One of the most functional pieces of equipment a person can buy is the kettlebell. You can use kettlebells for a variety of programs such as strength training, circuit training, functional movement, and Olympic lifting, just to name a few. Every fitness facility worth mentioning will have a kettlebell of some sort and vary in weights.
How to use kettlebells? Here are a couple of ways:
Kettlebells are similar to dumbbells with the exercises that can be completed. Exercises implemented include the squat, deadlift, pressing movements and rowing movements. The main difference between using a kettlebell versus a dumbbell is the grip. Traditional dumbbells are known for having a rough grip in the center to help from slipping. A kettlebell is a slick grip that can easily slip out of a person hands during the movement providing more of a challenge in securing grips. Like dumbbells, one or two kettlebells can be used during exercises.
Functional Weight Training
By the way, we define functional weight training as movements that closely if not exactly correlate with the activities we do in everyday life (i.e. lifting from the floor, carries by our side or overhead, squatting to lift etc.) As mentioned in the previous paragraph, kettlebells can be used for squatting and deadlifting. For practice in integrating your core stabilizers, carries can be added to a program. This would included suitcase carries (either single or double), overhead carries, or a front-rack carry (the position you would be in a front squat. Also, there are some movements exclusively for the kettlebell such as kettlebell swings which helps in the practice of hinging the hips. Hinging of the hips is required for movements such as the squat and deadlift. One of the hardest exersises to master is the Turkish Get-Up! The movement is literally as titled: Start lying flat on the floor with the kettlebell and working your way to a standing position.
Are you fascinated with olympic weight training but neither have the space or budget to set up the proper platform for doing so? Kettlebells are your answer! Variations of olympic lifitng with kettlebells included the clean, clean-and jerk, push-press, and snatch. Would we try this in a living room? Absolutely not! But any outdoor space would suffice for giving these movements a try. Due to the complexity of the movements start with light weight and work for mastering technique before increasing the load.
These are a couple of ways you can use kettlebells into an exercise program. As written, there are endless possibilities with this piece of equipment. Can be purchased in sporting good stores or online with prices starting around $20 and will depend on the weight purchased. If you training in-home or outdoors, this would be a great addition to your program. Give it a try!