If you have not been training with kettlebells, where have you been? Kettlebells have been around for hundreds of years. We hear from Fionnbhárr Toolan on the Top 10 reasons why you should incorporate the Kettlebell into your training routine.
1. Work capacity: the ability to work for a period of time performing a specific task. For most people, work capacity is the most important factor in their fitness goals. The ability to perform the activities of your day and have a reserve at the end. Nothing will improve your work capacity and cardiovascular ability faster, alongside increasing your muscle strength and definition more safely than kettlebell training.
2. Whether it be ballistic (kettlebell swing or snatch) or grind (military press or kettlebell front squat) based kettlebell movements, your body is always doing something - producing force, reducing force, creating tension, creating relaxation. There is no piece of equipment that can teach these elements of strength and endurance safely and efficiently like the kettlebell.
3. Kettlebell movements teach your body to work as the unit that it is. As the brain knows movements and not muscles, you will become more resilient with kettlebell use. Kettlebell exercises require balance, coordination, core control, hand-eye coordination and it teaches you to move like an athlete, hips first. The five basic movements (swing, snatch, press, squat, get up) can be used every day to keep you strong, lean and functional.
4. Kettlebell training is accessible and practical for absolutely everyone. From the elite athlete searching for an edge to the sedentary person looking to discover strength and fitness for the first time. Everyone can benefit. The kettlebell is used by champions in a range of sports from powerlifting to MMA to triathlons, by elite military and law enforcement operators.
5. Whether you’re young or old, there are basic body movements and patterns that make us physically fit and capable. There are very few days where we use only our arms, our legs or our back. Our body is one piece! Kettlebells have a reputation for strengthening the glutes, hips, hamstrings, back, arms and core like nothing else.
6. Kettlebell exercises strengthen the glutes and hamstrings. People who have low back and hip pain often have “gluteal amnesia”. Sleepy glutes. If you do not overcome this life-threatening illness, it will lead to more back problems in the near future as your back will take over the lifting task of the strong and powerful glutes. Yes! You’re sitting on a ‘Goldmine’, your glutes.
7. The kettlebell is an investment for a lifetime. If you buy good quality to begin with, you will have a tool to keep you fit and strong for the rest of your life and a tool that will stand the test of time. I have kettlebells that are over ten years old and have had rigorous training abuse, yet they still look brand new. If all you own is one kettlebell, that one-time investment can give you a super tough workout all on its own.
8. When you start looking for simple and progressive workout options to follow at home or at your local gym, you need to keep three pillars of training in your mind - Movement Quality, Strength, Conditioning. The kettlebell covers all three better than any other tool on earth, without a shadow of a doubt. Movement Quality - goblet squat, get up. Strength - kettlebell press. Conditioning - kettlebell swing and snatch.
9. Kettlebell training is extremely time-efficient. Time is crunched for many of today's population. Work-life, family life, life, in general, can always hamper our progress or aspirations to become fit, strong and healthy. We never truly appreciate the gravity of this matter until we are truly ‘stuck’ for time. Kettlebell training offers your one-stop shop for undoing your inefficient timekeeping with efficient ways to accumulate a lot of hard work in a very short space of time.
10. You can train anywhere at any time. Kettlebell training can be completed in your back garden, at the local park, at your home. Wherever! You don’t need a lot of space either, just enough for you to express your undeniable strength, power and endurance. When you’re finished, put the kettlebell back on top of the mantlepiece where it belongs. NOT wedged in front of a door to prevent it from closing.