Kettlebells are now available in many well-equipped gyms all over the place. But just a couple a years ago their precense was hardly known.
So what is a Kettlebell? Where does it come from? Why train with kettlebells?
Kettlebells originated in Russia and is simply a heavy ball with a handle on.
But although kettlebells have been used in the Baltic countries for many decades now, it took a while before they were discovered in the West. Actually it was practitioners of martial arts that discovered the benefits of Kettlebell training.
What separates Kettlebells from other gear is asymmetry, that is to say that the ball weight center is separated from the handle (which is not the case with a conventional dumbbell). This gives the Kettlebell ball unique features in functional training.
The most common and most basic exercise to perform with a kettlebell is a so-called double-hand KB swing.
Here the focus is on what is important in most kettlebell exercises, namely the use of hips and in one explosive motion, swing the Kettlebell ball to shoulder height.
In the bottom position, the body is in a position which can be likened to a "loaded bow, when pulled back." From this position, with legs slightly bent and your upper body slightly leaning forward with a neutral bend in the back, we humans are very explosive. In this situation, we tense, or tighten some of our largest and most powerful muscles in the back of the legs, buttocks and back.
By explosively propel your hip forward, we can swing the ball at shoulder height. Then drop the ball and return to start position. Don't try to brake the motion of the swining ball, just let it fall instead. Believe me this is not so easy, but you learn it fast.
Your arms should be kept straight throughout the exercise, and loosent your arms. The ball should "hang and dangle" in the arms. Only the hands should be holding the ball in a tight grip.
When you do it, try not to go for the lighter ball. With an easy ball we tend to pull it up with our arms instead of using the big strong butt and leg muscles.
The greatest risk of injury from Kettlebell training comes from poor posture. To maintain a neutral lumbar region of your back through the whole exercise is therefore very important.
To train with kettlebells is pulse-pounding, it burns fat, builds muscle and provides core stability. It is simply very good workout.
Kettlebell training provides a strong positive effect on muscle-related pain in the back and neck area.