Kettlebell is a weight used during exercises to increase muscle strength, improve flexibility, coordination and cardiovascular fitness. What does a kettlebell workout look like and how to choose the optimal weight?
Kettlebell is a sports accessory with a long history – it was invented in Russia in the XVIII century. Initially these weights were used during military training. It is only since the 1940s that they have been used during strength training.
The main advantage of kettlebells is their versatility. They are a proven way to increase strength, improve coordination and endurance, and lose weight. The unique shape of the weights, similar to a cannonball with a handle, makes training with them much more effective than with classic dumbbells. What also distinguishes kettlebells is the shifted center of gravity, which forces you to maintain balance, making you work almost all body muscles while performing exercises. Such exercises are a proven way to slim, harmoniously developed silhouette.
It is important to adjust the weight of the kettlebell to ensure safe and effective training. At the beginning it should be a little lower. This way you can learn the correct technique. On the other hand, kettlebell can not be too light – this will prevent you from feeling the weight.
Women who are beginning their adventure with weights should start with those weighing 8 kilograms, men – 12 or 14 kilograms. Use them until you feel that you have mastered the technique and your physical conditions allow you to increase the load without overloading your body.
People who have been regularly exercising with kettlebells for at least three months can use kettlebells weighing 14 kilograms (women) and 16 or 18 kilograms (men) when training. You should also be aware that slightly different weights are used when performing different exercises with weights.
What does a proper kettlebell workout look like? It is usually based on performing series lasting several minutes each, during which the same movement is repeated many times.
One of the inseparable elements of training with weights is kettlebell swing. What is this exercise? Simply speaking, it is swinging the weight with both hands in front of you. The strength of the swing depends here on the work of the hips. They, not your hands, are supposed to put kettlebell into motion. To begin swing, lift kettlebell and smoothly perform swing as far back as possible, in such a way, that the weight is between your legs. Next, we dynamically push our hips forward so that we bring the kettlebell to the height of our chest. At the moment when kettlebell reaches the highest point, we move it between legs and perform the whole movement from the beginning.
The most important thing in this exercise is not to perform swinging above the level of the head. It is also important to keep your back straight and your abdominal muscles toned. In this way you can effectively relieve the strain on your spine. In addition, your arms must be straight and your gaze must be forward. The shoulders cannot go below the hip line, and the bent knees cannot go beyond the tips of the toes.
An equally popular exercise performed with the help of kettlebells is the clean, or toss. It involves grabbing the weight with one hand and swinging it back between the legs. Then push your hips forward. At the moment when kettlebell will be at the height of the chest, with a quick movement bend the hand in the elbow in such a way that the arm is perpendicular to the ribs, and the forearm is glued to the chest.
The next step is to stop the weight on the outside of the hand, at the level of the biceps. We lift it above our head until our arm is straight. Hold for a second, lower the kettlebell and place it between your legs.