This is no ordinary rock. What you see as a hunk of stone, the ancient greeks saw as what is proposed to be, what we know of today, as the kettlebell. Weighing a back breaking 143kg, the ‘Bibon kettlebell’ as it’s otherwise known, was found in Greece and now resides in the Archaelogical Museum of Olympia. On it, is subscribed “Bibon heaved up me above the head by one hand”.
Kettlebell training has been around for centuries and has since made an epic return to modern day fitness. A way of life for russians, the kettlebell was first used to measure grains and other goods in the 18th century amongst humble villagers in trade. It quickly evolved to became a main event at festivals where participants would compete in lifting the heaviest kettlebell with bragging rights and honor going to the victor.
The kettlebell can be described as a spherical weight with a handle. It’s ball like shape focuses a more direct line of resistance into targeted muscles through it’s limited surface area compared to barbells and dumbells, where the weight is distributed over a larger area. This more direct line of force places more of a strain on the muscle activating more muscles through it’s range of motion on each repetition.
Due to it’s comfortable handle, kettlebell workouts are far more versatile. The handle allows for a greater mobility under weight which in turn creates a greater cardiovascular output. The kettlebell swing for example not only strengthens the lower body, but vastly improves caloric output compared to squats or deadlifts. Kettlebell swings don’t allow for a pause between reps keeping the muscle under tension throughout the whole set. No rest between reps!
Total Body Functional Strength in Less Time
Functional exercises are easier to incorporate into workouts using kettlebells. Functional exercises are exercises that improve sports or everyday life functionality (e.g a squat is the same action as standing up from a seated position).
The handle allows for more explosive, dynamic movements under load taking your everyday squat to an explosive deadlift to squat jump. Add an upright row to the equation and you have a total body exercise in one explosive movement. More training in less time for a higher intensity equals more calories burnt and faster fat loss results.
- Kettlebell training burns more calories in less time whilst building muscle.
- Improves muscular strength through it’s entire strength/rep curve.
- Great way to provide variety to any workout regiment.
Whilst kettlebells have many benefits, it’s not to say to drop barbell or dumbbells out of your workouts. Each strength apparatus has it’s own benefits. Kettlebell training is an alternate way to provide a different force to muscles to keep the body guessing. More versatility with training promotes results. Avoid progress plateaus by changing the way you train!