By now, you’ve probably heard about kettlebell training, or maybe you’ve spied some of these odd-looking weights at the gym or a sporting goods store and wondered just what was up with that. Kettlebell training has spiked in popularity in recent years as an alternative or complement to traditional dumbbell and body-weight strength training methods. A favorite of bodybuilders and CrossFitters, these weights, which look something like a cannonball with a handle, can give you a full-body workout that engages all your major muscle groups.
Fun Facts about the Kettlebell
- Kettlebell training isn’t just a recent fad: these tools have been around a lot longer. Using them for strength training was popularized in Russia in the late 1800s, and famous “strong men” like Arthur Saxon and Eugene Sandow trained with them in the early 20th century. You can actually blame the World Wars for keeping the kettlebell in Russian hands for so long, since many sports that were popular in the then-Soviet Union didn’t get much play beyond those borders.
- What makes kettlebells different from dumbbells is that the weight is not distributed symmetrically, which changes the center of gravity in each move and challenges you to adjust for the imbalance. Kettlebells also typically have a thicker handle, so not only are you building muscles, you’re improving your grip.
- Kettlebell workouts have you working aerobically and anaerobically at the same time. This means you can really make the most of your exercise time because you’re doing cardio and strength, together!
- Kettlebells are typically made of cast iron or steel. Now that kettlebells have become so popular, they come in many different colors and styles. Walmart, Target, and Dick’s Sporting Goods all carry kettlebells, individually or in sets. (Before you go shopping, though, it’s a good idea to try it out with a trainer or in a class. Just like with any exercise, it’s easy to injure yourself if you don’t know what you’re doing.)
- Kettlebell training doesn’t require a lot of space, so assuming you have your own, it can be done almost anywhere, including outdoors. This also makes them easy to store – you can just tuck it under the bed when not in use!
Check it out for yourself!
This short video demonstrates three basic kettlebell training exercises: the classic kettlebell swing, a squat press, and a row. This will get all the muscle groups in your body working in no time – you will definitely feel it the next day!
Looks easy enough, right?
If you’re ready to give kettlebell training a try, look for a qualified coach or trainer in your area who can show you how it’s done. Not all commercial gyms have gotten on the kettlebell bandwagon yet, but you might be able to find them at smaller private gyms or CrossFit facilities.
For our readers in the Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky area, Strong is Our Sexy’s sister company, Bella Forza Fitness, offers “Kettlebella” classes for women. Check out our current schedule on MindBody Online and call the studio at 513-871-2334 to learn about rates and specials.