The Kettlebell King of Lomax Chelsea, Personal Trainer Adam Stansbury gives us his Top 5 reasons to use kettlebells.
“Kettlebells were developed in Russia in the 1700s, primarily for weighing crops. It is said that these farmers became stronger and found them useful for showing off their strength during festivals. The Soviet army used them as part of their physical training and conditioning programs in the 20th century.”
Throughout my fitness career I’ve explored various ways of training, as much for effectiveness in application as for fun and challenging ways to spend my time exercising. Kettlebells have always been in the background of my training and have made a big resurgence of late due to the pursuit of fun and functional ways to train. Here are my top 5 reasons why you should include them in your workout:
1. Functional Strength
One of the next big buzz words in fitness is functional strength. Kettlebells give you functional strength in bucket loads, as the exercises performed with a kettlebell are dynamic and multi-plane, testing muscles and joints through a diverse range of movements and often using just the one kettlebell for a whole workout!
2. Body Awareness
Training with kettlebells gives you fantastic body awareness as it is impossible to ‘go through the motions’ during a kettlebell workout. You must be focused and aware of the position of your body relative to the kettlebell in order to maximise effect and efficiency of movement.
3. Metabolic Conditioning
Due to the stimulation of a large range of muscle groups and the anaerobic effect created by the oxygen debt whilst breathing so hard, a kettlebell workout is a great way to improve your conditioning for fitness and fat loss.
4. Core Strength & Shoulder Stability
The body’s core strength and stability is tested throughout all the movements, forcing the trunk to stay upright to support the body. Many kettlebell movements, such as the Getup or Windmill, also utilise ‘isometric’ or static holds over head. These exercises lock out the arm above the head through the shoulder joint, forcing the smaller stabilising muscles surrounding the joint to fire. I have used these exercises with many clients to improve shoulder stability as part of a rehab program.
5. It’s FUN !
There’s no doubt about it, a kettlebell workout is a fun and engaging way of training. There are 100s of movements that can be performed either slow and controlled or explosive and dynamic for strength, fitness, fat loss or rehab.