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Kettlebell training is one of the best ways to whittle your waist while gaining strength and flexibility. Kettlebells have been used as a training method in Eastern Europe for hundreds of years, but have been gaining traction in the U.S. over the last 10 years. Now kettlebells are so popular, that many big box gyms have at least one rack of kettlebells (although they may be shoved into the corner).
Kettlebells have a reputation for being a hardcore training device for muscle heads, but you don’t have to look like this to get the full benefits of kettlebell training:
- Improve Your Shoulder Mobility – The kettlebell halo is a great exercise for strengthening and stretching the ligaments of your shoulder. To complete the exercise, hold a kettlebell at chest height with both hands and circle the kettlebell around your head and back around to starting position. Complete 15 reps on each side. Be sure to move through the exercise at a moderate pace to reach all muscles in the deep shoulder. Start with a light kettlebell to protect your neck from injury until you get the movement down.
- Increase Your Core Strength – Kettlebells increase your core strength by engaging your core for powerful acceleration and deceleration of the weight. Try kettlebell swings and the kettebell ribbon exercise.
- Work On Your Stability – Unlike dummbells, the unique round shape of kettlebells forces your stability muscles to activate to lift the weight. Exercises that require you to lift the kettlebell over your head also train your core stability muscles.
- Increase Rotational Strength – The human body moves across multiple planes using multiple muscle groups. Muscles are also wrapped around the skeleton between the insertion and the attachment of the muscle. Our bodies aren’t just made to move front to back and side to side. We can twist and turn. Unfortunately, many strength exercises are designed to move the body in a few limited ways rather than developing rotational strength. If you’ve ever take a kickboxing class, you’ll understand the importance of rotational strength.
- Gain Lean Muscle Mass – All strength training helps gain lean muscle mass, and kettlebells are no different.
- Lose Fat – Kettlebell training is a high intensity exercise that burns more body fat over time than medium intensity training thanks to a condition that high intensity training induces called Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.
- Work On Balance – Complicated kettlebell exercises like the windmill and the turkish get up require intense concentration and balance to keep the weight in position. Over time, exercises like this will help you dramatically increase your balance skills.
- Reach Your Full Range Of Motion – Many weight training exercises limit the range of motion rather than increasing it. Kettlebells engage both the major muscles and the stability muscles to increase flexibility, which will increase your range of motion over time.
- Train Your Nueromuscular Pathways – Kettlebells help you strengthen the nerve connections between your brain and your muscles as you learn new movements.
- Practice Strength As A Skill – Strength isn’t just about brute force. Strength is that way that your muscles work together to move mass over distance. This takes skill to develop and execute. By practicing strength with a tool like a kettlebell, you’l train your body and mind to work in unison.
Try DailyBurn workouts like KB in 9 and Complete Kettlebell with DailyBurn trainer Cody Storey to get instructional kettlebell videos for a great intro to kettlebell training.
Do you train with kettlebells? If so, what are your favorite kettlebell exercises?
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