Your Kettlebell Questions Answered Part 2
Definitely check out Part 1 before you read Part 2
-(Nia): What is the biggest benefit, or advantage, of training with kettlebells?
For me, it's the portability.
Knowing that I have a “gym” in the trunk of my car gives me this certain sense of freedom that I can train whenever and where ever I feel like.
Another HUGE advantage is the time it takes to complete a workout. Where the average gym workout would take 45mins – 60mins, KB workouts usually take 20-30mins depending on the intensity and your goals.
Sure, you could go for longer, but with a good program you won't need to.
Remember it's about the quality of the training session and the exercises you're using, not the quantity or how long you spend doing your workout.
-(Nia): Absolutely. I think most people forget that quality is much more important than quantity. They think that if they don't workout for 60 minutes or more that they aren't doing enough. It's about training smart, not just training hard.
Who can benefit the most from training with kettlebells?
Kettlebells are for everyone, but I would say that those who want to lose fat and get into great cardiovascular shape would benefit the most.
If you're a lineman in football, then I wouldn't give you a KB as your main training tool. If you were a competitive bodybuilder, then you wouldn't be using KBs all that much either.
Instead, KBs are for the everyday person who wants an effective workout solution without having to spend all the time and effort it takes to get to the gym.
If you notice the physiques of those that train exclusively with KBs, you'd see that they have very athletic-looking physiques and that they possess strength that is almost deceiving.
The great thing about kettlebells is that the base exercises used all emphasize the same muscles that you would use for regular everyday tasks – squatting using your hips, lifting things over your head, picking things off the ground, etc, etc. So not only are you “molding” a great looking physique, you're also creating one that works well and that can stave off common injury.
-(Nia): What exercises should a kettlebell beginner perform?
Master squatting properly first – learning how to use your hips and maintain an ab brace.
Do lots of planks and bridges and their variations to develop isometric ab strength.
I like to use waiter's bows as a training tool because I think that learning how to bend forward while not flexing your spine will be the key to whether or not an individual can grasp the most essential movements in KB training.
And for the upper body, I'd say practice your over head presses with a KB making sure your wrist is neutral (neither flexed nor extended…perfectly straight) and that you're pressing to a locked elbow directly overhead.
-(Nia): What tips can you give when performing cleans and snatches so the kettlebell doesn’t slam into your wrist?
The number #1 tip that was given to me when I first started really getting into KB training was to “move around” the kettlebell when I was cleaning and snatching.
That means, instead of “flipping” the bell up overhead when you're snatching it, your arm moves around it and cradles it as you “punch” your arm to the air.
Doing snatches this way is also really healthy for your wrists as the flipping can cause some (hyper)extension.
I'll be the first to admit that this is a challenging skill to learn, but once you do learn it, it'll make the world of difference in your kettlebell training.
My advice is that once you feel like you're ready to start cleaning & snatching, to buy a set of thick wrist bands. That will help ease some of the bruising that you may get initially.
-(Nia): Can you use kettlebells to replace traditional cardio workouts?
Well first, I'm not a traditional cardio kind of guy, so my answer would be ABSOLUTELY!
The main issue that I have with traditional cardio is that it's the same movement, repeated over and over again, for long periods of time.
Training this way can create imbalances in your muscles and lead overuse injuries later on.
If you use KB drills or circuits for your cardio work, you're using many different movements and muscles.
There's little chance of overuse injury because of the constant variety of movement.
One of my favorite “cardio” exercises is doing 2-arm KB swings for reps (sometimes even in the 200 rep range).
Now initially, this may seem contradictory to my statements above about traditional cardio & over use, but KB swings work the often neglected posterior chain muscles (your glutes, hamstrings and low back stabilizers).
Where running, riding a bike or using an elliptical machine use primarily the anterior muscles, KB swings for lots of reps actually create a balance to keep your important posterior muscles strong.
This is of huge importance especially for women, who, because of the the angle of their leg bones in relation to their hips (their “Q” angle) have a tendency to overuse their quad muscles already. Swinging a KB will allow them to use the glutes & hamstrings more effectively.
-(Nia): Do you have any final words about kettlebells and kettlebell workouts?
Kettlebell training is definitely not a fad that is going to disappear.
In fact, training this way is a sign of the times. People in general are tired of living with too much, doing too much and having too much.
Kettlebells allow you to follow the lifestyle choice of living simply and with less – its part of the Kettlebell Revolution.
No gym membership means less money spent. No sets of dumbbells, stability balls, weight benches or machines means less space taken. No boring cardio sessions, body-part split days or having to change the weights on the bench press means less time wasted.
This idea may be far fetched for some, but for me, living simply and adding kettlebell training into my life has meant that I can spend more time with my family, more focused time on my business and less energy on things that don't really matter. Again, that is the Kettlebell Revolution.
Well, if you want the ultimate kettlebell training program for 50% off, make sure you head on over to http://KBWorkouts.com. That 50% off sale ends tomorrow at midnight.
Along with getting 50% off the price, there is also a fast action bonus that will disappear after tomorrow as well – The 10 Minute Kettlebell Circuit Plan – trust me, you can do A LOT in 10 minutes with a kettlebell that will get you more body changing results than 30 or more minutes on an elliptical machine.
There are some other really great bonuses as well, but you can check them out for yourself at http://KBWorkouts.com.
Next week I'll share my favorite kettlebell complex with you.