I've become a slug over the past few years of college. I used to be in great shape because I did some boxing, wrestling, and MMA training during high school. A few years of drinking, video games, and dorm food later, I'm a fat slob.
I recently came across daily kettlebell workouts as a way to get fit and stay that way. I purchased a 25lb kettlebell a few days ago and started doing the following exercises with it (taken from the booklet that came with the kettlebell):
Two handed swing
One handed swing
One armed press
Overall, my workout only takes about 25 minutes, and I was just wondering what your thoughts are on it. I do break a sweat during the workout, but I feel like I ought to be doing more for my abs and chest, since most of the exercises seem focused on legs and arms. Suggestions?
I've been working out with Kettlebells for the past 3 years, They are great tools. Try figure 8 Squats, and also get on youtube and you will find a bunch of different Kettlebell Lifts and Circuit workouts. Practice good form!!!
Start doing High Pulls, this will get you ready for the snatch
Turkish Getups- I do 5 minutes straight with a 44lb. bell, don't worry about the # of reps you do, just keep moving throughout the whole 5 minutes. And keep your eyes on the kettlebell, know where it is at all times or it will bite you!!!
get on mikemahler.com he's got alot of good info!! When i can figure out my youtube password i'll get you some links to my favorite KB videos.
KB's are great fitness tools one of the best, but just remember there's a bunch of other good stuff out there too like good ol' pushups and pullups!!!
I just started also. I bought the book "Enter the Kettlebell"- good book, breaks it down. He recommends starting with some preliminary stretches, halos, squats and then some basic two handed swings until you are really comfortable. The Turkish Get Up is another favorite of the author- check it out on youtube.
I've been doing the basic kettlebell stuff, and I usually throw in some pushups and pullups also. The Turkish Get up is a good core exercise- that might be enough for abs if you do it correctly. It's really good for your shoulders also.
I use kettlebell also and I think it is a great tool! I would suggest that you don't learn exercises through a book and especially youtube videos (there are a lot of people doing things wrong, filming it and posting as a way to do a exercise). I'm using kettlebell as my workout rutine for the last 7 months and it's great, I see there are members who are using it for years so I don't want to come off preaching, but you should perhaps join a gym or some kind of kettlebell center where you can get proper insturcitons and then you can combine that with practice at home. I would suggest that you find a place that has a Russian Kettlebell Challenge instructor (RKC instruktor) and start with that. My instructor is RKC instructor first level and I know how much attention he gives to proper tehnique. My training session last for 45 minutes and it is more than enough, and for the begginer the weight of the bell shouldn't be so important but as I said learning to do it right.
And on another note, kettlebell is not going to give you an exercisse like body building rather the core strenght, but when doing some (I would say most) of the exercises like two handed swing if done proper you are going to feal that workout strain we all enjoy in every part of your body, abs, chest, forearms, gluteus, lat, everywhere..
Well, you limited yourself to only a few exercise. The 3 best exercises KBS have to offer are snatches, clean and presses and the swing, done in high reps those are great, you'll be so tired you won't even worry about your arms or abs. But don't limit yourself. Mix in some pull ups, sit ups, and push ups. Don't follow that one template mix and match. Also, remember you can't spot reduce fat (if thats your goal). You need to work the whole body and eat properly. Also, on your off days do some cardio to help with your soreness and to build up your cardio.
I agree with all that has been said. I would also like to add that if your goal is to increase your strength significantly you will need to get heavier KBs or do other exercises too.
It was also mentioned that you should join a gym and watch videos to get proper instruction. I strongly agree with this, especially with the KB swings which can put a lot of pressure on your spine if not done correctly.
The nature of many kettlebell exercises engage the core because you are in a standing position. Swings, Snatches, and Turkish Get-upsall are great examples of this. Kbells are a holistic way of training, try not to think of your body as a collection of isolated parts. Think of functioning effectively at movement or tasks for usable fitness. Look at Dragondoor.com or anything by Pavel Tsatsouline on the subject. Buy a jumprope and find a place to do pull-ups and most of your needs are met. Deadlifts roundout this kind of work pretty well too. Mix it up and you won't be as likely to get bored and quit. If you feel good after hard work you will really be able to get into kettlebell workout sessions.
Great points, Gus. As of late, I have been focusing on full body contraction in kettlebell work. Christopher Summer states "Why does correct bodyweight conditioning work so well? There are several, the first is contraction. Basically, the harder the contraction over a greater part of the body during an exercise, the more effective the exercise. For maximum improvements training to failure is not necessary, but maximum contraction is."
I find this to be an important point, one that I often forget in time, and then no longer progress.
I am also focusing not on how many reps, sets, or max poundage I am moving, but rather if I feel I have reached a point that communicates to my body that it needs to improve, but not exceeding the point that my body is overtaxed.
and as well very good advice about the full body contraction, I to have to force myself not to forget the whole body contraction. It came to my attention if I do the exercises with the full body contraction from one session to another it more and more becomes natural way of performing and doing it the "other way" just feals wrong.
Nice way of putting it.. I agree with what you said about ketlebell training being a holistic way of training and that is why people starting off with kbell workout find it odd, becouse most of them are used to do clasicall gym training separating muscle groups and doing mostly isolating exercises.
Kettlebells are great when combined with bodyweight callesthetics and any traditional conditioning. Both can be combined to achieve a balance not found in the Bench X pounds 3 x 10 approach. Conditioning this way is ideal for wreslers, fighters, cops, firefighters, and soldiers. Those who would like have the ability to at least be able to perform in those capacities, despite their actual vocations, could be relatively certain they could do so if they wished if they trained hard in this fashion.
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