BY JESSICA LARSON
Kettlebells are increasingly becoming popular in the fitness world, and for good reasons! They’re great tools for building strength, working aerobic conditioning, coordination and improving mobility.
Functional Training: Kettlebell training is true functional training. While a lot of machines and cables train our muscles individually, kettlebell exercises train your body as a whole; utilizing almost every muscle group to work together. This carries over directly to our everyday lives. Our bodies rarely use muscles in isolation while performing day-to-day tasks!
Training Multiple Energy Systems: Kettlebell training increases work capacity. Work capacity is simply how much work your body is able to do. Increasing work capacity allows you to build more muscle and burn more calories efficiently. Because of the ballistic nature of kettlebell training you are doing both cardiovascular and strength training in a short amount of time.
Balance & Stability: Kettlebells help you build stability by using instability! The weight of a kettlebell isn’t centered like that of a dumbbell or barbell, especially if you use a bottoms up form. Kettlebells teach your body to deal with an off-center of gravity. This forces your body’s stabilizer muscles to engage and become more active than with traditional exercises. Aches, pains and coordination issues are typically a result of a muscle imbalance or compensation which can be addressed with kettlebell training.
Lower Back Pain Relief: Most chronic lower back pain is due to weak glutes or a weak core. When these muscles aren’t firing the lower back muscles tend to compensate for them resulting in low back pain. Kettlebell training done correctly teaches you to extend and fire through your hips which strengthens your posterior chain and core, taking the stress off of your lower back.
Jessica Larson is a personal trainer at Razor Sharp Fitness. Learn more at razorsharpfit.com.