Kettlebells: Your First Workout
Kettlebells are a functional gym in the palm of your hand that will produce a strong, athletic, agile, physique and fast which is why we incorporate them as part of our balanced week of work for body and mind....
Above - its moi, working the kettlebell reverse lunge to press outdoors in the natural surrounding enjoying all the benefits it provides. This challenging exercise also incorporates the contralateral system
E.g. - opposite hip/shoulder similar to how you would walk, run, and strike making it more usable and functional
See, Kettlebell Training is a “movement pattern”, rather than a collection of muscle building exercises.
These movement patterns are not like the bodybuilding model (single-joint isolated contraction movements like a pec deck or bicep curl), which are useful for shaping and toning specific muscle groups, but actually do very little for whole-body movement.
In contrast, kettlebell movements place our bodies into extension and external rotation, which is the ideal “anatomical position” that describes a healthy human standing posture.
We now understand that exercise and fitness is really about movement and the muscular aesthetics that come with the movements tend to look good too, because it is healthy and healthy looks good!
At the seat of this movement-based culture sits the Kettlebell.
Kettlebell training provides movement pattern training that is postural-oriented and integrated, and considers the neuromuscular system (nerves and muscles) as an integrated whole.
The basic movements of kettlebell training ignite the entire posterior chain, which are those muscles of the back-side of your body, like the glutes (butt), hamstrings and lower back. These backside muscles improve our upright posture and athletic functions of running, jumping and throwing activities.
Therefore, for most people, most of the time, kettlebells offer everything you'd ever want for a functionally fit and proportioned, lean physique, plus work capacity.
Above - Moi yet again, with Steve Cotter on the left in London (who I also hosted locally here in Swindon a few years back) and Steve Maxwell on the right, handing me my KB certificate in Liverpool.
Steve Maxwell, who I have trained and certified under through all types of training as well as kettles, was the FIRST coach who introduced them to the USA and also coaches like Steve Cotter who was voted one of the 100 Fittest men on the planet set up the IKFF which is the International Kettlebell & Fitness Federation which is more about Kettlebell Sport/Competition. So, What are Kettlebells?
Kettles are a large cast-iron ball-shaped weight with a single handle.
Listen up Comrade, they started out in Russia and were used by the Russian Military and came to prominence when Pavel Tsatsouline, a Russian fitness instructor/sports scientist starting bringing out his kettlebell DVD's, of which I have quite a few, and he always calls me 'Comrade' when instructing through the DVD's ;)
How do you know if kettlebells are right for you?
If your goals align with any of the below areas of interest, you’re a strong candidate for kettlebell training
Considering calories burned per minute, kettlebells have proven to be on par with running in offering a highly-effective and efficient caloric burn, with the added element of muscle-building properties that running lacks.
Are you a fan of endurance training and endurance sports?
Try Swinging a kettlebell for 5-10 minutes without stopping, this will not only challenge you physically but also mentally - Mind and body strength, control, and resilience.
>When you start working kettlebell strength/conditioning routines there is also an element of mental strength as well.<
Do you play on your feet?
Need core strength?
Tire too quickly in games?
Always getting hurt?
Muscles imbalances (usually due to isolated exercise)
Try kettlebells and train the way an athlete must perform - with strength, power, endurance and mobility -
Below is the full Swing tutorial, to help you get started, it also includes a dumbbell swing alternative in-case you don't own a kettlebell but want to start experiencing the benefits you can also swing a dumbbell (tutorial included)
All of this is why I break training down to two basic forms of resistance: intrinsic and extrinsic.
Intrinsic exercise means using your own body for resistance while extrinsic involves moving an external weight. Since most athletes do both, it's important to develop both skills. Why also using one of our real usable strength and conditioning bodyweight routines would work perfectly alongside your first kettlebell routine.
It always blows my mind how (some PT's' encourage) athletes, boxers, martial artists STILL continue with isolated moves (that tend to tighten up and add imbalances to the body) instead of movement patterns because when you are doing your 'sport' you will need MOVEMENT and the KB will help you simulate the specific movements required Therefore, I consider kettlebells the most convenient form of extrinsic strength training, offering such a complete workout there's little reason to do other types of (extrinsic) weight training.
(The only proviso I'd add to the above statement is occasional heavy object lifting, which teaches the invaluable skill of round-back dead-lifting, my preferred objects being large stones, rocks and sandbags.)
**And yep you can also throw a few extra's in, such as chest or arm exercises, of you want to look a certain way etc
However, to just train, chest day, leg day etc takes a lot of time and it's also not the best way to build a strong healthy body as we age. If you want to get big, then that's your clarity, however, it is really hard over the age of 40. If you work more on losing body fat you will be be more toned (athletic) you will naturally look bigger and toned**
Below - So here is your first kettlebell workout. It's a 10 minute follow along foundational routine that's a great place to kick start your kb journey. It can also be used as warm up routine for the more experienced kettlebell user..
This is a 10-minute strength & conditioning workout that incorporates 40-seconds of work followed by 20 seconds of recovery and time to move to the next exercise. Attempt to keep good form throughout!
DISCLAIMER - We take no responsibility for any routine you choose to follow on our page without professional supervision!
Don't forget to let me know how you get on in the comments below ;)
Anton 'Kettles' Hedges
PS - If you'd like to learn more about our work smarter (physical) 5-pillar system and more about kettlebell training, plus nutrition info that works alongside this workout, then grab your free wake up warrior blueprint here: https://anybodyspt.lpages.co/wake-up-warrior-free-guide/
Research Sources - Steve Maxwell, Steve Cotter IKFF, and ME