Not heard of kettlebells or not sure what they are?
A kettlebell is a canon ball with a handle on top. It comes in various materials although mostly cast iron. It is used for a variety of momentum based moves like swings, presses and lifts. It has been a method of training for many, many years, but now is only really finding its place amongst the mainstay of fitness classes.
Unfortunately many people still don’t know how it is used and its effects and benefits. It is wrongly often thought of as just a tool for young and very fit individuals or the weight training/ body building enthusiasts. This couldn’t be further from the truth, yes you can use very heavy weights to build muscle bulk and strength but it by no means stops there. Most of the moves, certainly the traditional ones,are based on momentum and control rather than just lifting as heavy as possible. Because of this it can be used for improving strength and body conditioning.
Because of its shape and the fact that whenever it is moved the centre of gravity is constantly changing therefore requiring stabilisation from the core( entire torso) in order to control the movement and momentum. For this reason alone it is a great tool for everybody but particularly those of greater years, because as we age it becomes all the more relevant to have good core strength, flexibility and balance. All of which kettlebell training provides.
Other benefits of correct kettlebell use are, increased joint mobility, improved posture, greater muscle strength and stability to undertake those everyday tasks which can become harder as we age, such as bending, getting up from sitting, squatting, twisting, lunging and being able to lift and carry. This really is the real beauty of training with kettlebells, so many of the natural movements we take for granted at any age are worked with during kettlebell movements.
kettlebells is accessible to all with the correct coaching and technique, and that’s where many people fall down, they try to learn without proper expert help and as with anything done wrongly it greatly increases injury risk and reduces the achieved benefits.
My most favourite thing( and true of many of my clients too) is that correct kettlebell use doesn’t need to be long in duration and the benefits are so many. Not only does it help with flexibility, balance, core strength, posture and joint stability, it also aids fat loss, increases heart rate therefore giving a great cardiovascular workout but without the need for jumping around or the impact moves which some people can’t or don’t want to do.
Kettlebell training is fun, effective and short in duration which from my experience are the main things today’s busy people look for in a workout.
My final word would be to make sure you get some professional help with the techniques to ensure you maximise results and minimise problems. Have fun and give it a go, you’ve got nothing to lose and lots to gain.