August 2016

Why Kettlebell Training?

Kettlebells (KB) have been around for a long time (since the 17th century).  They were developed and used as a training tool by the Russian army, and eventually introduced to North America in the 21st century.  This is largely attributed to Pavel Tsatsouline, the founder and chairman of StrongFirst Inc. Recently KB has gained popularity with personal trainers, gyms, and health care practitioners.  Yet, the general public still has a lot to learn about this great training tool.  But first, what is a KB?  It’s a heavy ball with a thick handle – think of a canon ball with a handle.  The KB comes in different weights (pounds and kilograms), raging from as little as 5lbs to 100lbs plus. It is used for ballistic movements, incorporating strength, endurance, and conditioning. Because of its shape, we recruit our full body to control movements as the KB moves around us.  What is great about KB is their use in rehabilitation programs as well as in achieving fitness goals. 
There are no other pieces of equipment that can generate the same amount of cardiovascular output and endurance and strengthen development at the same time. This is accomplished through grind and ballistic movements. Grinds are slow controlled movements such as the Turkish Get Up (TGU). Meanwhile ballistic movements involve fast twitch muscle activation like with the swing, which develops endurance. Both are foundational KB movements that increase strength. They recruit the full body in different ways. TGU: is a specific sequence of movements that targets every joint taking you from the ground up to standing and back down. Many musculoskeletal dysfunctions will get addressed through each specific sections affected by preforming the TGU properly and with the regressions and strengthening/mobility drills needed to learn and preform the TGU correctly. Through this process strength and mobility are increased with postural improvements. The swing: burns fat and increases muscle endurance and strength.  It activates the core (Latissimus Dorsi, Gluteaus Maximus, and Abdominal Muscles), and the posterior chain (Hamstrings, Gastrocnimieus, Soleus, and Flexor muscles of the toes). It is a movement that increases strength and stability around the spine without loading the lumbar spine, which prevents and rehabilitates people from back pain.  It is a hinge movement at the hip, which works to revert poor posture from sitting via pulling the shoulder back and down and explosively thrusting the pelvis forward. Swings are preformed in fast movements, which means they cause a high cardiovascular output in a shorter amount of time than a regular workout.
An added benefit, is the KB is a self-limiting exercise. This means that you will feel and see when doing an exercise with poor posture, once you have been properly trained to use KB. Hence, we have to emphasize the importance of proper professional training to ensure safe technique that will ultimately enable you to reach your goals whether corrective/rehabilitative or increased athletic performance/weight loss. Lastly, the training routines using KB are endless with just one or two KB, you don’t need a lot of space to store equipment or workout, as well as routines are fast and affect the entire body. Incorporating a KB workout into our busy schedules are easy.  
If you are one of many, interested in learning how to properly use the KB, come try one of Jose's group training session and get introduced to this type of exercise. See for yourself the endless benefits of the KB.


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