Critics of kettlebell training simply dismiss it as a passing fad without a true understanding of the historical record and the shared history’s of kettlebell training and athletic development and fitness training.
I’m well aware of the volumes of hype that have been written about kettlebell training and it’s benefits, sometimes this hype is for marketing purposes, more often however, it’s for a good reason. Kettlebell training holds some distinct advantages over other training tools within the fitness professional and conditioning coaches’ toolbox.
Below are my Top 8 Reasons Why You Should Train with Kettlebells.
1. Kettlebell training amplifies your power output. This may be my favorite reason to train with kettlebells! Since classic kettlebell lifts such as the Snatch and the Clean & Jerk cannot be performed slowly, they develop a special quality known as power-endurance, or your ability to produce movements over an extended period of time. This differs from strength-endurance. Strength- endurance is your ability to produce force over an extended period of time. Power-endurance adds another time component; power-endurance is your ability to sustain fast muscular contractions over an extended period of time. While both strength-endurance and power-endurance are essential qualities to possess, power-endurance is usually what determines who the winner is in sport. Power-endurance training is also an excellent way to training for fat loss and conditioning.
2. Kettlebell training teaches your body how to contend with a constantly changing center of gravity. By design, the kettlebell’s center of gravity lays 6- 8 inches outside of your grip; this replicates the forces that you’ll encounter in sport and activities in daily living. This feature of the kettlebell will help improve this aspect of sports performance.
3. Kettlebell training builds powerful forearms and a strong grip. Kettlebells possess a thicker handle than their barbell and dumbbell counterparts taxing your grip and developing greater forearm strength. As our society continues to move away from manual labor our grip strength continues to decrease as well. Kettlebell training will help reverse this trend. The design of the kettlebell also adds another unique component to your grip training. Since the kettlebell’s center of gravity is usually in motion your grip training becomes a combination of dynamic and static muscular contractions in an attempt to control that fluctuating center of mass.
4. Kettlebell training improves your cardio –respiratory fitness. Since many kettlebell exercises take place with your arms in an overhead position the muscles responsible for assisting the breathing process are engaged in muscular activity, not allowing them to assist in the respiratory process. This forces the muscles most responsible for breathing to play an even larger role in cardio-vascular fitness.
5. Kettlebell training eliminates the need for a large training facility. The fitness industry is undergoing a change in thought and design…”Small is the new big…” Smaller, more focused fitness and sport training facilities increase in number daily and are much more profitable than larger, less personal studios. This makes kettlebell training ideal for small facilities. Kettlebells possess a very small footprint, meaning that they take up very little floor space. Kettlebells don’t require expensive racks; they can be stored in the corner or underneath other equipment.
6. Kettlebell training allows you to reduce overall training time, so you can devote your attention to other issues such as strategy, skill, rest and recovery. We all know how time-crunched everyone is today. A quick yet effective workout is the order of the day and kettlebell training delivers.
7. Kettlebell training bridges the gap between strength training and cardio; sport and real life do not respect the difference.
8. Kettlebell training allows you to never miss your workout. Again, we all know how busy people are today. Kettlebells allow you to train anywhere, the local park, beach, outside or inside.