Adding a Kettlebell Workout to Your Fitness Routine
As long-time readers of this blog know, we regularly post useful kettlebell workout routines to help you expand your fitness program and learn new ways to use familiar equipment. For those who may be new to kettlebells, or just considering adding them to your routine, we thought we’d cover some basics to help you make the right choices from the start.
A Brief History of Kettlebells
Kettlebells may just be gaining popularity now, but they have been around since the 18th century in Russia, where they are called ????? (girya). Much later, the Soviet Red Army used them for strength and conditioning exercises. It wasn’t until the start of the 21st century that the U.S. saw kettlebell workout programs start to pop up. These were brought stateside by Pavel Tsatsouline, the man responsible for developing the first kettlebell certification programs.
Kettlebell Workout Benefits
The biggest difference between kettlebells and the dumbbells that you may be used to is that the weight on the kettlebell sits quite a bit below the handle, which is also a good deal thicker. This makes the weight more difficult to get a hold of and move around. What that means is that your muscles need to be a good deal more active, with the end result being an increased resistance and burning of calories. If you want to incorporate swinging or ballistic movements into your weight routines, the kettlebell workout is the way to go. All of this allows you to work a greater number of muscles during a single exercise, which is perfect for those looking for a full body workout.
There are a great many exercises that can be performed using kettlebells. These exercises range from beginner workouts to experienced movements that are best performed by those with some real kettlebell experience.
A Word of Caution
As you may have already guessed by this point, kettlebell exercises are unlike any others that use resistance or weights at their core. What that means is that you really need to be careful when taking on a kettlebell program for the first time.
Outright beginners should seek out a class or a personal trainer when starting out. It is recommended that the trainer doing the exercise demonstrations be one that is kettlebell training certified.
These words of caution even extend to those who have a history of using weights in their exercise programs. Kettlebell exercises are compound as opposed to isolated in their nature, requiring explosive movement in each exercise. You may well be able to lift dumbbells of a greater weight, but that should be taken down a notch when using kettlebells. It is only when perfect form and knowledge of how the weights work has been learned that moving up in weight should be considered.
If you have weak shoulders and core or back issues, you should talk to your doctor before jumping into any program where kettlebells are used regularly.
Since you will be required to swing the kettlebells, always ensure that you have a clear kettlebell workout space of 9 feet (3 meters).
Suggested Kettlebell Weights
Stretching and Warming Up Before a Kettlelbell Workout
You will be putting a lot of strain on your joints when you use kettlebells to work out. As such, it is recommended that you warm up all those joints before getting started. Incorporate stretches that will help get the hips, knees, wrists, ankles, elbows, and shoulders ready for the work ahead. Mix in a combination of static and ballistic stretches to get the blood flowing properly, and be sure to also use coordination exercises that incorporate the upper and lower body.
RX Fitness Equipment Has Your Kettlebells
If you're considering adding a kettlebell workout to your routine, RX Fitness Equipment in Thousand Oaks has just the right kettlebell for you. Whether you’re a rank beginner or a seasoned professional, we’ve got kettlebells to fit every fitness goal and every budget. If you're looking for a great selection of fitness equipment and accessories, including kettlebells in a variety of weights and colors, we carry the top brands. And, for some great advice about equipment and accessories, don't forget to check out Tim's best-selling book, Fitness Equipment – A Shopper's Guide, available at Amazon and other online book sellers as well as in our store.
Contact Tim Adams for a free consultation or stop by the store and take a test run. We’re here to help.