KETTLEBELLS: How To’s and Tips
In honor of the official start of the 30-Day Swing Challenge, we’ve compiled some of our favorite Kettlebell how to’s and tips. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered! This mini-guide covers the basics, and our certified instructors are here to help you with the rest. Send us an email or give us a call, and we’ll help you get started.
Kettlebell training is an option for everyone, no matter where you’re at in your fitness journey. The simplest steps are easy to learn and fun to improve on, and by committing to the kettlebell warrior method — doing the same motion, many times, and at high speed — you’ll be surprised at the incredible results you can see after just a few weeks.
When starting out with kettlebells, it’s important to remember the following tips:
· Pick the kettlebell weight that’s right for you. For men, the standard recommendation is a 16 kg (35 lb) kettlebell. For women, the standard recommendation is 12 kg (26 lb).
· Keep track of your breathing: breathe in on the way up, and breathe out on the way down.
· A successful kettlebell workout starts with good form. Besides offering benefits in safety, hand health, and muscle support, strong kettlebell form puts your body in the best position for maximized benefit — calorie-burning, muscle-building, heart-pumping, and more. Check out our video on basic kettlebell form to learn more.
When doing fast, repetitive movements with a large metal ball, it’s important to remember a few basic safety tenets.
· Do not train to the point that you’re unable to do another rep. This is called “training to failure,” and it’s one of the most common ways that kettlebell users can get hurt.
· Pay attention to your hand health. Chalking helps deal with sweaty hands, improves your grip, and helps prevent dropping the ball, but it’s important to make sure that you’re keeping your hands as safe as the rest of your body. After workouts, make sure to keep your skin hydrated and your muscles stretched.
· Don’t forget your feet! Training in flat shoes — or no shoes at all — gives you a “true floor feel” with every point of your foot on the floor. This improves your balance, keeps you grounded, and helps avoid pronating or supinating (turning your feet inwards or outwards as you work out, which is bad for your long-term foot and ankle health and makes you more prone to injury).
Our 30-Day Challenge is based on the kettlebell swing, the foundation of all kettlebell exercises. Because the swing utilizes almost every part of your body, and because it requires so much energy to sustain, the movement behind the swing is particularly effective for burning fat and calories. All core swings can be done in the following variations:
· Two-handed: Both hands on the bell for the duration of the set
· One-handed: One hand on the bell for the duration of the set
· Alternating: Alternating hands during the set; can be every other rep or every few reps
For more information about the kettlebell swing, check out our instructional videos.
Questions? Ideas? Check out all of our resources by signing up for our 30-Day Swing Challenge The competition has already started, but you can still get in on the action. We look forward to seeing your incredible results at the end of June!