Kettlebells are one of the most ancient and versatile strength and conditioning tools that have ever been created. The basic kettlebell is a cast iron or steel ball with either a handle or strap attached to its top. It’s commonly used to do a variety of core-based exercises, which include classic ballistic drills that combine flexibility, strength and cardiovascular training into a single exercise. Kettlebells allow you to exercise a large group of muscles all at once, which allows for a more intense workout than just using dumbbells or barbells.
Though kettlebells originally belonged to Russia, they gained international popularity when Joseph R.ppers brought them back from England in the late 19th century. They became a favorite tool of Russian strongmen because of their sheer weight and the deep, stretchy muscles that they developed. They soon spread all over the world, including the United States where they were quickly adopted by athletes such as Rocky Balboa and Genghis Khan. With the advent of the World War I and the Russian Revolution, however, the demand for kettlebell lifting fell off and the practice virtually disappeared in the United States.
Today, however, the popularity of kettlebells has begun to reignite and a new wave of athletes, gym goers and celebrities have begun to incorporate these strength tools into their workouts. This renewed interest in kettlebells has given fitness gurus the opportunity to show off the explosive power of kettlebell lifts, as well as the ability to create proper form with these free weights. In fact, many of the current best sellers in the home fitness market have incorporated some form of kettlebell movement into their design. If you’re interested in fat burning and getting ripped, kettlebells are the way to go!
One of the most compelling reasons to incorporate kettlebells into your strength and conditioning program is the fact that kettlebells allow you to develop truly functional strength throughout the entire body. You see, kettlebells allow you to use a wide variety of core-based lifts, which work your entire body, to build muscle and strength. For example, one of the most famous exercises in the world, known as the Russian Squat, requires the user to maintain a straight back throughout the movement. Kettlebell training allows you to achieve this same result, as well as develop incredible core strength.
Another of the benefits of using kettlebells is that they allow you to perform free weight-based movements such as swings and jerks without having to deal with the limitations of dumbbells or other upper-body weight-bearing devices. Take, for example, the wide-bodied Russian kettlebell swing. You’ll notice that this exercise works the quads more than any other move in most forms of strength training and fitness. Most people will tell you that in order to get big and muscular, you need to lift fairly heavy weights in the gym, but the reality is that kettlebell swings target the quads more intensely than most movements. This is because the kettlebell swing places a greater emphasis on hip power than it does on strength, allowing the exerciser to make explosive hip movements without necessarily lifting heavy weights.
Thirdly, kettlebell workouts allow you to work your “gym” muscles, meaning you can target multiple joints of the body at the same time. A lot of traditional workouts make you go hard right off the box, forcing your body to either drop a huge amount of weight (which inhibits your ability to engage in the classic lifts) or work through the motions of a lift repeatedly. Both of these can be dangerous to your joints and cause damage over time. By working out with kettlebells, you can prevent this since you’ll be making use of your hips to lift, not your arms.
Lastly, kettlebell exercises allow you to improve your cardiovascular fitness. This is an aspect of personal fitness that has been ignored over the years. By including kettlebell exercises into your home gym you will raise your heart rate and develop a better aerobic conditioning program than you would from simply lifting dumbbells. This is due to the fact that kettlebell swings require you to use a wide range of motion than the normal barbell lifts you would use, so you end up burning more calories than you would with standard workouts.
If you’re looking for a way to get stronger, more conditioned, and to improve your overall fitness, then kettlebells are a must have tool. Remember though that you should always incorporate other types of resistance training into your home gym routine as well, such as cable flyes and dumbbell presses. They will help you develop the most muscle, have the most endurance, and burn the most calories. So pick up a couple kettlebells today and get on your way to getting fit!
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