Fighting Fit – The benefits of owning a kettlebell

Fighting Fit – The benefits of owning a kettlebell

Pound for pound, a kettlebell is one of the best workout tools you can own.

By John Balfe - 20 Sep 2019

There aren’t many home exercise instruments more effective than the kettlebell. 

It is a multi-faceted workout tool, which you can use to build strength, improve flexibility and even lose weight. “With just one item of kit there are so many things you can do, including high-rep fat loss workouts and lower-rep strength sessions. They’re good for developing hip hinge power, which is useful for athletic power creation without the injury risk associated with the deadlift,” Ashton Turner, co-founder of London’s Evolve 353 gym, said to Coach Mag.

Which kettlebell is right for you?

Competition kettlebells are predominantly the same weight and will get your body used to performing complex moves like cleans and snatches. Cast-iron kettlebells are preferable to their plastic equivalent due to having a more stable base which is important for techniques in which you can to place your body weight on it.

The ideal weight (for men) is between 16 and 20kg, as this will allow you to do high rep sets while still activating the various muscle groups effectively.

If weight loss is your goal, work on a routine which takes in cleans, overhead presses, front squats, bent-over rows and swings.

What is the correct form?

Use your hips. Kettlebell swings will be impacted by the drive from your hips, so you will need to get used to using a hip snap to move the weight and not your arms or shoulders. Your hamstrings play a role in this too and you can achieve maximum torque by hinging your hips (rather than squatting).

Engage your core. Snatching is a technical move to the risk of not doing it properly is high, and this can lead to the dreaded injury bug. Keep your core tightened during the moves to help alleviate this risk and save yourself the stinging pain of a herniated disc.