Why Kettlebells?


A kettlebell certification may be the perfect way to enhance your fitness offering.

Since the first formal instructor training was brought to the United States in 2001, fitness pros, enthusiasts and weekend warriors alike have been turning to kettlebells for strength, cardio and power workouts. And now the kettlebell is a crucial staple for your recreation center.

For its versatility, portability, safety (when used with sound education), durability, fun-factor and price( approximately $2 per pound), the kettlebell is a great piece of equipment with an appealing return-on-investment for gyms and trainers alike.

Unlike a dumbbell, barbell, medicine ball, or most any other type of strength equipment, where the object’s center of mass is right in your hand, the kettlebell’s center of mass is several inches outside of your grip. This makes it very functional when you think of tasks we perform in everyday life, like carrying groceries or taking out the trash.

The granddaddy of all kettlebell exercises is a swing. Through the range of a swing, the ball (bottom part of the kettlebell) swivels out, changing your center of gravity, and challenging your core strength. This phenomenon is unique to the kettlebell, since the majority of the object’s weight is outside of your grip. It is why swings do not work the same when the mass is fixed in your hands, as it is with a dumbbell. Furthermore, swings target the largest muscles in the body — legs and glutes — while also delivering a whopping heart rate response.

From an energy expenditure standpoint, swings are very similar to performing bodyweight vertical jumps over and over again. With kettlebell swings,  the difference is the potential energy is transferred to kinetic energy in the bell and the potential energy is transferred to kinetic energy in the body with vertical leaps. Swings give you all the high intensity of powerful vertical leaps, without the impact on the joints. In other words, kettlebells deliver a vigorous workout, while still being kind on the joints.

In a day and age where people are doing way too much high intensity interval training, it’s just a matter of time before the knees, hips and lower back pay the price. Turn to kettlebells to reap all the rewards of HIIT without jarring the joints.

Brook Benten, M.Ed. is a master trainer for CardioPump Kettlebell: Kettlebell Education for Campus Recreation. CardioPump Kettlebell is presented by CardioPump Fitness, LLC.  She can be reached at brook@cardiocump.com or at  512.657.1805.

Emily Harbourne was a previous editor for Campus Rec Magazine.

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  1. Pingback: Why Kettlebells? | IronDogFitness.net

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