Let’s start with brief description of a kettlebell, and what it is exactly.
Kettlebell is essentially a cannonball with a handle. The two most common kettlebells are the classic or the traditional type, a ball of cast-iron with a rounded handle, and the competition kettlebell made of steel with varying cavity sizes. The classic kettlebells vary in size as the weight increases. Competition kettlebells are very popular among kettlebell enthusiasts and professional lifters because no matter of the weight, the bell’s size and dimensions always remain the same.
Competition kettlebells, or some times referred to as ProGrade, are ideal for serious Kettlebell athletes because there’s no re-learning required as you move up in weight.
There are also many other gimmicky versions of kettlebells designed to appeal to mass market. They’re usually encased in hard plastic or have concave surfaces. None of these gimmicks and imitation kettlebells help you get ahead. It’s all for show. If you’re serious about kettlebells, get the real thing – a classic or competition kettebell.
So, what is the kettlebell good for?
It’s good for building strength, conditioning, improving flexibility, mobility and ballistics. It will help you get cut, lean and toned. It will help you get in shape.
It’s a small but a very versatile tool. It’s perfect if you don’t have much space in your home, or access to the gym. A single kettlebell can work every muscles in your body. Best part of training with a kettlebell is that it works your core in almost all kettlebell exercises. I am yet to come across one that doesn’t engage the core.
Additionally, most kettlebell movements, even the most basic ones such as deadlift and swings are all compounds. Meaning they engage two or more joints and muscles groups. And why would you care about that? The main benefit is that the more muscles you work during the movement, the harder your heart and your central nervous systems needs to work and respond to additional stress and loads. Meaning your body utilizes more energy to execute and finish the movement. The more energy your use, the more calories you burn. But calorie burning isn’t the only benefit of compound movements. I’ll save further explanation of compound movement benefits for a future post.
What types of workouts can you do with a kettlebell?
You name your favourite workout format and you’ll be able to easily incorporate a kettlebell into it. You can use them in progressive overload workouts, pyramid types, HIIT and in Tabata, just to name a few. Kettlebells are versatile enough that there’s even enough room for opportunities to develop and create new workouts and exercises.
The history of kettlebell is long, but it wasn’t until the last few decades that kettlebells have finally started to become more popular among amateurs and professionals alike. A single kettlebell can deliver a killer workout, build a strong body with an athletic physique in less amount of time then what you’d need at a typical gym.