Kettlebells are not something everyone is familiar with—not all gyms have this equipment for use or certified trainers who know how to use them. However, StrongHearts school of movement has a number of certified trainers and a ton of kettlebells to play with!
A kettlebell is an oddly shaped weight, where the majority of the weight is in the cast-iron ball attached to a handle. This shape puts the center of mass beyond the hand (unlike dumbbells). These weights feel different to hold and work with. But why are these funny things so beneficial to fitness, CrossFit, and Movement?
Kettlebell movements, such as the swing, snatch and clean, require coordination of the entire body. Kettlebell training requires you to swing and throw around a somewhat awkwardly-shaped weight. In order to do so you have to shift your own weight and give momentum to the kettlebell using power from the legs and hips. Some of the movements are tricky to get the hang of at first, but once you learn them you feel them work muscles EVERYWHERE. Then, you start increasing the weight and really start to see a gain in strength, an understanding of body mechanics and how to be efficient.
Mastering kettlebell movements can be a really fun way to increase your fitness because you have to keep your mind on form and technique, rather than your exhaustion. Kettlebell training involves cardio, strength and skill. And unlike dumbbells, the difference in the centre of mass presented by kettlebells requires that you work more stabilizing muscles, even when doing similar exercises. The movements are dynamic and build strength while increasing mobility at the same time! And the relatively low impact nature of this type of training means that it improves fitness while saving your joints.