By Kailyn Anderson IKFF CPT
1. WHAT IS A KETTLEBELL?
The kettlebell is a cast-iron weight (it looks like a bowling ball with a handle on it) used to perform ballistic exercises that combine cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training.
Kettlebells are generally measured in kilograms (1 kilogram = 2.20462262 pounds). With the growing popularity of kettlebells, you can find them in just about any weight you’re looking for.
The Kettlebell is a one-stop-shop fitness tool that delivers a full-body workout, increases weight loss, improves cardiac fitness (endurance), builds strength and encourages performance development.
The basic kettlebell moves, such as the swing, turkish get-up, and the clean-and-press, engage the muscles of the entire body at the same time. The utilization of these muscles at the same time mimics real world movements and activities. These demands lead to a greater amount of work imposed on the body, and you’re able to get a more intense workout in less time. Your body will learn to move better and function as a “whole”. If you move better, you will perform better and you’ll find yourself with fewer aches and pains. You may also notice that you feel stronger, more relaxed, and less easily fatigued.
Kettlebells provide an efficient, full-body workout, including strength training, stamina building, core strengthening, aerobic conditioning, and dynamic flexibility. Kettlebell workouts are efficient, functional, and best of all, effective!
3. WHAT TRAINING EQUIPMENT CAN KETTLEBELLS REPLACE?
Kettlebells can replace dumbbells, barbells, medicine balls, grip devices and cardio equipment. Kettlebells provide all the benefits of using these pieces of equipment to strengthen and condition the entire body. The difference is found in how you handle them.
Dumbbell handles are centered and balanced. The kettlebell’s handle protrudes from one side of the sphere, this offsets your body’s center of gravity allowing for a variety of ballistic and swinging movements that force you to use your entire body, including those crucial core muscles, to compensate for the imbalance. This also means you’ll never be able to handle the kettlebell from its most optimal position, the center. This encourages you to stabilize your core with every move and forces you to use your entire body throughout the workout.
Kettlebells are great overall conditioners. Most kettlebell exercises involve the utilization of several muscle groups, all working together to complete the movement. These exercises keep your muscles working throughout the entire range of motion. Because multiple muscle groups are involved in a single lift, a full-body workout can be achieved in a minimal amount of time. When kettlebell moves are done repeatedly, one after another, you are performing a high-impact cardio exercise and eliminating the need for cardio machines. Trust me, you’re heart will race and you’ll be working throughout your entire kettlebell workout!
4. HOW LONG WILL A KETTLEBELL WORKOUT TAKE?
The Kettlebell Fitness Class at Foundation Strength is approximately one hour long and includes a 15-minute warm-up. Because the class includes flexibility, strength and cardio training (all rolled into one!), you will probably not be able to continue for more than one hour. Believe it or not, you can reap actual benefits in as little as five minutes of kettlebell work.
Before you begin any kettlebell workout (at any weight), it’s crucial that you receive proper instruction on technique and positioning. This will help you to avoid injury and maximize the benefits of your training.
5. WHAT ARE YOUR RATES?
At Foundation Health & Performance, we do not require a membership to train at our facility! Each class is a $15 investment towards a healthier you! We also offer a 10-session punch-card for just $100. These punch-cards do not expire. We are currently offering 3 Kettlebell Fitness Clases: Saturdays at 8:30am, Mondays at 5:30pm, and Wednesdays at 5:30pm.
6. WHO CAN USE KETTLEBELLS?
Men and Women can benefit from using kettlebells. Children and Seniors can benefit from using kettlebells. Athletes and Military Personnel can benefit from using kettlebells. Working Professionals and Stay-At-Home Parents can benefit from using kettlebells. All of these people can reap the benefits of kettlebell training. Anyone looking to get in shape, stay in shape, or train for top performance can and should use kettlebells.
7. WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO CLASS? AND WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
Wear comfortable clothes that allow full range of motion. Do not wear clothes that retain too much heat or allow you to get too cold. Make sure you bring a water bottle and a towel because you’ll definitely be sweating!
Flat-soled shoes are highly recommended; however, barefoot training is ideal. Running shoes and cross-trainers can be dangerous when worn during kettlebell training because they provide too much cushion and not enough stability. Some examples of acceptable flat-soled shoes include Nike Free, Converse Chuck Taylor, Asics Tiger, and Adidas soccer shoes.
Most importantly, don’t forget to bring your eagerness to learn and an enthusiasm to work!
8. I’M REALLY OUT OF SHAPE. CAN I STILL COME IN? AND, DO I NEED ANY SPECIAL TRAINING TO USE A KETTLEBELL?
Being out of shape is even more reason for you to come in. I teach people ranging in age from their early teens to well into their 70’s. They all have different skills and fitness levels. The nice thing about the Kettlebell Fitness Class is that everyone is able to work at his or her own individual fitness level.
When working with any new sort of equipment, it is crucial to receive proper instruction to avoid injury. This is absolutely true with kettlebells. Like any weight training, if used improperly, kettlebells can be dangerous. A couple of sessions with a certified instructor can really help get you off to the right start!
There’s something to be said for accountability . . . Working with people in a group setting will help give you encouragement, confidence, and motivation to train and achieve your fitness goals. We welcome newcomers and look forward to seeing familiar faces from week to week! Check out our kettlebell class schedule
9. WILL KETTLEBELL TRAINING MAKE ME BULKY?
Not unless that is what you are training for. You can create a training regimen to encourage gains in muscle mass. In general, it’s not in the best interest of most athletes, military personnel, or everyday persons to gain weight. The kettlebell is the perfect tool to build strength and endurance without creating bulk. It takes a strict diet, a lot of discipline, and extensive supplements to gain a lot of muscle weight from any sort of training. Many of the individuals I train have experienced weight loss and increased muscle tone!
10. WILL KETTLEBELL TRAINING BE TOO HARD FOR ME?
Kettlebell training requires some technique. It’s not something you can do while distracted. You shouldn’t lift or swing a kettlebell without proper instruction. There are particular positions, postures, and skills required to safely and effectively train with kettlebells. That being said, you don’t need any background training to correctly learn how to train with kettlebells. Just about anyone can learn! Individuals should begin kettlebell training with a lighter kettlebell to safely learn proper form and technique and then progress to a more physically demanding weight.
If you would like to learn even more about kettlebells, Foundation HP & Agatsu have teamed up to bring a kettlebell certification to Carlsbad in January 2012. Check out the Info Here.