Sunday, May 17, 2009
The 411 on Kettlebells
I have recently been enjoying a Thursday morning Kettle Bell class at my gym. I used to do them all the time, but with my crazy schedule some how they fell out of my routine. I am now learning them all over again, and loving it! In fact they are pretty addicting. My abs are still sore from this past Thursday’s workout!!
What are Kettlebells?
“Kettlebells are bowling ball-sized cast iron weights with a single looped handle on top. Kettlebells range in weight from two pounds to over 100 pounds Kettlebells are a favorite item in most CrossFit gyms, along with some other basic training items like weighted medicine balls, pull up bars, jump ropes and lots of free weights.”
What's So Great About Kettlebells?
The reason for the boost in kettlebell training it that it gets back to basic training that requires functional, whole body fitness. When lifting KB’s you are using your entire “box” or the core, to contract as a group, building both strength and stability at the same time. Kettlebell workouts engage multiple muscle groups at once. In this way, they are a great option for getting a whole body workout in a short time.
When I did kettlebells in the past, I didn’t think too much about safety, in fact I didn’t work on my form at all. It's important to start slow and get some training when using kettlebells. When used incorrectly, kettlebells can cause some nasty injuries. Proper use of this cast iron weight requires strength, coordination and lots of practice with a light weight before increasing weight.
“Each kettlebell exercise involves multiple joints and many muscle groups working together. It takes most athletes time to adjust to these new movement patterns that are often different than traditional weight-lifting moves. To master these movement patterns requires guidance, instruction and patience. After the basics are mastered, increasing the weight provides a strength workout unmatched by machines or even dumbbells”
The biggest mistake beginners make is lifting too heavy a kettlebell before they can control it. This can result in serious injuries to the joints, and especially the neck, back and spine.
There are a ton of exercises you can do with the kettlebells, but I do recommend you get a video or go to a class before you start. You can purchase a kettlebell at most athletic stores, and Target sales them too. There not cheap, but well worth the purchase! This is a great thing to add to your at home gym.
You can check out this motivating workout with Charlotte Ord.(video)
So if you are in need of challenge, I highly recommend GoFit Kettlebells the Iron Core Way DVD Volume 1.
(information found at about.com)