Kettlebell Exercises

Kettlebell exercises increase strength, endurance, agility, and balance, challenging both the muscular and cardiovascular systems with dynamic, total body movements.  Of Russian origin, a kettlebell is a cast iron weight that looks like a cannonball with a handle attached to it.

The unique value of kettlebells is derived from ballistic (fast exercise) work, such as snatches, swings, cleans, and jerks.

1 - The All-In-One Workout Tool

The kettlebell develops all-around fitness and teaches kinetic linking.  It gets you connected to the ground, drawing energy from the ground up and transferring the energy through the shoulders.  The kettlebell enhances awareness of your posture, position, breath, and grip.  I especially like the cardio benefits that kettlebells can provide.  It is also easy to perform interval training principles (slow, fast, repeat) with them.

2 - Kettlebell Workouts Burn Calories Fast!

A University of Wisconsin, La Crosse Exercise and Health Program study published in ACE FitnessMatters:  the average participant burned about 20 calories/min. during the kettlebell workout, which equates to 400 calories during a typical 20 min. workout (that’s equivalent to running a 6-minute mile or cross-country skiing uphill at a fast pace).  The rapid calorie-burn is due to the interval training format of kettlebell workouts.

Research also emphasized that participants achieved exercise heart rate and maximum oxygen uptake, suggesting that kettlebells provide a more intense workout than standard weight lifting.

3 - Kettlebell Training Improves Your Cardio-Respiratory Fitness

Since many kettlebell exercises take place with your arms in an overhead position, the muscles responsible for assisting the breathing process are engaged in muscular activity, not allowing them to assist in the respiratory process.  This forces the muscles most responsible for breathing to play an even larger role in cardio-vascular fitness.

4 - Kettlebell Training Eliminates the Need For a Large Training Facility

Kettlebell training is ideal for small facilities or where space is limited since it takes very little floor space and doesn’t require any racks.<

5 - Kettlebell Training Allows You to Reduce Overall Training Time

6 - Kettlebell Allows Functional Human Patterns

The primary benefits of kettlebell training lie in the philosophy of the movements allowing functional human patterns.  Kettlebell drills have historically focused on working many muscle groups in unison, while dumbbells are more commonly used for isolation drills (curls, lateral raises, etc…) in traditional western weight-training techniques.  Kettlebells are actually more challenging than using dumbbells.  The off-centered weight of a kettlebell will force you to use more stabilizer

7 - Kettlebell Training is GREAT for Your Back

Kettlebell exercises strengthen the glutes and stretches the hip flexors.  (In most cases of back pain, hip flexors are tight and glutes are weak).

8 - Kettlebells Develop Back Extensor Endurance

Decreased back extensor endurance is usually associated with chronic back pain.

9 - Kettlebell Provides Sensible Ballistic Loading, Which  Appears to Reduce the Odds of Arthritis

10 - Kettlebell “Bracing” is Superior to “Hollowing” for Spinal Stability

Bracing is considered the standard for core activation because it involves a 360 degree co-contraction of all surrounding core musculature. Below are Dr. Silverman’s recommended Kettlebell exercises.

As a professional mixed martial artist, my training regimen consists of six hours of training per day. Needless to say injuries occur, Dr. Silverman’s treatments really make a profound difference in my recovery time. Thank you, Dr. Silverman.

Sean Alvarez UCC Heavyweight Champion, Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion, Pan American Games Champion

1 – Turkish Get-Up

  1. Lying on your back, bend your right knee, put the kettlebell in your right hand (extended towards the ceiling) Fig. A
  2. Raise up onto your left hand while keeping your right hand vertical
  3. Raise your body up so you are supporting yourself up by your left hand and right foot. Fig. C
  4. Send your left foot back behind you and rest on your knee. Fig. D
  5. Come off your left hand into a “lunge” position. Fig. E
  6. Pushing off your back foot, lunge forward and stand up. Fig. F
  7. Reverse the steps to get back to start-position. Switch hands

2 – Swing – One or Two-Handed

  1.  Start with kettlebell centered between legs with the front of the kettlebell lined-up with the back of your heels
  2. Driving your hips forward, swing the kettlebell to chest-level. Be sure to drive with your legs and glutes, snapping your hips at the top. The kettlebell must form an extension of the straight and loose arm(s) on the top of the swing
  3. Instead of bringing the kettlebell back to the starting position, guide the kettlebell between your legs, staying close to the groin (like passing a football to someone behind you), and swing it back up to chest-level
  4. Remember:
    1. Keep your head up
    2. Keep your back straight
    3. Sit back, not down

3 – Front Squat

  1. Grasping the kettlebell by the handle with both hands by your chest (approximately 6” from the chest region), squat down to a rock bottom” position (elbows should touch the inner thighs)
  2. Drive up through your heels and push yourself back up to the starting position
  3. Remember always to squat back, not down

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Dr. Robert G. Silverman New York ChiroCare, PC.

Fortune Building
280 N. Central Ave.
Suite 210
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