Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
August 26, 2017
I don’t know about you, but whenever I heard the term kettle bell weights, I start thinking of the old time stereotypes. You can envision these men with massive mustaches, lifting triangular kettles and talking about building their fitness in some run down warehouse setting. Or maybe like me, you think of Phinneus and Barnaby from Family Guy https://youtu.be/kMQjRju2ijk. Those two were a couple of my favorite side characters, especially since they used only ridiculously old contraptions. Truthfully, kettle bells have a pretty long history in the fitness world, and you would be lucky to find a solid gym like Parsons Training that employs this old school technology. It’s no secret that kettle bells are an old time style workout methodology, for they are on of the oldest types of workouts your have at your disposal, for the actual kettle bell has been around as early as the 18th century. Depending on your source, most people agree that the Russians started using the kettle weight as a weightlifting method sometime in the 19th century, primarily as a way for strongmen to show off their strength at the circus or a traveling sideshow. You see, kettle bells were originally used as farming equipment, and ultimately found another use as automation started becoming more prevalent in the work world. So when you see someone working with kettle bells, just remember you are looking at a bit of history. Compared to the newer ideas of working out like TRX Suspension training or Crossfit, kettle bell training does work pretty well in the overly technological modern world. Some of the toughest workouts I have had to deal with is in direct correlation with the kettle bell, especially the Turkish get-up where you have to keep a kettle bell over your head and rise up from a flat position. Trust me, describing and doing this workout is as tough as can be. So, if something was good enough for our great-great-great-grandfathers, it should be great for us, correct? Well, let me educate you o the extensive benefits that kettle bell weight training can provide for you.
Much like with every other workout methodology at your disposal, it wouldn't have lasted 150 years without some good practical use to them. While the amount of equipment has aided in the weightlifting game, sometimes the old school components will help you get back to the nitty gritty of fitness. While it used to be just about gaining mass and the lack of access to the newer modern technology, kettle bell lifting has found a very suitable home in a lot of gyms. Why is this you may ask? Tons of reasons of course. http://www.riversidekettlebells.com/2009/03/top-10-benefits-of-kettlebell-training.html Sure, this is a reference from a kettle manufacturing website, but much of the work is true in spite of some of he usual snakiness from most company websites. One thing that was especially true is the fact the kettle bells are a good combination workout for weight training AND cardio. Let me explain. You can do body squats all day if you wanted to, but getting that extra weight on your chest will not only give the calisthenic movement a good resistance, your body is going need to work harder to keep the exercise going. During a workout like that, squatting for cardio is where the need for the kettle comes into play. Now you can certainly do something similar to this on a regular barbell, sometimes a lot of gyms don’t have free bar set-ups and a lot of the times, the young “bros” will be using the Smith Press for bench pressing rather than squatting. So yes, the kettle bell makes up the loss of equipment. Kettle bells can also be used for a variety of health reasons. https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/the-kettlebell-swing-why-its-the-perfect-exercise Much like cycling being a good substitute for running and High Intensity Interval Training a safer method than Crossfit, kettles can also be a good replacement workout for barbell training when injured. One area in general is the lower back, where heavier weightlifting exercises can potentially aggravate some problems. Utilizing the lower weighted kettles can provide many oft he same benefits as you get back on the horse. It also does some serious work on your tendons and muscles, for engagement of maintaining your grip o the kettle works those muscles in a much different way than a standard barbell or dumbbell would. Kettle bell training can also be a good go-to system of weightlifting when coming back from those nasty usage injuries. https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/7-exercises-to-optimize-shoulder-health-with-kettlebells While barbells and dumbbells can help rebuild you from injuries, the more natural motion that a kettle bell gives you will allow you to restrengthen some of the pesky areas on your body like your shoulders and your upper back. Needless to say, these little contraptions are a pretty good way to rebuild your body. While they can make things rather difficult for you in some exercises, the benefit will always outweigh the personal drawbacks.
Now I have to admit I love these things. For someone who has wrist troubles like myself, I take solace in knowing I can always use these weighted contraptions when I don’t feel my best with the barbells or the dumbbells for that matter. One of the best ways to add strength and cardio into your life is a simple kettle swing. As for me, I typically use the 88-pound kettle (40 KG) and swing away to my heart’s content, getting myself into a semi-squat motion in addition to the swing. So right there, I worked multiple groups. From my hands and my wrists in regards to the grip (you don’t want to let an 88-pound kettle fly out of your hands), to my arms and shoulder form the actual swing and then my legs, where I squat down and use my natural force to get the beast of a weight up. I’m also killing it cardio wise, because once you start hitting the double figures with the kettle bell swings, your lungs are going start revolting. So give this little exercise a try, trust me, you will like it. Truth b told, if you are at a gym that doesn’t invest in these things, you might need to start looking for a new gym. Okay, maybe that is a little too dramatic but yeah, give these things a whirl.
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About Parsons Training
Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
About Our Blog
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.