If you love to train hard, then you will love kettlebell training. If you don’t know what a kettlebell is, it’s high time you found out. A kettlebell is a weight training equipment that is shaped like a cannonball with a handle attached to it. Originally from Russia, it’s now a popular tool which is used all over the world by people to become stronger, fitter, and leaner.
Compared to a barbell or dumbbell, the biggest difference is that in a kettlebell the weight is off-centre. This makes your core and grip work a lot harder than it would with standard weights. In fact, it is often said that even a 20-minute kettlebell workout can provide better results than many other protocols that have you working out for 60 minutes or more. It’s also a great tool that can fit in any corner of your home, so you do not have to worry about space.
Basic Kettlebell Exercises
When you begin training in some of the exercises like cleans and snatches, you might initially find that you end up banging your forearms with the bells crashing into it. This will be eliminated with practice therefore it is necessary to avoid doing too many reps of such exercises in the beginning. Instead, do a few reps often to learn the proper form without harming yourself. Once you have mastered these moves, you can then include some more variety with exercises like lunges, alternating swings, floor presses, windmills, Turkish get-up, etc.
Like with other exercises, if you continue lifting the same weight for the same number of reps, you will not improve your strength or see muscle growth. It’s important that you move onto heavier kettlebells and do more reps in order to increase your overall strength and lean muscle mass.
If you have been training with other forms like traditional weights, running or bodyweight exercises and you want to add kettlebells into your training routine, then you can gradually start with swings. Do about 2-3 sets of 10 reps at the end of your normal workouts. Once you are good with swings, keep adding an exercise from the basic kettlebell exercise list to your regime.
However, if you’re currently not following any training program and want to start fresh with kettlebells or want to switch over to an all kettlebell workout, then do the following program:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
After two weeks, add another set to all the exercises.
Once you get fairly comfortable and good with this basic workout, then start doing more challenging kettlebell workouts like doing circuits, complexes, high repetition snatch or clean and press workouts, etc. The options are limitless, and they are all fun and rewarding but also brutal at the same time.
Written by: Arnav Sarkar
Arnav is a strength coach and fitness whose style of training is based on on simplicity and sensibility over fad and short term methods.