I’m 34 years old and work out on a regular basis at my local gym.
Recently I’ve noticed a few guys using kettlebell’s on the gym floor, swinging them around and working up quite a sweat!
I must admit I’m a bit ignorant when it comes to kettlebells and don’t really know what they do! Are they to help you bulk up – or do they help you lose weight? Do you need a range of weights – as you do with dumbbells – or do you use the same weight all the time? And how exactly do you use them? Do you have any kind of kettle bell routine you could recommend to me Alfonso?
Finally what do you think of kettlebell’s in general Alfonso? What are the advantages and disadvantages of them compared to dumbbells? And are they for girls as well as guys (my girlfriend wants to give them a go)
Steve – I love Kettlebells!
It’s one of my new favorite forms of exercise. Why? Because they kick your ass while helping you gain strength, enhance stability, and build endurance. I think that they are probably one of the most overlooked pieces of fitness equipment in the gym. Kettlebell pro’s will tell you that use of this historical tool (it’s been around for 350 years!) strengthens connective tissue and works from the muscles from the “inside out”.
When you train with barbells or dumbbells the weight stays centered in your hands and most of the time is directed loaded onto the muscle or muscles that you’re trying to train. Because of the Kettlebell’s handle, the weight becomes dynamic meaning that as you complete ranges of motion, the resistance can shift and target some supporting muscle groups as well as the prime movers. An example would be the Kettlebell snatch, where as the weight is pulled from the floor the “bell” will flip over the wrist before being shoulder pressed over – head. As you can imagine your core, balance, stability and muscle systems are all challenged together.
Russian athletes have long used kettelbell’s in their training regime. All it takes is just one look at some of their athletes’ muscularity and fitness to see the benefits using them provides. Nowadays, athletes of all walks of life are using them thanks in large part to mass marketing of kettlebell programs. Swimmers, Boxers, Cyclists, etc. can all reap the benefits of using them.
I would caution you however to be sure to start any kettlebell program slowly, and to use light weights in the initial stages. Due to the inherent nature of how they move while performing certain exercises, the possibility for injury is a bit higher than with dumbbells. I’ve seen people hit themselves in the head, or smash the bell against their wrists. Ouch!
I use many sources for learning new routines but one that I definitely recommend is from the guys at MBody Strength. Check out MBodyStrenght for a whole bunch of exercises you can try.
As to whom they’re good for, I say every BODY! I don’t believe in any gender specific exercises and I even have my own sons ages 9 and 11 starting to use them. Women, men, young, and old – it doesn’t matter. Kettlebells are a great tool and should not replace dumbbells or any other exercise forms, but should be added to your arsenal in working towards your quest for optimal health and fitness.
Let me know how it goes!