Kettlebells: The Ultimate Fitness Tool

The kettlebell is among the globe’s oldest and most efficient instruments for building muscle.

It was popularized in Russia in the 1800s, yet some evidence suggests that the kettlebell was even made use of in ancient Greece for their Olympics.

Nowadays, kettlebells are the standard of CrossFit training.

Probably for the same factors as the Russians and Greeks, CrossFit loves the kettlebell for its convenience and capacity to develop muscle endurance, muscle mass, increased cardio, and develop power in professional athletes.

Here’s everything you need to learn about kettlebells and the role they play in Crossfit exercises.

What is Crossfit and How are Kettlebells Typically Used In The Workouts?

Kettlebells are utilized in several methods of CrossFit. One of the most popular workouts consist of the kettlebell swing, kettlebell snatch, kettlebell deadlift and Turkish get-up.

You will find kettlebells in every aspect of CrossFit including the Hero WODs (workout of the day), chippers, the infamous Helen WOD, AMRAPs (as many rounds as possible), and EMOMs (every minute on the minute). Even workouts that call for hardly any equipment, somehow manage to squeeze in a kettlebell exercise or two.

Proper Kettlebell Technique

A great deal of kettlebell training is explosive in nature, whether it be the hip drive of a kettlebell swing or the catch phase of a kettlebell snatch.

Therefore, it’s crucial you have good technique. Explosive workouts incorporating bad form will typically lead to grievous injury.

Kettlebells can feel unpleasant and awkward to an amateur crossfitter since the average person is used to either a dumbell or a barbell. Similar to a deadlift, you need to straighten your back and drive through your heels, preserving an arched lower back and “proud” chest as you stand with the bell.

When executing a kettlebell swing, snatch, or get-up, allow your knees to bend and glutes to help absorb the force as the weight comes back down. These techniques are required due to the sheer force of the descending weight.

Good foot positioning (broad stance, weight in heels) will keep you from getting dragged down by the kettlebell.

What Muscle Groups Are Being Worked When Executing Crossfit Kettlebell Exercises?

Due to the nature of the kettlebell, nearly every exercise you execute with said bell, will most likely recruit numerous muscle groups.

Exercises like the snatch, clean and press, are all great examples of total body movements.

Depending on your goals, you can customize your kettlebell exercises to train various areas of your body.

If your goal is to increase cardiovascular health, choose from any of the exercises mentioned above and superset them to fatigue. Because these exercises are compound in nature, your HR will skyrocket in no time.

To make a long answer short, you are using the majority of your muscles with each exercise.

Benefits of Kettlebell Training

The benefits of kettlebell training are vast due to the plethora of exercises you can perform. Benefits include both of the following:

  • Increased functionality- Unlike dumbells, kettlebells can be used in many different exercises. The major difference is the handle at the top.
  • Explosiveness- Kettlebells are the chosen tool for such exercises as the snatch, clean, and swing in Crossfit. These exercises are an awesome way of building your fast twitch muscle fibers, increasing your overall power.
Below are a few tutorials on the main Crossfit exercises:

 

Kettlebell Clean & Press
Turkish Get-Up
Kettlebell Snatch
Kettlebell Swing
Bottom Line

In terms of utility, functionality, and benefits, the kettlebell is second to none.

It is no wonder that throughout history, the kettlebell has been the tool of choice for elite athletes.

Hopefully this blog has been helpful in explaining the various uses of the kettlebell and has answered any questions you might of had.

For more information on everything fitness and nutrition related content, feel free to contact Optimal Fitness.