Kettlebells: An old technology that still has a place in a modern gym.
Over the years, Kettlebells have turned out to be well known in sports clubs, CrossFit boxes, and training studios. Unlike conventional weights, or machines found in commercial gyms, kettlebells will give you a workout different from more traditional equipment.
The use of kettlebells started way back in the 18th century, in Russia. At that time, they were called “Girya” which according to the Russian Dictionary, meant a weight to measure grains. Kettlebells have long been a symbol of strength in Russia and a common tool for athletic conditioning, and health.
Although kettlebells aren't anything new, their popularity in fitness circles continues to rise. They are extremely effective tools for providing total-body strength and conditioning. There’s no need to do isolation exercises because they also can build dynamic total-body strength and conditioning. Try a few Turkish Get Ups and you’ll see what I mean.
Selecting a quality kettlebell
Finding the right kettlebell can be confusing. Knowing what sizes to purchase and brands to invest in can seem overwhelming. You guessed it, not all kettlebells are created equal, and it’s important to understand the differences, before you make a purchase.
What to consider when buying a quality kettlebell:
- A finish that is smooth so it won’t tear up your hands during max rep sets, yet with just enough texture to take gym chalk.
- Quality kettlebells come with smooth, curved handles that can be gripped anywhere on the handle, not just the top part.
- Single pour of durable cast iron for a seamless product.
- Clearance from the handles to the bells to allow for optimal bone stacking in snatch and press lifts, and the obtuse shape of the handle is perfect for work gripping the horns (the sides of the kettlebell handle). The handle must be smooth so that it does not rip your hands up.
- High-contrast lettering which lets you know the kettlebell you are using. Always make sure there’s a guarantee – to assure your kettlebells do not rust, and you are assured for a lifetime of use.
Kettlebell Weight Selection for First Time Buyers
Here is a handy guide for you to choose the right weight for yourself or your clients.
|Poor fitness level||No training experience, recent rehabilitation from injuries, small build||12-16 kg||8-12kg|
|Average fitness level||Some training experience, healthy, moderate build||16-20 kg||12-16kg|
|Excellent fitness level||High training experience, healthy, large build, athletic background||20-24 kg||16-20kg|
What’s kettlebell training?
Kettlebell training is usually combined with high intensity interval sets, short stretches of intense work with little rest in between. To maintain good technique, you need a weight that is relative to your skill level. Kettlebell training is very different from standard isolation training. Unlike isolation lifts – the dumbbell curl is the best example of an isolation lift – kettlebell training utilizes multiple muscle groups at the same time through ballistic, full-body movements. You’ve likely never trained like this before.
You should treat this workout with respect. If you choose a kettlebell that is too heavy or in the event that you have poor form, you are probably going to lose control of it. This can lead to a serious injury to your back, shoulders, or neck. If you want to burn through more calories in less time, it is great to add lighter kettlebell to your existing workout. It usually gets the heart pumping even more.
When done properly, kettlebell movements will improve your control, shorten your workout time, and give you functional results and physique unlike anything you’ve been able to achieve in the past.