I've always been fascinated and inspired by kettlebell training, I find it one of the most challenging, highly effective and rewarding pieces of equipment in the gym. I regularly include kettlebell training into my own workouts and almost every day with clients, with who I've witnessed massive developments in power, athleticism, coordination, mobility, etc etc. Having completed Onnit's Kettlebell specialst certification this past weekend, I felt inspired to write this blog and deliver some information to highlight the benefits & advantages of grabbing the kettlebell next to you're in the gym and getting used to it.
With this blog, I'm excited to be joined by Onnit Master Kettlebell Coach, Marcus Martinez.
Kettlebell lifting became the official sport of the Soviet Union during the 1970’s and the kettlebell is now massively increasing in popularity in gyms across the US.
Marcus adds: "It doesn’t matter if you’re an elite athlete, weekend warrior or new to a gym, the kettlebell can deliver incredible results."
I believe kettlebells are an essential in any gym, they are an amazing, entire body, dynamic development tool that can rapidly develop power, coordination, athleticism, explosive strength, motor skills etc. This blog will hopefully highlight a few of the benefits of kettlebells and how you can use them to boost your fitness as an athlete or personal trainer.
Some of the benefits of choosing kettlebells when programming your workouts:
Functional: I tend to prefer Kettlebells to dumbbells due to the fact that the center of mass is located away from the hand with a kettlebell, so they require stricter form and even more muscle activation and neural recruitment than a dumbbell and with that comes truly functional benefits.
Onnit Master Kettlebell Coach Marcus Martinez:
“Functional is a subjective term since it’s dependent on the user, but a stronger body that moves well as a single unit rather than as an assortment of parts benefits anyone regardless of goals."
Full body: A kettle bell offers countless multi-joint exercises you can perform that will not only challenge your strength & cardio vascular fitness together, but also challenge your coordination, motor skills & mobility all at the same time, even forcing your fingers, hands, and forearms to work harder to control the displaced load.
"Since it hits so many movement patterns in one session the calorie expenditure is far greater, meaning kettlebell routines are incredible for fat loss." - Marcus Martinez
A Stronger Core: Kettlebells will force the body to engage the core to stabilize and ensure correct form throughout any exercise resulting in far greater gains in core strength compared to other forms of resistance training, that may not always require full core activation. This is ideal for most sports but specifically for boxing, mma, tennis and even golf which all require explosive rotational movement through the core.
Low Impact: A kettlebell flow routine (continuous set of several exercises which flow from one exercise to the next with no rest) if done correctly, can feel easier on the body and is an ideal option for those looking to build explosive strength but struggle with plyometrics and higher impact training due to joint issues or previous injuries etc. The smooth transitions through a well-designed kettlebell flow that includes fluid swinging movements can make it feel more natural for your body to perform the exercises with reduced impact & stress on the joints.
Versatility: With kettlebells, you only need one weight in order to recreate the same high-intensity output you’d maybe get on a run. It can be used anywhere, they’re great for in-home training, outdoors and of course in the gym. No huge space required or set up / preparation, etc. kettlebells are small, convenient, relatively inexpensive compared to cardio machines or a full line of dumbbells, and they look cool! ...especially Onnit’s primal designed Kettlebells: