close up of three kettlebell weights

Written by Louka Kurcer

With the recent events and restrictions caused by the global pandemic, many gyms have had to close their doors and it’s hard to tell when they’ll be allowed to operate back at full throttle.

In the meantime, trainees are looking for a replacement to fill the void and loss of their “second home.” For many, nothing can ever replace their beloved gym environment where community and friendships are formed among the iron and spin bikes.

We have had no choice but to put the gym on “pause” and to take our fitness into our hands, and into our homes and backyards. Training from home or outdoors, weather permitting, is now the new norm.

Many trainers offer virtual “on demand workouts” which can be done from the comfort of one’s home. There are a multitude of Fitness Apps that provide follow-along workout video accessible at one’s fingertips.

Many parents working from home now search for quick and “on-the-go” workouts that are simple, easy to follow, and require minimal time and equipment.

Enter the Kettlebell!

This “cannonball” with a handle can provide its users with a fun, effective, and time-efficient full-body workout without really needing anything else. It is the go-to fitness tool for any busy mom or dad.

The Kettlebell is King when it comes to minimalism. This simplistic piece of equipment can replace an entire gym full of exercise machines, provided one has the skill and knowledge of how to use it safely and effectively.

A trainee can carry Kettlebells anywhere, train with them discretely and be done with their workout even before kids get up for school.

While the Kettlebell revolution sparked 22 years ago and has been slowly creeping its way into mainstream fitness, its Russian origin dates back over 300 years.

A “Kettle” weight (named after its shape) was originally used as a counterweight for weighing large cargo shipments on a huge scale. Kettlebell lifting became part of the Russian culture as a pastime with farmers and circus travelling performers, then became a National Russian Sport during WWII. Kettlebell training later evolved in the 1980’s in the Russian military special units called “Spetsnaz”. In 1998, the Kettlebell made its resurgence in North America thanks to Pavel Tsatsouline, an Instructor for Special Force.

Pavel created the Russian Kettlebell Challenge and changed the fitness industry forever, certifying Kettlebell Instructors around the world. The Kettlebell can now be seen in practically every gym and in many homes. They are used by elite athletes as well as seventy-year-old grandmothers.

A Functional Workout for Everyone

Kettlebells aren’t just for the high level performers, they are ideal for the everyday person. Exercises performed with Kettlebells contribute to improving your quality of life. They mimic natural movements done in everyday activities, such as bending, picking up heavy objects and carrying them for a distance.

Kettlebells can help support a better posture, core strength and joint stability throughout your bone structure. Training with them can be used to increase bone and muscle mass, as well as accelerate fat loss (paired with a sound diet).

Safety and Technique matters most.

Although Kettlebell training can massively help develop strength, muscle growth and fat loss, technique and safety should be the primary focus when starting in order to ensure one performs the exercises correctly. The integrity of the movements and how skillfully one performs them is key. When it comes to Kettlebell lifting, quality matter. One can find tons of great info online on tutorials, programs, and workouts, but the eye of a coach is invaluable. One will get more value, save time and energy by hiring a certified Kettlebell Instructor to assess one’s starting point, fitness level, exercise selection and ensure they are performed in a safe manner.

The Basic Kettlebell Kit:

Most adults would do great with only 1-2 Kettlebells, but if the budget permits, get 3. A light, medium and heavy Kettlebell will add variety where it is needed for both upper body, lower body, and core exercises.

For ladies, get an 8kg, 12kg and 16kg. Otherwise, an 8kg and 12kg would be fine. If budget is limited to one, get a 12kg.

For gents, a 16kg, 24kg and 32kg is the classic kit. If only two, make it 16kg and 24kg. If only one, then the 24kg is just right for most exercises.

In Kettlebells we trust

Many will flock back to the gyms once they reopen, some will not and continue training from home as they see it being more accessible, others will do a combination of both. One thing is for sure, the Kettlebell revolution is growing and it is here to stay!

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