Kettlebells are my go-to movement style whenever I am feeling a bit stuck or torn between where I want to go next, physically.
I first fell in love with Kettlebells back in 2010 when I started training with a friend of mine who, while working as a Kung Fu instructor and Cardio Kickboxing instructor, was becoming Certified as a Russian Kettlebell Trainer. He hooked me right in, and I haven't looked back since...well, maybe I did a little, but only to remember what he taught me. Not only was I getting stronger, I was getting faster, leaner, and simply, more powerful in everything else.
My overall performance went through the roof.
Kettlebells are particularly my favorite movement style because of the diverse range of movements you can do with them to optimize results during different phases of training. Unlike the basic dumbbells, kettlebells never get boring (no offense). There is just a variety of ways to use kettlebells within their own workouts and also to utilize their capacity for making any workout more challenging and exciting while adding dynamic benefits to your daily routines, or even to athletes of all ages.
Don't get me wrong, dumbbells are useful, depending on your preference or for targeted muscle groups, but there is something about kettlebells that create more abundance to movement.
For instance, Kettlebells are great for tackling multiple body systems all at once! Cardio, strength, and stability are probably the top three movement systems most people are constantly striving for: lean and strong with a solid core. From experience, I can tell you, they never disappoint. They're the whole package when it comes to getting a total body workout in a short amount of time with a huge impact.
A great buddy to add to a HIIT workout, Crossfit Circuit (if you haven't used them already), or even strength training programs for athletes...with the proper form of course - I'd highly recommend it, especially for athletic programs.
The off-centeredness of a kettlebell makes it unique in targeting the core, stabilizer muscles. No matter what area your focus is, you'll always get a total body workout somehow because your body will adjust to accommodate the weight wherever it's felt. Basically, grip strength will significantly increase even if your doing legs...prepare for sore hands if you're a beginner.
Since kettlebells activate multiple muscle groups at a given time, making it the ultimate whole body experience, this means they help burn calories faster because of the capacity at which all those muscles are firing at the same time. In other words, an incredible movement style to add to your routine if you want to be leaner and more powerful, folks.
Another dynamic benefit to using Kettlebells is generating strength based off of functional movement patterns that we consistently use on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, not only will you feel great physically, everyday activities become easier to manage and makes injury less likely to happen from simple daily tasks - think, cardio without killing your joints, carrying packages and how to lift boxes or heavy materials properly, sitting or standing taller.
Due to the unique movement style of Kettlebells, you become more agile, mobile, flexible even because you use a wide range of motion while using kettlebells. Although strength training is often perceived as making people less flexible because of muscles contracting and becoming tighter, Kettlebells can actually help increase the range of motion in your joints because of using an active movement style.
Movement + Movement = More Movement.
Kettlebells are an amazing tool to add to anyone's daily routine or to incorporate into any training regimen, at any age. There are no restrictions, although I highly recommend if you're just starting out to have a professional show you the proper ways to use kettlebells. As with any weights, form is always super important to keep in mind as to always reduce your risk for possible injury.
I can go on and on about Kettlebells, but for now, I'll leave you to find out more for yourself, Friends ;)
Here is a Basic Kettlebell Workout* for you to try next time you get your hands on some KB's:
+ KB Swings for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds
+ KB Squat Thrusts for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds (each side)
+ KB Deadlifts for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds
+ KB Goblet Squats for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds
+ KB High Pulls for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds
* repeat 2-3 rounds...if you dare :P