Kettlebells are one of the most ancient and versatile martial arts tools around. The basic kettlebell lift is very simple, but has become a staple of martial arts training due to its wide range of benefits. The first type of exercise you’ll do with kettlebells is called the swing. To perform the swing, all you have to do is raise both hands into the air and then extend them out in front of your body at shoulder width.
Kettlebells are great for building overall upper body strength, as well as stamina, flexibility, endurance, coordination, and balance. The kettlebell is basically a cast iron or steel ball with a handle fastened to the top with no ladders or weights. It’s commonly used to do a variety of diverse exercises, which include dynamic exercises that combine power, endurance and flexibility training. This exercise is perfect for an athletes fitness level, since it works out all of these aspects.
There are three primary exercises that you can do with kettlebells: the goblet squat, the double-arm kettlebell swing, and the overhead snatch. For the goblet squat, stand straight with both feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back straight, squat down into the floor as far as you can. From here, you should be able to see your upper back, your ribs, and your knuckles just below your shoulders. Keep your arms fully extended and hold this position for as long as you’re comfortable. You can switch between the above positions while you’re squatting.
For the double-arm kettlebell swing, start in the standing position. From here, extend your arms out to either side and swing them slowly forward, as high as you can. Both sets of the swing should be done until you feel the resistance and then hold your breath. Try doing these two exercises multiple times before switching to doing some more advanced workouts with weighted bells.
The overhead snatch is another exercise that targets the upper back, hips, and groin. To perform the overhead snatch, start in the standing position, with your feet hip distance apart. Then use both hands to grab a heavy kettlebell in each hand. Stand with your feet hip distance apart again, and then swing both arms outward. Make sure that your body is fully flexed for the maximum amount of pulling motion. Beginner exercises with kettlebells should be performed with proper mechanics and safety in mind, and doing these exercises with improper mechanics and safety can lead to serious injury.
In addition to these three basic kettlebell exercises, there are many other movement patterns you can learn to create a more effective workout. Some of these include the Turkish get up, the double jump squat, the Turkish step, the single legged deadlift, and many more. Once you learn about the movements and understand how they’re most effective, it will be easier for you to mix these movements with your heavier kettlebell exercises to create an even more effective workout. This way, you can keep up your lifts and work on your core without becoming bored.
Finally, here’s a related story: my middle school son once asked me what I’d recommend for a good workout. I told him to get into the hot tub and do a couple of squats. Three days later he was up and running, doing his best dead lifts. So I guess that in my opinion kettlebell swings have their own self-supporting properties. This means that they can support the movements of your hips, lower back, and even your buttocks if you need to do so.
I’ve concluded that kettlebells can add a real element of “presence” to your workouts, but don’t take my word for it. If you want to know what I think is the most important part of working out for peak physical fitness, then pay close attention to my free report. In it I share with you my top secret workouts for improving all three components of the body: the mind, the body, and the soul! Additionally, I’ll tell you the best way to go about getting a proper certification as a personal trainer (which really only takes about two months).
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