Sport Strength training for women with a Kettlebell
Kettlebell training has a large number of different advantages and lets you train your body from different angles and in a far more functional range of motion.
But what’s really great about the kettlebell is versatile it is as a tool and how it allows you develop your fitness and health in numerous different ways.
If you want to build bodybuilder-type muscle, then you can do so by using single joint isolation movements and heavy resistance. This will create muscle fiber tears, flood your muscles with metabolites and generally help you to encourage more growth.
At the same time though, you can also use a kettlebell to lose weight and it happens to be particularly well suited to that goal. Let’s look at how you might do that…
Why Kettlebell Training is the Solution
When you train with a kettlebell, you are using a weight that is unevenly distributed. Its center of gravity moves as you move the weight resulting in the angle of the resistance and adding new elements like balance and resistance.
This forces you to brace your body and balance yourself in ways you wouldn’t have to with something like a bicep curl and that is what allows you to bring in the involvement of your smaller supporting muscles found throughout your body.
So what supporting muscles are you training in particular?
Here are some examples:
Obliques: The obliques are the muscles that run down either side of the abs and are used for bending from side to side and also twisting the torso (applying toque). They are very useful for a range of different movements and are great for aesthetics too – actually making the abs look considerably more impressive.
Serratus Muscles: These muscles are found on the sides of the pecs and are used for extending the arm forward when straight. Again, they can create a more ripped physique and actually provide considerable extra force when engaging in pushing movements.
Forearms: One of the most important muscle groups trained by the kettlebell swing and other movements is the forearms. These include your forearm flexors and extensors which allow you to grip and release things. By improving your grip, you gain a firmer hold on any weight or tool you’re training with and thereby greatly improve your performance.
Erector Spinae: These are two muscles trained by the deadlift as well as many other movements. Their job is to help you stand up straight and keep the spine erect. They can help to combat back problems as well as giving you considerably more lifting power!
The great thing about the kettlebell is that it allows you to perform resistance cardio. This means you are using cardiovascular training that increases your heartrate and helps you to burn fat. At the same time though, you are also lifting weight, which protects your muscle from breakdown and increases the challenge, thereby increasing the amount of calories burned and the amount of effort involved.
Also useful, is that the kettlebell allows you to train in this manner on the spot and without a lot of tools. Unlike running, you can enjoy kettlebell training in any whether and in a short space of time.
And to get the very most of this, you can combine the kettlebell as a tool with the HIIT modality. HIIT is ‘high intensity interval training’ – a form of exercise that challenges you to alternate between brief bursts of high intensity exertion and shorter periods of relatively steady-state exercise.
In this case for example, you might perform the kettlebell swing for 1 minutes and then rest for 30 seconds before going again.
The kettlebell swing is an ideal movement for resistance cardio that involves swinging the kettlebell between your legs and then straight back up in the air using a slight hip thrust movement to provide the forward momentum.
Top 5 Kettlebell Movements For Complete Home Workouts
The kettlebell is often heralded as a fantastic training tool thanks to its ability to train the body in a less conventional manner that involves more of our supporting muscle groups and challenges balance and focus at the same time.
This is only one advantage of the kettlebell though. What’s just as impressive is just how versatile the tool is – allowing you to train every muscle group in a vast variety of different ways. In fact, a kettlebell is versatile enough to provide an entire body workout and can be a ‘home gym’ all on its own!
Here are some kettlebell movements that demonstrate this nicely:
1. Goblet Squats
Squats are one of the most functional movements that you can do to gain strength and shape. They are especially popular due to their ability to engage several muscles in the posterior chain.
Using a kettlebell, you can hold the weight against your chest and then squat from there. This moves the weight forward slightly but is otherwise effectively the same movement as any other squat!
2. Kettlebell Swing
This is perhaps the king of kettlebell movements and involves performing a squat like motion while swinging the kettlebell behind yourself between your legs and then up in front of yourself. The key is to use a continuous motion and to use your hips to thrust the weight forward rather than engaging your legs or back too much.
3. Kettlebell Curl
The kettlebell curl is a movement that works similarly to a regular curl and targets the biceps. The difference is that the center of gravity is lower down, thereby altering the angle and changing the direction of the force.
4. Turkish Get Ups
Turkish get-ups is a powerful movement that works your shoulders, legs and core. It begins in a lying on the floor with a kettlebell extended out in your right hand. Keeping the bell extended, carefully move into a leg position and finally stand up . This is a very challenging exercise as it requires strength and balance.
3. Straight Legged Deadlift
The deadlift is another movement lacking from most home workouts and once again, the kettlebell comes to the rescue. A deadlift can be performed as normal, simply by squatting and grabbing the handle with both hands.
Likewise though, you can also train similarly while keeping both legs straight and bending only at the back to hit the erector spinae. This works better considering the slightly lighter and taller nature of a kettlebell.
6. Kettlebell Clean and Press
This movement is good in all kinds of ways and involves squatting down to grab a kettlebell in on hand, then throwing it up to lean against the shoulder, standing up and pressing it over head. This trains a huge range of different movements but what’s perhaps most effective of all about it is that you are training on just one side of the body – meaning you need to work very hard to maintain balance and to stabilize yourself.
These 6 kettlebell movements are just the beginning of what you can do. Our Complete Kettlebell Movements Guide lists great exercises for targeting your abs, back, triceps, and shoulders. We’ll send you a free copy, click “Send me the guide” button.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not medical advice and should not be used or interpreted as such. You should always consult a medical professional before making drastic changes to your diet and physical exercise
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