Benefits of using Kettlebells in your training regimen
Benefits of Kettlebell Training -Amanda Wegner, Assistant Kettlebell Coach
Although the kettlebell just recently caught on in the United States, it is a centuries-old athletic tool that has survived for very good reason. On the base level, they are simple, relatively inexpensive, and store easily. Looking a little deeper you will find that kettlebells are not just approachable, but highly effective! Don’t just take my word for it – a study done by the American Council of Exercise measured the caloric burn and oxygen consumption of participants doing a 20 minute kettlebell snatch workout and found that on average, the intensity was equivalent to running a 6-mile pace! In describing exactly why these results were seen, the researchers credited two things: the fact that the snatch is a true, total-body movement, and the fact that the reps are done so quickly.
Another benefit of kettlebells, as I mentioned before, is their approachability. Although a barbell and plates are nothing to be afraid of, sometimes we sustain injuries that prevent that sort of training from being the right fit for us. Or, simply, the weights could be too much for our current strength level. Kettlebells come in all shapes, sizes, and weights, and it’s very easy to find a weight that’s appropriate for you. But don’t be mistaken – the 1 pound kettlebells you see at big chain stores are not going to give you any benefit. Why’s that? Because doing the unique kettlebell exercises properly and safely requires us to use gravity and momentum to our advantage. To do this, we teach you how to shift your body weight to counter the kettlebell. Can your body serve as a counterweight for a 1lb kettlebell? Probably not!
The final and greatest thing about kettlebells is that they are so multi-purpose. The kettlebell doesn’t just have its own unique movements, it can do a lot of the ‘traditional’ strength exercises, too, with lighter impact and more comfort. Sure, you’re not going to be doing 500lb lifts with a kettlebell, but that’s not right for everyone. The smaller form factor and huge range of weights allows nearly anyone to do deadlifts, weighted squats, presses, rows, and many more movements – no matter the size of their frame or their strength level.
If you’re interested in learning about kettlebells, don’t hesitate to attend the Intro to Kettlebell Sport Workshop on Saturday August 10th from 10:00am-11:30am at FTA!