Kettlebell lifting has been a popular sport in Russia for decades and has also been included in the Olympic sport of lifting. The repeated snatch and lift motion with the various sized kettlebells creates an increase in overall strength and endurance among the user. Other benefits of kettlebell training include increased flexibility, speed, agility, coordination, and lowering the resting heart rate. For anyone who wishes to turn a flabby body into a lean and muscular one, kettlebell training is a good way to go.
There is a reason why kettlebell training has been a very popular training method among the Russian military. It quickly increases your strength and endurance while at the same time improving your grip, shoulders, back, and overall fitness levels. Kettlebell training has been the core behind creating the strong Russian military.
If you are unfamiliar with kettlebells, think of them as funny looking weights made of iron. While the movements and exercises in kettlebell training are easy to learn, it takes years of practice to be good enough to compete in kettlebell competitions. Many weight lifters use kettlebells as a cross training workout to improve their endurance.
When beginning a kettlebell training program it is best to start with a lower weight until you get the technique down. For women, this would mean beginning with the ½ pood kettlebell. For most men, the 1 pood kettlebell works fine to begin with. Once you begin gaining strength and endurance you can always increase the size.
If you are new to kettlebell training, begin with just two to three thirty workouts per week. You will see results quickly and after a few weeks will be able to increase your reps and number of workouts.
There are only two movements a beginner needs to learn when starting a kettlebell training program. They are the two-arm swing and the clean and press. You will perform only these two movements for the first few weeks mastering your technique before trying to move on to anything more advanced. These two exercises will use all of the muscles in your body, either actively or passively. It is important to stretch after each workout to minimize injuries and the initial aches and pains.
When learning the proper technique for the swing start with the kettlebell one foot behind your heels. Then grab the weight and swing without rounding your back. If you have performed the swing correctly you will feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Your arms should be tight at all times throughout the movement, like a rope. Once the movement is complete, let the kettlebell fall between your legs. Do not attempt to slowly lower the kettlebell, this will likely cause injury.
A press with a kettlebell is very similar to the swing, however instead of rocking your hips in an up and down motion move them horizontally instead. This will cause the kettlebell to rise upwards. Then rock your hips back in order to catch the kettlebell and move your hips forward in order to change its direction.
All other exercises with the kettlebell are based on these two exercises. It will be easy to learn all other exercises once you have a strong base with the swing. After a few weeks you will be able to move up to more advanced exercises such as the one-arm swing and side press.
Working out a mere two to three days a week will produce massive results no matter how fit you were at the beginning of your kettlebell training program. The plethora of exercises that are available to you with kettlebell training will allow your muscles to continue to grow no matter how advanced you have become. If you begin to get bored with your workouts then increase the weights, mix up the exercises, or increase the number of reps. This will allow you to continuously increase your strength with kettlebell training.