Kettlebell Intro: Kettlebell 101
The Kettlebell is the most dynamic strength and fitness tool available if understood, and used properly. There is no other piece of equipment that you can do so much with and get so much from, but I think they are generally misunderstood. I’m going to attempt to clear up some confusion on the understanding of the tool and explain how anyone can use this wonderful ball with a handle to improve their quality of life or enhance performance for competition. It’s all there for the taking.
Kettlebells: An all in one training device
When training with kettlebells we have to understand they do a whole lot all at once. Most of us in this country have been influenced by the bodybuilding boom that hit in the early 1970’s, which promotes splitting body parts up and training them on separate days, or high intensity-poor movement programs. Training with bells requires you to use your whole body for many of the exercises. These compound lifts require a combination of not only strength but mobility, flexibility, mental focus and cardiovascular endurance- which is foreign and overwhelming to many of us especially if we’ve never used them or are fairly deconditioned. Not to worry you can take your time.
Ballistics and Grinds are the two main types of lifts that you do with kettlebells. Ballistics would be fast moving lifts like swings high pulls and snatches that promote speed strength, agility and cardiovascular endurance. Grinds are the slow, controlled, “I demand your attention” type of exercises like get-ups, windmills, and bottoms up presses. You can also combine the two types, for example, grinding to the bottom of a squat holding for some time under tension and firing out of the bottom ballistically making for some really challenging variety.
Remember, GOod things don’t come easy!
Strength, mobility, flexibility, mental focus, and cardiovascular endurance are the pillars of a good quality fitness program as most people do not know what good quality exercise should be. These are the qualities we all should be focused on attaining through any training program. The kettlebell exposes the weakness in these areas which can be hard on the ego for some. No one likes to acknowledge physical tasks they are not good at but this is what you need to understand if you want to improve fitness. The kettlebell is your own personal coach in this respect. It’s unforgiving and is always there to humble you. Infinite progress only occurs in uncomfortable situations.
Kettlebell training does take some mental investment but so does anything that is worth doing. The benefits that can be enjoyed far exceed the time and energy it takes to learn this lifetime weight training system. Focusing on thoracic and pelvic mobility will help you get a better understanding of how to hold your body correctly. Most of us have weak and or tight upper and lower backs because of sitting. We lose the ability to swing our hips which is an essential requirement for using them (kettlebells) with success. Being patient and practicing mobility work for both of these areas daily, if not a few times a day will go a long way. If you do not move well with an exercise, always practice it with the lightest weight possible or bodyweight until you own the movement. If you move well with any kettlebell exercise – always consider the possibility of the next weight up to keep progress going but only if you own the movement.
finding time to exercise
Practice frequently and own every workout! You can do kettlebell training every day to some degree. With the variety of exercises available and with the whole body use of the lifts it’s realistic to use them every day. Think of your training and strength practice. Know what your threshold is on the staple exercises like get up’s, deadlifts, goblet squats, presses and work on increasing both reps and weight with these lifts, again only if you own the base movement. Because basics always win!. You owe it to yourself to dedicate time to daily practice on your strength and fitness. Bodyweight and kettlebell training are the easiest way to a healthier, fitter, and ultimately more enjoyable life.
Let’s do this!
Ready to try it?? Sign Up for KETTLEBELL KICKSTART, a program for those new to Kettlebells; You will be instructed on the finer details that add up to successful training, focusing on everything from how to pick up and hold the bell to proper execution on the core lifts. Current SOS clients will practice mastering the basic lifts.
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