The past few months I’ve been having some problems with my spine and have been seeing my own chiropractor rather regularly. When I go in for my appointments, he’s been telling me about the results he’s been seeing with his Kettlebell workout. Another colleague of ours convinced him to try it, and it seems to be working well for both of them. I had never heard of Kettlebells before, but after hearing both of my colleagues rave about them I decided to do a little research. Kettlebells are cast iron weights that look like a cannonball with a single looped handle on top. They range in weight from 2 pounds to over 100 pounds. They are common strength training aids in Eastern Europe and are starting to take off among mainstream athletes.
The reason kettlebell training is starting to take off is it gets back to basic training that requires functional, whole body fitness. Kettlebell workouts are intended to increase strength, endurance, agility and balance, challenging both the muscular and cardiovascular system with total-body movements. Kettlebells require the person to focus on whole-body conditioning because lifting and controlling it forces the entire body, specifically the core, to contract as a group, building both strength and stability at the same time. The kettlebell has a reputation amongst its followers as being able to condition the whole body with a relatively simple plan.
If you want to start using kettlebells in your workout, it is highly recommended that you get personal instruction from a personal trainer or coach who has experience teaching kettlebell exercises. When used incorrectly, kettlebells can cause some nasty injuries. Proper use of this cast iron weight requires strength, coordination, and lots of practice with lighter weights before increasing the weight. Each exercise involves multiple joints and multiple muscle groups working together. It takes most people time to adjust to these new movements that are different from traditional weight-lifting movements. After the basics are mastered, increasing the weight provides a strength workout unmatched by machines or even dumbbells. The biggest mistake beginners make is lifting too heavy a kettlebell before they can control it. This can result in serious injuries to the joints, and especially the neck, back, and spine.