Kettlebells are a weight-lifting tool that has been around for centuries. The first reference to kettlebells comes from the ancient book “Fit to Kill” by Dr. Michael J. Hill. In this book, Hill describes the ancient kettlebell as a tool that “has found a place in military circles, with its proven efficiency in a wide variety of workouts”.
The kettlebells are an ancient strength and conditioning device. The handle of the kettlebell is usually made out of cast iron or steel. It is typically used in exercises to do multiple sets of overhead lifts, which include swings, snatches, cleans and jerks. In order to do these exercises well, it is necessary to use both hands, but when working out with two kettlebells, one should hold the handles of one with one hand, while the other hand works with the other hand on the opposite side of the body. This second type of exercise, known as the double swing, is often used for functional training purposes.
To do the double swing exercise with kettlebells, start in the standing position with both hands down. Then, extend your arms out to your sides, with one arm at the front (or rear) of your body, the other out in front (or back) of your body. Next, turn your head toward your left and place your eyes behind your left ear. Now, lean forward slightly and hold the above mentioned arm in the middle of your chest, while the one arm you previously held in the rack position, goes up over your head and over your chest. Keep your arm locked in a middle position between your legs and slowly return your arm to its original position. Do three sets of this drill and you will begin to see some movement in your upper body.
The poodlestick is another movement you can add to your workout with kettlebells. It requires some basic training to be done with poodles. Start out by holding the poodles in one hand, opposite the weights you will be using for this exercise. Make sure your left hand goes over the right and your feet are placed shoulder width apart.
Now, curl your right arm out in front of your body, while your left hand goes down between your legs, over your belly button. Slowly return the bell to its starting position, while making sure your back stays straight. Two kettlebell swings should be performed, both with the bell in the poodle’s middle area, and then with the bell hanging down between your legs and overhead. Three sets of these motions should be performed and the repetitions should be spread out between eight and ten. Do these exercises with both bells and the same positions.
The last two movements of this set are both endurance activities, but will have a huge impact on the overall effectiveness of your workouts. The first involves the swinging of the bell, and the second involves the lifting of it. To begin, place both hands a little distance away from each other, so that your center line is between them. The bell should be lifted until it is at the height of your chin, at which point it should be brought up to your chest level, while locking your elbows.
This movement should be repeated with both hands at your sides, so that your center line is the same when doing the swing. With this set of kettlebell exercises, the next movement involves the lifting of the bell. At this point, it is important to have a very rigid grip on the bell, as your arms must remain straight throughout the lift. Utilizing the rack squat, you should do the swing, shifting from side to side, and lifting the bell to your shoulders.
Kettlebells are truly a great addition to any home gym. Many workouts can be made easier by including these items, and more advanced workouts involving multiple muscles can also be made quicker and more effective with their use. If you haven’t had a chance to workout with kettlebells before, you should make the effort to do so soon. The sooner you start, the sooner you will reap the benefits. If you currently have a workout regimen and find that it is lacking in the areas mentioned above, then take a look at some of the many wrist guards available on the market, which can help you get back in the swing of things!
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