I know I know! The name does make it sound like an accessory for cows; but trust me when I say it’s more than that. But this tiny little workout accessory can help you get a full body workout; a powerful one at that.
What is the kettlebell and what does it look like?
The kettlebell or the girya as it is known as in Russian, is a cast iron weight; and is built to look like a cannonball which has a handle. A lot of companies which indulge in fitness machines have been producing their own forms of kettlebells and promoting their own version of kettlebell exercise programs.
The newer forms of kettlebells are being produced using adjustable weights and some of them are rubber coated as well. This makes them safer for the floors.
Why should I opt for the Kettlebell?
There is a simple reason why this weight, which was used in older Russian times, is showing up in your neighborhood gym today. It is extremely user friendly and isn’t seen to be as demanding as barbells and dumbbells are on the shoulder, wrist and upper-back flexibility. It also makes things easier with regards to swinging from one move into the next; and you wouldn’t even need to stop in between the routine. This will help increase the intensity of your workout without increasing the amount of time that you’re spending on it.
This seems to be a win-win situation, because you end up speeding up your metabolism, while your burn more calories than you could earlier and you end up adding to the total muscle value at hand.
Watch yourself exercise with kettlebells –
There is a good amount of movement that is involved in exercising with kettlebells; and hence, it would be advisable to maintain extremely good form while doing it. This will help you maximize your muscle benefits and will also avoid injuries of any sort. The easiest thing to do here would be to exercise in front of a mirror.
The key points to keep in mind and watch out for would be to keep the elbows close to the body for exercises like the Olympic lifts and the overhead presses. On any lift that you do, tuck your shoulders downwards and backwards; achieve this by squeezing them together.
Foot it right –
Ensure that the responsibility of carrying the weights in on your heels and not on the balls of your feet. Do this during every kettlebell exercise that you indulge in. This will help you recruit more muscles in your hamstrings and glutes; and thus leave you with more power and more muscle gains.
Leaving you with some tips –
If you bend your wrist during a lift, you might put undue strain on it. Straighten your wrist and this will help you better the transfer force.
The awkward positioning will help you build up co-ordination, much in the same way that the holding of a baseball bat does to you.
Don’t Push It
You could use 3 kettlebells at a maximum for a workout. Start with a weight that lies in your comfort zone. Start slow and steady.