A kettlebell is basically a steel ball with a handle. They originally were called pood and were a specific weight. They were used in the Russian marketplace to measure grain and other consumables. As time went on, locals had contests at festivals to see who could lift the most weight or the heaviest pood. Later it was discovered how effective they were at building muscle and strength, not just in the upper body, but total body strength. That’s when kettlebells were used in military training in Russia. Later they were used to train Olympians and then became popular throughout the world.
Kettlebells make a workout more intense.
You’ll get more benefits from a kettlebell workout in less time. Not only does it build strength in all muscles, particularly the core muscles, it improves endurance, balance and flexibility. That’s because the center of gravity is constantly changing with kettlebells. While dumbbells and barbells have their center of gravity is in the middle, the center of gravity in kettlebells is just about six to eight inches beyond your grip, so it’s always changing. It makes it more like doing everyday activities and works core muscles to improve balance.
You’ll work more muscles with kettlebells.
An easy, beginners move, with kettlebells can work as many as 600 muscles by the time you complete it. That’s due to its off center nature. Because it’s off center, you use the stabilizer muscles in your back and abdomen to help balance your body. That’s one reason it burns more calories than dumbbells and burn about 15 to 20 calories every minute you workout.
You know how it improves strength and balance and it also boosts endurance and flexibility.
A kettlebell workout is a good cardio-vascular exercise. It gets your heart pumping fast and that improves your entire cardio-vascular system. It’s the complete workout, since it also improves flexibility. That swinging motion increases the range of motion. It also builds muscles during both the shortening and lengthening process of swinging, giving you results faster.
- One benefit of using kettlebells for cardio, compared to other types of cardio like running, is that it’s low impact. It doesn’t have the same effect on your joints, since your feet never leave the floor and there’s no jarring movement.
- Kettlebell workouts build functional fitness and a great alternative to regular workouts. They replicate movements people do daily, which is often off center movements. They can help prevent injury.
- Regular strength building workouts add to strength building workouts that tend to focus on larger joints. Kettlebells work smaller muscle groups that keep joints aligned to build strength and protect them from injury.
- Kettlebell workouts are fun and can be done almost any place. When a workout is fun to do, you’ll be more apt do stick with a program. For strength building, use heavier kettlebells, but for flexibility use lighter ones.
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