Kettle Bells: What Are They Good For?
I have finally got on the kettle bell band wagon and bought myself a brand spanking new set of kettle bells. If you think this is just a fad, I’d have you know that Kettle bells have in fact been a long standing piece of furniture in Russian and Eastern European strong man communities. Actually the first kettle bell was made in 1709… good idea to remember this useless fact for the next trivia night. : )
On a more serious note, it’s no wonder the Russian dominated the Olympic sporting arena for so long, they had training techniques we didn’t have… they had kettle bells!
For those of you who don’t know what a kettle bell is, basically it’s a spherical piece of metal with handles. It’s used in a swinging motion. The exercise developed using kettle bells work on whole body ballistic strength. This is completely different to your traditional push pull exercises which keep you in a fixed range of motion.
Kettle bells work the entire body from postural muscles to major movers. It build’s functional strength… trainers love this buzz line “Functional strength”.
Functional strength is a catch phrase for exercise that improves everyday movement. It’s exercise that is useful for general movements we perform in normal activities ie picking things up off the floor, lifting boxes etc. If we become stronger in natural movements the body does, we will be able to do tasks of everyday living easier.
Ok so we side tracked… now back to kettle bells. So we just decided they provide functional strength, they may also help you lose weight. BAM! Weight loss – everyone loves that phrase too.
There was a study conducted by the American Council of Exercise at the University of Wisconsin who measured how many calories athletes burnt when completing a 20min kettle bell workout. On average the participants burnt 20.2 calories per minute. That’s HUGE for a weights workout!
To give you an idea, that’s equivalent to running 10km/hr on the treadmill for 5minutes. Using kettle bells is a higher intensity workout than your traditional weights workout. What does that mean?? It means stronger- faster- fitter- leaner.
So, have I convinced you that you REALLY need to use kettle bells now? There are a few key exercises you need to learn to get you started:
Basic Squat and Swing,
Turkish Get Up
One Arm Clean and Press
Watch out after using kettle bells, you will be sore tomorrow.