Kettlebells are an ancient strength and conditioning tool that have been used for thousands of years. The basic kettlebell lift is performed by holding the kettlebell between your legs with your palm facing upwards. This basic lifting technique also works the muscles in your legs and upper body. The purpose of the kettlebell lift is to develop core strength, hip power and an overall athletic performance.
The lift is performed by slowly lowering the bell to your knees, making sure you keep the back straight throughout the lift. The bell should be just above your knees when it reaches your lower back. Slowly stand up and return back to the starting position. Repeat as many times as you can. To achieve maximum results, practice on both sides to balance yourself while performing this exercise.
Kettlebell swings are two of the many different kettlebell movements. The kettlebell swings are performed by keeping your back straight, swinging the bell from between your legs in a smooth continuous motion. Similar to other single arm swing movements, the kettlebell swings develop core strength, hip power and an explosive movement in your legs. This movement should be practiced with proper form, so if you find that you are not moving the weight with each swing, focus on perfecting the movement before attempting to progress to more swings.
The deadlift is another common exercise that is included in a fitness center or workout. The deadlift is performed by bringing the dumbbells down to just below your belt and you will then use both your legs to lift the weight over your head. You may have heard about the so called “hips” that are referred to in the deadlift. These “hips” are responsible for keeping your back straight throughout the movement. If you do not have good hip hinges, this movement will not be very effective in building up your lower body strength.
Crossfit training will incorporate many lifts that utilize the kettlebells. These lifts can range from the classic snatch to clean and jerks to deadlift. The key to improving your Crossfit athletic performance is to work on developing your endurance through the lifts. Most athletes that compete in Crossfit training will use their rack position (or Deadlift) as their primary means of improving their endurance level.
In order to build your endurance, you will want to start lifting with two kettlebells, even if you are a beginner. You should try to lift the heavier kettlebells for the first few weeks, and then gradually move to one arm overhead press. You should do the same with the cleans and jerks. Focus on keeping your back straight throughout the whole lift, as this movement will also develop your core strength.
When you are lifting with two kettlebells, it is essential that you engage your entire body. This will help to protect your spine and keep your balance. Keep your body very still, but explosive through the lift. The higher weightlifting movements will demand that you engage your entire body. The purpose of these workouts is to develop your strength training efficiency, but you will also need to develop core strength in order to properly perform the clean and jerks.
If you are new to kettlebell exercises, I highly recommend that you invest in a personal trainer that can guide you through the process. Having a professional to show you how to properly lift the bell will improve your workout dramatically. When you use kettlebells, you should focus on developing the most effective exercises and lifting the bell in a way that engages all of your muscles, and not just your strongest muscles.
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