Beginner's Workout Guide To Kettlebells
by Darren Round on Nov 19, 2013
When most fitness lovers in the western world first choose to graduate from traditional free-weights into Kettlebells they have no idea what to do. A Kettlebell is a completely different animal altogether. Did you know there are special certifications for “Russian Kettlebell” instructors?
In this article we’re going to talk about the initial benefits people can look forward to and then touch on some of the introductory moves and exercises beginners should focus on.
Outstanding Benefits of Kettlebell Training
Like dumbbells, the amount of variety and versatility you can squeeze out of quality Kettlebell set is incredible. They come in all shapes and sizes. It’s best to have a decent spread, from light and moderate to one heavier Kettlebell. Here are some of the benefits you can expect.
- Endurance Friendly: Kettlebells are really endurance friendly, but the exercises you do to sustain heightened metabolic rates are completely different. If you’re used to incorporating barbells/dumbbells into your endurance workouts it takes some getting used to. They build muscular endurance in the same way, but in a more efficient manner.
- Circuit Monsters: You can build amazing circuits with Kettlebells, or just replace dumbbells with them and create different routines. Be creative! Start with the beginner exercises and then add and compile what you can do.
- Core-Centric: Kettlebells force the body to tap into internal balance and stabilization muscles. They engage the major muscles AND the countless smaller muscle fibers around soft tissue like tendons, ligaments and joint capsules. Whenever you’re using Kettlebells you’re pretty much doing a core exercise to some degree.
- Muscle Imbalances: Because of the way the body deals with the weight, Kettlebells can help address muscle imbalances in a way that dumbbells (people typically use two, one in each hand) and barbells can’t.
- Functionality: Modern fitness lovers are increasingly more concerned with using their new bodies to live healthier lives rather than just looking pretty. When folks choose Kettlebells, they’re after more than physical aesthetics, their after body control and functionality.
Kettlebell Workout Frequency & Rest Periods
You start small and build big, like anything else in life. Shoot for 3 days a week with 20-35 minutes sessions. Progress at your own pace.
Listen to your body, but you have to be disciplined enough to push yourself in order to obtain the adaptation you seek. Rest when necessary, but steadily increase the demands placed on your musculature, cardiovascular system and central nervous system.
4 Beginner Kettlebell Exercises to Build Killer Workouts
Here are a few to start with just to get your muscle memory kicking in. Adjust and adapt before going into more complex moves. Don’t just head into Google or YouTube and hurt yourself performing acrobatic feats of Kettlebell mastery. Begin with these.
Deadlifts: Everything is about form. The Kettlebell (KB) begins below the center of gravity between the legs, and you perform almost a sumo squat to grab it, keep the back straight, and lift the KB up in a straight line from the ground into the groin area.
Swings: You can do these with one or two hands depending on the weight you choose. Do watch some videos or have a trainer show you how to do these. There is a slight squat, again the back is kept perfectly straight and you swing the KB directly outward. The spine shouldn’t curl in at the bottom.
Goblets: Hold the KB like a goblet in close to the chest and then perform goblet squats. Feel free to add a press at the top for extra burn.
Russian Core Twists: Most often people do this exercise with medicine balls, but KBs have a totally different feel. Just make sure that your core is fully engaged and protecting the lower spine.