28 May Kettlebells 101: What Are Kettlebells and Why Should You Use Them?

Kettlebell SwingI still get a lot of questions about kettlebells.  The most common questions are, “what are they and why should I use them compared to traditional weights?”

So, with this article, I thought I would take a couple steps back to explain a simple answer to those very questions.  If you’re brand new to kettlebells and have no idea what they are or what they can do for you, this is the definitive article.

Let’s get started.

What are kettlebells?

Kettlebells are basically a cannon ball with a handle.  A solid, cast iron weight that has a solid handle attached so that you can grip the weight and maneuver it in many different total body exercises.  It’s incredibly simple, yet amazingly effective for a total fitness approach.

Kettlebells aren’t anything new really.  They have literally been used for hundreds of years in other countries for their strengthening and conditioning benefits.  It was only the past 10 years or so that they started to really gain popularity, especially here in the United States.

The uniqueness of the kettlebell comes from the shape, design, and concentration of mass.  As you can see from the picture, the shape is much different than a dumbbell, for example.  The shape and the offset handle make the exercises much different than traditional weights.  As a matter of fact, I have tried to simulate the kettlebell exercises with a dumbbell and you just can’t replicate these exercises.  There is something ‘magical’ about the concentration of mass and offset handle design that makes the exercises so incredibly effective.

It’s really something you’ve got to experience for yourself to see what I mean.  It was my positive experience with kettlebells that lead me to seek mastery in this type of training, because it’s so effective and different from other training methods. This simply is NOT just another way to train, it’s something special, something so far beyond any typical fitness fad or trendy training approach.

Kettlebells are a very simple training device.  If you’re just getting started, one kettlebell can be your entire workout program for a few months, until you have a good “handle” on things, so to speak.  Kettlebells are a training tool that serves multiple health, fitness, and performance goals.

Now, why should you use them in your training?

I believe the bigger question is, why should you settle for less by not using them in your training approach?  I’ve written quite extensively about the benefits of kettlebell training. But, let me just provide the ‘top line’ benefits of this training for you.

  • Total body strengthening and conditioning
  • Cardiovascular health and fitness
  • Total body lean muscle building
  • Fat loss
  • Improved flexibility and functional movement patterns

That’s a condensed version of the top line benefits of kettlebell training.  For a much more comprehensive list of benefits, see the previous article I wrote called, 28 Ways Kettlebell Training is Great for You.

If you haven’t tried kettlebells yet or have no idea what they are, you’ve simply got to investigate into who the closest certified instructor is in your area and schedule an appointment.  For a complete list of certified russian kettlebell instructors, go here.

At the Dragon Door website, you will find the very best kettlebell instructors that have gone through an extensive and physically demanding certification process where each instructor had to earn the right to be certified.  This is NOT simply a “show up and get certified” type of certification program.  The bottom line is you will reap the rewards of having such a highly trained and prepared instructor.

A final thought on kettlebells and why you should implement them into your training program, especially if you’re not familiar with how beneficial and unique this type of training method really is.  Kettlebells will teach you how to move better and ultimately live better.  Yes, you heard me right.

You will move better and live better by learning the proper way to use a kettlebell. I’ve said this many times before, this is not just another training modality.  It’s much more than that.

The kettlebell ‘teaches’ you how to move properly and has a way to identify movement dysfunction.  The good thing is, if you have a less than optimal movement pattern, it will likely be corrected through correct instruction, lots of practice, and neuromuscular programing (or motor learning).

This improvement in better movement will actually improve your overall strength, condition, confidence, and function, which is why I say that you will live better.  If you truly improve these areas, you will certainly improve the quality of your life.

Kettlebells are one of the most simple, dynamic, and complete fitness training tools available today.  The benefits are literally endless.  I provided only some of the top line benefits of this superior training tool.  Do yourself a favor and look into learning the proper way to train with this spectacular training device!  Now is the time.

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