Kettlebell training is my latest obsession. They’ve been around forever, but recently kettle bells have become extremely popular in the fitness world. After hearing some experts talk about kettlebells and demonstrating proper moves, I’m even more excited.

What are kettlebells?

 

Kettlebells are Russian cast iron round weights with an attached handle. The unique shape offers a wider range of motion than traditional dumbbells, and the lopsided-ness of the kettlebell increases your functional strength and incorporates your core.

kettlebell collection good weights for women

The great thing about kettlebells is that pretty much anyone can use them. You can modify most things to work around an injury, you can do it whether you’re young or old, and you can even do them pregnant, as Workout Mommy demonstrated at Fitbloggin.

25 and 15 pound kettlebell

Jenn, Karen, and Lisa gave a great kettlebell demo at the Fitbloggin conference. Since they stressed the importance of learning from a trained instructor, I’m not going to attempt any kind of demo, but I do want to pass on their tips!

Tips for Using Kettlebells

 

It’s best to be barefoot or in a minimalist shoe, like cheerleading shoes, etc., that have a thin sole.

Pick a kettle bell that is all one piece- don’t use one that had the handle welded on after production, as you never know when it might decide to fall off.

Start with a decent amount of weight. Women should start around 15-20, and men 20-25. Any lighter may actually throw you off balance and disturb your form.

For most moves, you only use one kettlebell at a time, not two like when traditionally using dumbbells.

kettlebell snatch demonstration

Be sure to use proper form to prevent injuries. It’s a good idea to learn to use kettlebells from a certified trainer so you can be sure you’re doing it right. Learning off videos on the web may give you an idea, but you won’t be able to get feed back and some may even demonstrate the wrong form. {Apparently there’s a Jillian Michaels video online that shows how to do kettlebell swings incorrectly.}

Stay out of the way of the kettlebell! If you feel like you’re dropping it, get out of the way.

What do I do with a kettlebell?

 

Some of the basic kettlebell moves include swings, snatches, and cleans.

A swing is the basic foundation of training with kettlebells. It’s a great full body strength and cardio workout. You can get your heart rate up within just minutes.

kettlebell swing from dragon door

Kettlebells are not only a good way to build strength, they’re great for functional fitness, meaning the moves you do directly translate to activities you may do in daily life, like carry groceries or picking up kids.

And hey, if nothing else interests you, mixing up your routine is a great way to bust through a plateau.

 

Do you kettlebell?!!