You may have noticed the new fitness trend of using ball shaped weights to perform a combination of resistance and cardio training. This fitness trend, called kettlebells, is actually not new at all. It is an old practice that has many benefits, which is why it kettlebells are experiencing a renaissance today.
The hardcore art of kettlebells is reported to have originated in Russia in the early 1700s. The Russian military forces and Russian Olympic teams have for some time used the kettlebell weights to quickly build endurance, strength, flexibility and balance. Even today, a pro weightlifters or strong men in Russia are commonly referred to as “Girevik” or in English kettlebell man. Russian fitness instructor Pavel Tsatsouline is the man credited with popularizing the utilization of kettlebells in personal training in the United States., Pavel Tsatsouline did this by publicizing the kettlebells’ effectiveness of combining strength work and cardio into one efficient biomechanical, full-body workout.
A study conducted by the University of Wisconsin, John Porcari, Ph.D., advocated that a 20-minute kettlebell workout could burn about 400 calories, which would be equal to running a six-minute mile. Under the proper instruction, kettlebells can also help strengthen nearly every muscle in the body, giving you a concrete cardio workout and increase in muscular and lung endurance. Kettlebells can also effectively target individual muscle categories such as chest, abs, forearms, shoulders or, hamstrings, or workout numerous muscles at once. This means kettlebells are flexible enough to be effective for novice or advanced kettlebell users. Novice users will find kettlebells easy to use for basic strength moves, such as triceps extensions or squats; more advanced users will use the kettlebells for more dynamic moves that will challenge their flexibility, balance and cardio fitness level.
You may assume that kettlebells are only used by serious athletes, girevik, or weightlifters, but many modern gyms today now offer kettlebell themed classes for the fitness buff and recreational athlete. Even though kettlebells made their rise with Russian “strongmen,” using them does not have to be daunting or dangerous – even for the kettlebell beginner. Kettlebells come in an array of weights, from 5 lbs. to more than 106 lbs. This means that the weights can aid almost anyone to become stronger, flexible, improve muscle tone and lose weight. Due to the added cardio factor, kettlebells offer a debatably better, more efficient and well-rounded workout than any other strength-training methods.
Kettlebells like all exercise equipment can cause serious injury when used improperly. Proper use requires instruction, coordination, strength, common sense, lots of practice and commitment. Unlike weight controlled machines and dumbbells, kettlebell workouts requires the use of the entire body to produce the various exercises and movements. The result is superior calorie expenditure, skill, focus, and gains of large amounts of strength and power that will not bulk you up significantly.
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