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4 Essential Things You Need to Know About Kettlebells

Nov 25, 2014

Do you know one of the best exercise tools designed for intense total-body conditioning? You guessed it, the new trend of weight training using Kettlebells. Originating from Russia in the 1700s, Kettlebells transformed from a crop farmer’s tool into a modern-day intensity weight-of-choice helping increase strength and endurance in those who consistently use them. Kettlebell training introduces a whole new dimension to any physical fitness routine, is sure to challenge your body and mind with the right conditioning program. Kettlebell training can be a great option for gearing up for the ski season, too. It can help you avoid injury allowing you to get the most out of that pricey lift ticket. A well designed program can also prepare the entire body from head to toe. A long day of skiing can be hard on your legs, core muscles and even cause strain on the shoulders and upper back muscles if you don’t spend an adequate amount of time prepping the body prior to your first ski outing. The kettlebell allows you to build a great deal of upper and lower body strength and mobility simultaneously. Here’s a short list of some of the benefits you can expect from regular practice of working out with Kettlebells. Strength - Ballistic kettlebell practice, in particular, generates enormous force and therefore presents an extreme challenge to the entire body resulting in unusually fast strength gains even while training with a relatively light load. Endurance and Cardio - The rapid kettlebell movement translates into more powerful and resilient heart, and the ability to sustain vigorous activity for greater periods. The” Hinge” position used in kettlebell training also develops endurance in the lower back which is so important for skiing since the primary position in skiing is leaning forward which can wreak havoc on a weak back. Total body endurance will help maintain form later in the day as the body begins to fatigue. Flexibility - Kettlebell training helps build flexibility which is imperative to be successful in any rigorous activity. Kettlebell training is proven to help increase hip extension as well as thoracic flexion, as well as improved shoulder mobility. Functionality - A kettlebell allows you to exercise in natural movement patterns. The hips initiate all the basic kettlebell lifts and so does skiing. This translates into a strong, flexible and conditioned body that will help you on the slopes and other athletic endeavors. The kettlebells unique design allows you to swing it back between your legs, utilizing the most powerful muscles of the body to dynamically propel the kettlebell forward. Skiing requires the same muscles; kettlebell training in the gym will help your performance on the slopes. Kettlebells can be intimidating and some of the basic movements require a lot of practice to master great technique. Here are 3 exercises I recommend that will help increase your performance during the 2015 ski season. Try this! Kettlebell Deadlifts: Deadlifts are one of the best total body exercises that will target the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, and they are great for strengthening the lower back as well. Goblet Squats: The goblet squat is a great variation to the traditional barbell back squat especially if you don’t have access to a squat rack. The way you hold the kettlebell, slightly in front of your chest, will put a little more of the focus on the quadriceps compared to your glutes and hamstrings. They are also great for improvement hip, knee and ankle mobility. Kettlebell Swings: Swings are a versatile exercise that will challenge the entire body. They strengthen the entire posterior chain and they will engage the core muscles in a way that traditional sit-ups and crunches can’t. Swings are also very effective for improving cardiovascular condition and fat burning. Lastly, kettlebell swings put the body in a similar position as you are when you skiing.

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