Kettlebells are at the top of the food chain. The quality and finish is high, smooth, and sexy and looks durable, but more importantly the kettlebells are good to handle and the balance can’t be faulted. They address the entire body as a unit simultaneously. You will get the most effective, short and intense, cardiovascular and strength workout within twenty minutes. Whether you are looking to vaporize fat, scorch your lungs, demand new strength, rehabilitate weak areas or improve your overall level of conditioning, kettlebells are the solution. I have drawn up a basic understanding of the tool, but I challenge you to research further information and exercises, practice with it yourself and make it the basis of your programs. 360 will never be a kettlebell free zone, so make this your apparatus of choice and watch an unbelievable fitness transformation. Believe in it, I do!
What is a Kettlebell
- A Kettlebell is a traditional Russian cast iron weight that looks like a cannon ball with a handle.
- Kettlebells first appeared in the Russian dictionary in 1704. Any weight lifter or strong man is referred to as a kettlebell man in Russian (Girevik)
- Russian Olympic lifters (Vlasov, Zhabotinskiy) and the Russian Special Forces personnel owe much of their strength development, agility and stamina to kettlebell training.
Why train with a Kettlebell
- A kettlebell is the ultimate conditioning tool, training the body’s eccentric muscle actions relating to all the sudden stops, sharp movements and multi-directional planes of motion that occur during sport.
- KB’s create a displaced center of gravity while training (center of gravity becomes the point just below the handle of the KB) which has a more realistic, functional carry over to other sports.
- The thick and smooth handle combined with the ballistic nature of many kettlebell exercises makes the KB training an outstanding grip, wrist and forearm developer.
- KB’s trains dynamic loading of the hip muscles resulting in powerful contractions of the hips in a crisp snapping motion applicable to all sports from punching to running.
- Develops coordination and proprioceptive abilities by being able to change hands and body direction through all planes of motion aided by the simple handle.
- Conditions the Cardiovascular system very effectively, by stressing all the body’s energy systems and all the associated areas of physical performance.
- Develops muscular endurance, strength and power using a variety of different exercises and weights, and also through ‘combination drills’. For example, mixing body weight and KB exercises.
- The KB is an extreme hand held gym. The variety of exercises is only limited by the instructor’s imagination.
The Kettlebell Body
- KB’s help to develop:
MEN: broad shoulders, back muscles boldly standing out, wiry arms, and rugged forearms, cut abs, strong athletic legs.
WOMEN: toned arms and shoulders, flat and toned stomach, strong athletic legs.
- KB training destroys fat: -1% fat loss a week is not uncommon.
- Kettlebells are a phenomenal tool for shaping your body, whichever way you need it!
What Kettlebell is Right for Me?
- The average man should begin with a 16kg and the average woman should start with an 8kg.
- Men should then progress to, 20kg and then 24kg, with a few progressing heavier.
- Women can go to a 10kg or 12kg, with only really strong women progressing heavier.
- At 360, my top 3 guys are Turkish Get Upping 48kg+ and ladies 24kg+
More Info and Routines
- The KB is a unique tool offering variety, pain free movement and quick results. With no need for any other equipment, it is a functional tool that has applications to any sport, as well as rehab and pre-rehab purposes.
- In short it can change your lives, your thoughts on bodybuilding, views on how your body works and wants to move, and really shows you what your bodies are capable of. All this may sound like a fairy tale but KBs really make a difference! Just pick one up and try!
- The principles learned through training greatly enhance other forms of training.
- Voropayev (1983) observed two groups over a 2-year period: He tested them with 4 standard fitness drills: 1) Pull-ups 2) Broad jump 3) 100m sprints 4) 1km run.
The control group followed a typical specific training regime while the other lifted kettlebells. Despite the lack of practice on the tested exercises the KB group produced better score in every test!
- No other equipment or training system can develop:
- As many areas of fitness at once
- Apply to as many sporting contexts
- Deliver the desired results so effectively and injury frees!
- A fantastic tool for group training, through the ability to combine bodyweight, cardio, core, free weights and kettlebells. The options are only limited by the instructor’s imagination!
Conditioning combination session:
Can be all single or with 2KBs:
- Warm up with mobility exercises
- Swing 2×20 double
- Slow motion press ups 5×5
- Military press 3×5 (right and left)
- Plank plus pushing 5x30secs
- Double front squat 5×10
- Snatches 5x1min rounds
- Cool down – mobility/ light C.V/ stretches
20-minute routine: Ideal for classes
- 3min mobility warm up – all major joints.
- 5min – interval ‘swings’ 20secs on – 10secs off
- 1min – break hip flexors – bridge with medicine ball between knees
- 5min – interval ‘snatches’ 30secs on – 30secs off
- 1min – vertical jumps
- 2min burn out – 30secs ‘swings’, 30secs snatches right then left, then 30secs alternating snatches
- 3min cool down mobility/stretching – primary muscles and joints
Safety is part of performance – not the opposite!
Check with doctors before training, especially if serious condition or injuries have occurred.
Always be aware of your surroundings:
Train on flat surface
Clear area, all around.
Contest for space with a KB – you will lose! Evade the KB! Be where it lands!
Keep moving once heart rate is high. Always use active recovery – this will help to gradually lower the heart rate and help recovery of the target muscles so soreness is avoided.
Increase the training load gradually.
Use common sense and listen to your body!
E.g.: If your forearm is bruised and sore your technique needs work. Do not push through the pain, the KB will win!
Instruction cannot cover all eventualities! There is no substitute for sound judgement. If you don’t have sound judgement, forget kettlebells and use machines!
Kettlebells have been around for a long time and are not as new as they appear to be in South Africa, I have been using them for over 8 years and the benefit combined with other training principles has been insane. Depending on the individuals goals, I have used them differently with clients and have seen some slab on muscle while others have chiseled a toned physique where Inspector Clouseau would struggle to find fat. Now it is up to you to ‘swing the web’ and research the tool, which myself, many world class trainers and athletes have approved through practice and application, to get you that Adonis or Aphrodite physique.