Kettlebells are an ancient strength and conditioning device. The kettlebell is basically a heavy cast iron or steel ball with a handle on top to which weights can be added. It’s use has been around for centuries and was first used by the Chinese to carry out gymnastic exercises. Now it is also used by fitness enthusiasts and bodybuilders. In this article I will explain about the benefits of using kettlebells for both strength and conditioning.
Kettlebells can be used for a wide variety of exercises. For example you can use them for: rows, push ups, pistols (front hand held), bent over rows, overhead press, Turkish get ups, deadlifts, cleans, snatches and jerks. The list goes on. So you can see how kettlebells can improve your life in so many ways. You can use them for:
In addition to these uses, you can use the kettlebells for general fitness strength training and for fat loss. They are great for building muscle mass and they have the unique ability to help with strength training when combined with free weights. They are also great for losing weight and burning fat. Many people who lift weights are unaware of the power of kettlebells. If you use the proper technique with these weight lifting tools you can obtain superior results in less time.
A common move with kettlebells that most people don’t do enough of is the single arm row. The single arm row is performed by taking the bell from behind you and bringing it under your chin in a deep front to side grip position. Next you’ll want to bring it back up to the beginning position. This one arm row is performed much like the standard chin up. By using the right form you can quickly strengthen your entire arm.
Another exercise that you’ll find useful is the overhead squat. To perform the overhead squat simply stand over the ball or rack and extend your legs straight out in front. Next fold your arms at your elbows to strengthen your hips and lower the kettlebell back down to the starting position slowly. Make sure your hips are fully extended and your spine stays straight throughout the movement.
If you are unfamiliar with the kettlebell lifts from the ground, you’ll want to start with the double arm swings. To perform the double arm swings simply stand over the ball or rack and swing both arms out to the sides in a slow motion like you would with a pair of kid’s bikes. Next bring them back to the original position slowly. Kettlebell exercises like this can be performed in a wide range of motion with 2 kettlebells in each hand.
The last two exercises, we’ll discuss are single arm overhead swings and one arm lat pull downs. The single arm overhead swing is very similar to the overhead squat except you will be using only one arm. To perform the one-arm overhead swing simply place the weight of one arm over the ball or the weight rack and swing it up to the side in a smooth motion. Next bring the arm back down to the starting position slowly. To perform the one-arm lat pulldown simply place the palm of one hand behind the head and the other hand on the floor a bit wider than shoulder width. Next make a semi-circular motion with your arms and pull yourself up by bending your elbows.
Kettlebells allow for explosive strength training that builds muscle fast. Kettlebell exercises are great for building the body’s core as well as allowing for great hip mobility. By having these three benefits you’ll be able to build muscle faster, have more endurance and have better overall fitness. Make sure you learn all the rules of overhead kettlebell lifting so you can perform them properly. Other exercises such as dumbbells and barbells don’t allow for these benefits to be gained.
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