Monday, July 8, 2013

My Kettlebell Circuit Training - Prolog: The benefits of kettlebell training

Hey guys,

Over the next weeks I'm going to show you a detailed description of my full body kettlebell circuit routine (broken down in 4 posts). To get you in the right mood for trying kettlebell workouts in your training routines I start with a small chapter of my new ebook "The LLA-Method - How to get really healthy, fit and sexy for a lifetime" (you can get a copy on amazon).

Benefits of Kettlebell Workouts

Kettlebells[1] are like small portable gyms[2]. Even if you don’t have a lot of space you can train every muscle of your body with them (around 22ft² [2 m²] is sufficient). With kettlebells you can work out inside or outside, improve strength, speed and endurance simultaneously and, additionally, lose plenty of body fat in a short period. Exercising with kettlebells is one of the best ways to improve your functional fitness, because almost all exercises force lots of different muscles to work together[3] as a unit (like in “real” life situations). They are also capable of eliminating muscular misbalances[4], tension (especially those in your neck) and their negative after- and side-effects (e.g. headaches). By including several muscle groups simultaneously kettlebell exercises are very demanding and, thereby, improve your cardiovascular system and increases fat burning as well[5]. Those exercises also improve your endurance and „equip“ you with enormous strength without  you bulking up too much[6]. The swinging parts of the exercises are especially good at activating and strengthening your rear kinetic chain which is needed for a trouble-free power transmission from your lower to your upper body (important for walking, dancing, stair climbing and so on). The rear kinetic chain is often a very weak part of the body for white collar workers which is an explanation why this group often suffers back pain and a tense neck. Another big advantage of a strong rear kinetic chain is that it normally comes hand in hand with a well-shaped crispy butt[7]. Vulnerable joints (like knees, shoulders, hips) benefit from exercising with kettlebells, too. The motion keeps them smooth and the muscles around them get stronger and can protect them better. The only critical aspect of kettlebell training is that you have to be very careful in the beginning! You shouldn’t start using higher weights until you are able to perform every exercise perfectly with a “lighter” kettlebell. The risk of injuries is high if you have a bad posture during the exercise (especially if your back isn’t straight). You should never forget that the “impact” on your body is not only caused by the weight of the kettlebell but also by the kinetic energy generated by the ballistic movements, which can be much stronger. Which, if performed right, is capable of increasing the effectiveness, but could lead to serious injuries in case of mishandling.  

Nevertheless, you should realize that the advantages of kettlebell training far outweigh its disadvantages (the only „real“ disadvantage could be eliminated easily by learning the right techniques; and they are not that complicated).

[1] Btw. Kettlebells have already been used in former times as training tools. In the so called „Western World“ they almost vanished from the focus of trainers and trainees for about 100 years due to the development of training machines. In the last decade they regained popularity in Western countries (they were continuously used by the Russians!), as the society slowly bethink of useful, functional strength training again (instead of just appearance-orientated training).
[2]Caused by their little need of space you can store them almost everywhere.
[3] This supports the release of natural growth hormones, which help you to get results faster.
[4] E.g. if your right shoulder is stronger than your left one.
[5] Especially if you follow the LLA-Diet (see my upcoming book “The LLA-Method Part I: Nutrition”). With this diet you are almost always in a mode of fat metabolism.
[6] Through the fat burning and the constant contraction of your abs/legs you will approach a „sixpack“ as well as toned legs and a nice rounded butt.
[7]For many personal trainers the kettlebell swing is the perfect exercise for a well-shaped butt.

I hope you liked this chapter of my book and, of course, I hope you now want to read some more about kettlebell exercises in the next weeks.