In recent years, the kettle bell has become a popular exercise tool in the United States among athletes, especially mixed martial artists as well as those in entertainment.
Everyone from the military, Force Recon Marines, the FBI Hostage Rescue Team, and the Secret Service Counter Assault Team right through to celebrity trainers and Hollywood A-listers are now using them.
So what's all the fuss about?
Let's take a look at the top 7 benefits of kettlebell training and discover why the best kept Russian secret in fitness is becoming so popular.
- Exercise in just half the time! A complete Fitness Program typically includes three key elements. Core, Cardio and Resistance. With a normal workout programs, you might get your Cardio on one machine, your Core on another, and then do an active class like Boxercise for Resistance. The result is a lot of time needs invested in order to achieve an overall performance level and body shape. Also, machines tend to isolate muscles, moving them in two-dimensions. This is fine if the intention is to bulk up, but most people don't want to bulk up - they want to shape up and achieve the long, lean muscular look that is so popular with celebrities. The secret behind the KETTLE BELL is that it can turn your body into the ultimate fitness machine by moving it in 3-dimensions during your workout rather than in just 2-dimensions like you do on most fitness machines. By working all your muscles at once you are getting a complete body workout incorporating Cardio, Core and Resistance Training and all in half the time of a complete traditional workout.
- General health benefits Modern life can take its toll on us all. The hectic lifestyles we invariably lead are directly linked to stress and anxiety and our bodies can suffer by the way of blood pressure, headaches and migraines, ulcers and so on. Exercise, and in particular, resistance training acts like a release valve and is the key to balancing a stress free lifestyle. This type of workout is at the very core of kettle bell training and helps relieve tension in the mind and body. In addition to this there have been numerous studies which demonstrated that as many as 97% of women experience a significant improvement to their self esteem as the result of engaging in regular resistance training.
- Fix your figure regardless of its current shape. Kettle bells can burn fat particularly well and give increased muscle tone. If you are overweight you will find that you thin out and if you are thin then you will build up. Both body types will achieve an amazingly well proportioned and toned physique. For men, Kettle bell training will create figures along the lines of the antique statues with broad shoulders with just a hint of pectorals, back muscles standing out in bold relief, wiry arms, rugged forearms, a cut-up midsection, and strong legs.
- They are suitable for everyone Kettle bells can be used by the young and the old. Events at competition level have seen entrants as young as 16 and as old as 53 competing proving that age is not a limitation. They can also be used in both a rehabilitative and pre-habilitative capacity. They are suitable for both men and women alike regardless of the type of fitness levels and body shape you are looking to achieve.
- A powerful tool for building strength Anyone who is involved with building usable strength will soon discover the Kettle bell to be a powerful assistance tool in their pursuit of greater strength. They also provide a dramatic increase in stability and control allowing you to lift even heavier weights when returning to free weights. The versatile Kettlebell can also develop tremendous speed and power in a far safer manner than some conventional training methods employed by competitive athletes.
- The perfect fitness equipment to use at home The Kettle Bell delivers extreme all-round fitness and there is no single other conditioning tool that can do it better. Here's a short list of equipment that the Russian kettle bell replaces: barbells, dumbbells, weighted belts, thick bars, lever bars, medicine balls, grip devices, and cardio equipment. Because of their size and the exercises involved they can be used in a relatively small space making the kettle bell workout accessible to people who do not have much space at home to use more common exercise equipment. They are also ideal for storage when they are not in use being smaller than the average bowling ball.
- Increases stamina and strength-endurance like no other form of exercise Strength training is essential to any health and fitness regime but few people know that strength training is THE only scientifically proven activity that positively influences such things as muscle strength and mass, body fat, bone density, basal metabolic rate, blood sugar tolerance, blood pressure and aerobic capacity all things which decline with age. However, Kettle bell training offers the benefits of strength training, but combined with those of yoga, Pilates and aerobics all at the same time to develop a body that is as robust and strong as it is proportionate and graceful. Kettlebell training primarily increases stamina or strength-endurance like no other form of exercise and it dramatically improves flexibility and speed which is why it has become so popular with mixed martial artists who need this combination of skills more than anyone. It can also provide results that are simply not attainable with conventional weights.
Alex Cairnie is a consultant and coach who's passions are fitness, TaeKwonDo, Kettlebell training and helping people.
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