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An Introduction to Kettlebell Training, Plus 3 Intense Workouts

Aside from bodyweight Training, Kettlebell training is one of most effective total body training styles available on the market today. What am I talking about? Today? No, kettlebells have been in existence for a long time!

Kettlebells or “girya” originated in Russia. Men who lifted girya were called gireviks. Recently, kettlebells have become popular because of Russian Strength Coach Pavel Tstatsouline. Tsatsouline has trained both the United States armed forces and the Soviet Union forces. The National Championship for Kettlebells was created in 1985 to develop a set of rules and standards for kettlebell competitions.

I was introduced to kettlebells through Mike Mahler , a certified kettlebell instructor. At first, I began using Mike Mahler programs with just a barbell, bodyweight, and jump rope. I bought a kettlebell a few months ago and have fallen in love ever since. What makes the kettlebell so effective is its unique shape. Imagine a bowling ball with a handle. A 35lb kettlebell feels much heavier and is difficult tomaneuver than a 35lb dumbbell, simply because of the distribution of weight. With a dumbbell, all the weight is evenly distributed between two sides of the handle. With a kettlebell, you just a have a whole bunch of iron packed into this small casing. All I have to say is…don’t ignore it until you’ve tried it.

Image by Denver Post Kettlebell Exercises

Kettlebells are not meant for bicep curls and chest presses. There are distinct movements set aside exclusively for kettlebells. The basic kettlebell movements include the kettlebell Swing, clean, and snatch. These movements can be performed with a dumbbell as well, but you will not get the same feeling as you would with a kettlebell. Here are some basic tutorials on how to do each of these movements:

Kettlebell Swing

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Kettlebell Clean

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Kettlebell Snatch

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Kettlebell Workouts

Kettlebells are tough and I personally don’t think you should just grab onto them if you’re a complete beginner. You should have some experience with bodyweight or free weights. Machine work doesn’t count. Machines don’t teach you how to move your body in its natural range of motion. To build up your basic strength and endurance with bodyweight training, check out CoachLomax’s Workout Without Weights.

For those that have been training consistently for at least 6 months with bodyweight exercises or free weights, it’s time to try out these kettlebell workouts. I must suggest though that you should practice these movements with a dumbbell first before trying them with kettlebells.

I tried to find workouts where I had videos of (no matter how bad they were), just to give you guys a visual of how effective and difficult Kettlebell Training can be:

Workout #1:

5 Rounds for time of:

  • 10 Kettlebell Snatch, each side
  • 10 Double Unders

Workout #2:

3 rounds for time of:

  • 25 Kettlebell Swings
  • 25 Kettlebell Push Press
  • 50 Sledgehammer Swings

Workout #3:

2 rounds for time of:

  • 400 Meter Run
  • 50 Push Press, 50lbs
  • 50 KB Snatch, 16 kg each arm

How to use these workouts:

  1. Start with workout #1, and replace snatches with swings. Once you get good at performing the workout with swings, move onto cleans, and then finally snatches. Doubleunders can be replaced with any cardio alternative.
  2. Then, move onto workout #2 and practice it with swings, as prescribed. Move onto cleans, and finally snatches. Sledgehammer swings can be replaced with any cardio alternative.
  3. Finally, tackle workout #3, starting with high rep swings, then cleans, and finally snatches. You can replace the run with any cardio alternative.

Advanced Routines

For more information on Kettlebell Training, check out Meltdown Kettlebell Training.

This post first appeared on Shah Training | Do Not Simply Exist, Conquer!, please read the originial post: here

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An Introduction to Kettlebell Training, Plus 3 Intense Workouts


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