The kettlebell is a cast iron weight (resembling a cannonball with a handle) used to perform exercises that combine cardiovascular, strength and flexibility
Kettlebells were developed in Russia in the 1700s, primarily for weighing crops. The Soviet army used them as part of their physical training and conditioning programs in the 20th century. They had been used for competition and sports throughout Russia and Europe since the 1940s.
Working out with a kettlebell is known as a functional workout. Meaning it works your muscles in the same way as when you do everyday activities, like picking up a child, carrying your handbag or brief case.
If swing a weight around instead of holding it in your hand like a dumbbell seems scary, just think of it as a heavier version of your hand bag or brief case, which carries its weight at the end of a strap.
It is important, before training with a kettle bell that you learn proper technique. The major difference between training with Dumbbells and kettle bells is that using a Dumbbell you try to avoid cheating by using momentum, kettlebells are all about creating and controlling momentum. Swinging the bell in different directions taps into your big muscles such as legs and bum and your stability muscles such as the deep abdominals.
Using so many muscle groups together means that your core has to stay engaged to stabilise each and every movement. Good technique is essential when using kettlebells, so stop and rest if you feel you are losing yours. The one thing to bear in mind is that your back and abs should stay unconsciously engaged as if you are wearing a corset. Any forward bending should come from your hips or the crease at the top of your legs rather than from an arched back.
The benefits of a kettlebell workout:
Muscular strength without the added bulk
Increased core stability
Decreased musculoskeletal pain
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