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Kettlebell training: How to use them for strength and conditioning training



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Kettlebells are great exercise tools to integrate into your routine.

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When you are new to train, or that Weight Training in general, there is something that is really scary about facing a weight room or even a set of dumbbells (if you can even manage to find them right now). Go into the kettlebell, a type of dumbbell that is round (like a clock) and has a handle, which makes it easy to lift and carry around.

Because they are simple, yet versatile, they are great for both beginners and training veterans. And as a bonus, they are relatively inexpensive and you only need one to get a good, physical exercise.

Kettlebells are available in a variety of weights and styles and can be used for many different training teams. “Kettlebells are probably the most underrated equipment in the gym. How the watch is shaped allows you to train strength, endurance and strength all in one small piece of iron,” says Lauren Kanski, certified personal trainer and founder of K-Method.

Getting started with a kettlebell workout may seem as simple as picking one up and swinging it around – but it can lead to injuries. You need to know a few basics before you start being confident and getting the best results. Continue reading for Kanski’s advice on how to get started with a kettlebell workout routine below.

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Kettlebells come in different weight gains, but beginners should start with a lighter weight.

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What a kettlebell to buy

If you have never trained with kettlebells, it is important to start with a light model so that you do not hurt yourself when you learn the basics. Kettlebells involve a lot more freedom of movement in addition to lifting them – so just because you can easily lift 15-20 pounds does not mean you can easily swing it over your head.

Although the weight you use depends on your personal training level and background, Kanski generally recommends that you start with an eight to 10 kg (approximately 17 to 22 kg) kettlebell for exercise that involves all movements in the head and 10-14 kg (22- £ 30) for beginners who want to learn how to make kettlebell swings (instructions below).

If you have experience of lifting weights or currently strength training, you can try to start with a heavier weight. Maybe say these people can start with 12-24 kg (26-52 lbs) for each workout that involves lifting it overhead and 24-32 kg (52-70 lbs) for kettlebell swings.

Kettlebell basics and mistakes to avoid

If you are hesitant to try kettlebells, do not be intimidated. Although you can do lots of advanced moves and workouts with them, they are completely beginner friendly.

“Anyone can use kettlebells, regardless of their training history. I train a broad demographic from athletes to seniors to those recovering from injuries. It is a very functional tool for targeting multiple levels of movement,” says Kanski. “The greatest thing for beginners is to learn to hold the watch and work with that grip strength.”

The two grip positions to improve strength

Standard grip: The usual grip is when you hold the horn or handle as you lift groceries in the handle.

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The usual kettlebell grip is similar to how you would take a bag of groceries.

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Front-racked position: “The front position is where the wrist is intertwined through the horn to place the watch between the chest, pelvis and biceps. This position is great for loading squats and serves as the starting point for any press over the head,” says Kanski.

Start slowly

As with any new workout routine, it is important to take things in stride. Make sure you take the time to understand the correct shape before making each movement and make sure heat properly before exercising.

According to Kanski, one of the biggest mistakes she sees people make is jumping right to more advanced moves like swings and jerks before they are ready. “Make sure you have mastered the movement pattern before doing anything explosive or with heavy loads,” she says.

Beginner kettlebell workout routine

Master these three traits from Kanski and you will start a solid start with your kettlebell fitness routine.

Offset squats

“This is really good for your core because you are loaded on one side and not on the other. Your core stabilizers fight hard through squats to keep you balanced,” says Kanski.

  • Start with the kettlebell in the front rack – sitting at your chest, rocking in your bicep, with the horn (handle) under your heel.
  • Then proceed to a regular front squats.

The farmer’s berries

“This move is exactly as it sounds, as if you were carrying groceries home,” says Kanski. “This is good for your core, grip strength and overall body strength. Depending on the load, do 30 seconds to 1 minute for each set.”

  • Start holding a kettlebell in each hand at your sides and keep them away from your thighs.
  • Pull your shoulders back and walk a straight line as slowly as you can.

Kettlebell swing

“Remember that this is a hip-dominating movement, not a squat. Your hips move the clock, your arms guide it in place. This requires a lot of practice, so play with it,” says Kanski.

  • Start with the kettlebell about an arm’s length away from your body, resting on the ground. Your feet should create a stand with the clock.
  • Sit down to grab the handle of the kettlebell.
  • Secure your core, grab the watch and throw it between your legs as if you were hiking a football.
  • Then stretch your hips quickly forward to toss the watch in front of you, while holding your rails vertically. Hang the kettlebell throughout the movement.
  • The end position should be as if you are in a standing high plank.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider if you have questions about a medical condition or health goal.


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