
- Standing Rocker Press: 6 reps (each side)
What he does: Builds shoulder strength and power
How to do: Hold a pair of lightweight kettlebells from the rack position (focus on keeping your elbows close to the sides and thumbs on your collarbone). Press a bell towards the ceiling until it locks. Then lower that dumbbell while simultaneously pressing the opposite kettlebell. Continue this “sea saw” pattern for the rest of the set.
- Deadstop Swing: 12 repetitions
What he does: This is a great hip hinge movement that is an exceptional building block for transitioning into kettlebell swings.
How to do: Taking a similar approach to the one you took earlier with the chest swing – feet under you, bell between ankles, but this time the kettlebell is placed on the floor. Send your hips back, reach for the bell and tilt the bell towards you – this is your starting position. From there, “hike” the bell like a soccer ball, keeping it close to your hips, push your feet into the floor, engage your glutes, let the bell swing forward. Let it swing back, then lower it to the ground and reset it. He is a representative.
Block C (Core Cashout): — 3 sets of 30 seconds on/15 seconds off
- Big board drag
What he does:Focuses on core strength and anti-rotation.
How to do: Get into a high, strong plank position, with a kettlebell along one side of your torso. With the opposite arm, reach towards the chest and grab the bell, sliding it to the other side. Then, with the opposite arm, reach out again and grab the bell on the other side. Continue alternating for 30 seconds. (Note: If you lose plank position, lower to your knees and continue doing drags.)
- ½ Kneeling Windmill
What he does: Focuses on rotation as well as hip and shoulder stability.
How to do: From a half-kneeling position, with one foot forward and the other leg down. Hold a kettlebell to the side of your front foot, press it overhead, keeping it locked for 30 seconds. Rotate your torso to the kettlebell side, gazing at the bell, while lowering your opposite hand to the floor (place your hand on a yoga block if you have mobility issues). Return to the original half-kneeling position and repeat.