Today kettlebell training is used by men and women all over the world with the aim of reshaping their bodies, relieving stress, and increasing strength levels. The kettlebell was first introduced into the U.S. from Russia and popularized in the late part of the 1990s. The kettlebell swing is one of the best exercises you can do to burn maximum calories in a short amount of time. Russian kettlebell swings are lower reaching the chest level, while the American swing is focused on extending overhead.

This Men’s Health Model demonstrates how to do a proper kettlebell swing

Let’s Talk About Kettlebells

The design and shape of a kettlebell offers workouts that are intense because the body is constantly aware of the shifting weight. This forces the body to work against this resistance through the process of longer ranges of motion while engaging muscles it is not used to engaging during traditional workouts, making kettlebell training a much more functional exercise. For those who have never trained with kettlebells, it is advisable to begin with the following beginner-friendly and light weight exercises.

  1. Swing

The kettlebell swing is regarded as a beginner-level exercise and easy to perform. This exercise mainly works on the hamstrings and glutes but hits on almost all of the major muscles. To perform this exercise, stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and hold onto the handle of your kettlebell using both hands. With your palms facing your legs, let your arms hang in a relaxed position. While making sure your back is flat and your chest is up, bend your knees and hips and swing your kettlebell backwards through your open legs. Making sure your arms stay straight drive the kettlebell upwards to chest height using your hips. Follow this by allowing the weight of your kettlebell to swing backwards to the original position. Repeat this exercise 15 times. Make sure you are not forcing the motion. Let the kettlebell do the bulk of the work with its momentum. Think of the weight as a pendulum.

  1. Sling Shot

This kettlebell exercise is also called the around-the-body pass, which focuses on the obliques, abs, back and arms. Start the exercise by holding the kettlebell handle with both your hands, with your feet positioned hip-width apart. Now extend the arms holding the kettlebell at waist height. Now let go with your right hand and follow this by swinging both of your arms into an arc shape behind the back. Now grab onto the handle using your right hand and let go your left-hand, swing your arms back to the original position. This will complete 1 repetition. Make sure that your hips remain still through the exercise. You only want to move your arms with as little movement in the upper body as possible.  Repeat the exercise 10 times.

  1. Front Squat

The kettlebell front squat is an excellent exercise to tone the butt and thigh muscles. To begin this exercise, hold your kettlebell in an upside-down position with your hands positioned at chest height. Make sure your feet are positioned hip-width apart. While making sure your head is up and your elbows are tucked in close to the body, along with a straight back, start bending your knees and hips into the squat position. Carry on lowering your body until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Now use your legs to push you back to the standing position. Repeat the exercise 15 times. When you reach the bottom of your squats, make sure that your knees extend over the toes.

Where can you do classes for kettlebells in Cleveland?

The local CBS Affiliate also has their own list right here, although it’s a few years dated.

Safety Tips

If you already have shoulder or back issues, or your trunk is weak, it is imperative that you use proper technique during the kettlebell exercises. To protect your body from unnecessary injuries, start with lighter weights and concentrate on perfecting your form during the exercises.

What is Kettlebell Training?
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Becca Shaeffer

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Becca Shaeffer is our resident health nut. An Ohio native, she loathes for the day she can quit her day job and move to somewhere warmer. When she's not at the gym, she's either hacking her way through skin treatments or thinking about her favorite cheat meal - thin crust pizza with anchovies and jalapenos.

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About Author

Becca Shaeffer

Becca Shaeffer is our resident health nut. An Ohio native, she loathes for the day she can quit her day job and move to somewhere warmer. When she's not at the gym, she's either hacking her way through skin treatments or thinking about her favorite cheat meal - thin crust pizza with anchovies and jalapenos.

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