by Jenny Cunha
I became a SFG kettlebell instructor in order to challenge myself and fine-tune my abilities. Going through the training and certification process not only gave me the opportunity to learn from some of the best coaches, but made me focus on the basics in order to push my own endurance and strength. I’m so glad I embraced the challenge, and I’ve got six good reasons why you should train with kettlebells too.
#1 – Skill Acquisition Learning and practicing a new skill, whatever it may be, improves confidence and cognitive function- both of which have a positive impact on your health and well-being. You can increase your focus and involve your brain in your workouts by using a tool that requires a higher-level of technical skill and understanding – the kettlebell.
#2 – Versatility The kettlebell may be the most versatile, stand-alone training tool, period. Inline with the specific goals, structure and timing of your program, the kettlebell can be used to focus on mobility, strength, power or conditioning. A well-rounded training program starts with good movement at its foundation. From there, you can progress in a logical sequence, building strength and then power. The kettlebell can be used every step of the way.
#3 – The Sweat Factor It’s no secret that a good sweat can be satisfying. Physical activity has long been shown to have incredible health benefits, including the ability to lift your mood. Research has even proven that exercise is an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression. Regardless of whether exercise actually releases endorphins (jury’s out on that, believe it or not), stimulates norepinephrine production to help combat stress, or simply enhances communication between your body’s physiological systems, it’s undeniable that it’s good for your body and your mind.
While there is no question about whether or not to exercise, there are many questions about what exercises to perform, how frequently to perform them, and at what intensity to work. Safely progressing through an exercise system (hint: kettlebell training) and learning to listen to your body, will take your health and fitness to the next level, giving you the most benefit from your sweat sessions. Your movement quality, abilities and goals will determine your workout tempo – from slow and steady to interval-based to high intensity – and yes, of course, the kettlebell can be applied to all three.
#4 – Design Advantages The weight distribution and shape of the kettlebell give you more training options based on the way you hold it. While a traditional dumbbell can only be held in one way, the design of a kettlebell allows for more options, based on your goals. For example, the neutral hand and wrist position used in kettlebel training allows you to safely increase volume and encourages better body alignment by stacking joints to appropriately handle a load. Varied grip positions (resting the bell on the forearm and taking pressure out of the hand) and the bottoms-up alternative (holding the bell in a top-heavy, inverted position) allow the user to shift the training focus from overall strength to grip strength to stability, respectively.
#5 – The Home Workout Solution At the most basic level, kettlebells are relatively small, but they pack a big punch. Investing in one or two kettlebells for your home instantly gives you a home gym – and without the hefty price tag or space requirements that come with a treadmill and a rack of dumbbells. Not only can you use your kettlebell as a form of cardiovascular exercise, it is a strength training and corrective exercise tool as well.
#6 – The Big BONUS Let’s face it, using kettlebells correctly and with confidence elevates your general bad-ass-edness. With roots along side East Asian martial arts and Russian special ops hand-to-hand combat fighting, kettlebell training improves your athleticism by developing your ability to create tension quickly, when you need it.
The bottom line is that kettlebell training is a skill. It is more than a workout, it is a practice. Now that we’ve established WHY you should be training with kettlebells, all you need to do is start learning HOW. Start with our Beginner Kettlebell Workshop to build a foundation, then attend any of our Kettlebell Training or Get Up & Swing classes to get in some practice!