Kettlebells, the Triple Crown of Fitness
It's pretty obvious why lifting a heavy object (such as a kettlebell) repeatedly, could make you stronger, especially if we consider the progressive increase in number of reps, total time, and eventually weight lifted, but how does Kettlebell Lifting compare to other cardio and flexibility programs?
Traditional weight lifting, strength or resistance training, will typically feature sets that last from one rep to as many as 12, or maybe 15 repetitions. Most would agree that a 20-rep or greater set is rather rare. In contrast, kettlebell sets can last as long as 20 minutes, where the bell is never allowed to touch the floor. Rep totals can sometimes push past two hundred, with the lifter's heart rate typically elevated for the duration of the set. The elevated heart rate that defines a cardiovascular workout is relatively easy to reproduce and maintain within a kettlebell set. In this manner, the kettlebell lifter will ride the edge of both the aerobic and anaerobic systems, with a positive effect on each, as both strength AND endurance can dramatically increase.
Here's the fringe benefit of our Triple Crown. Not too many turn to weight lifting to increase their overall flexibility, but kettlebell lifting can not be thought of as simple weight training. The fluidity necessary to move a heavy kettlebell many times demands a flexible (albeit not OVER flexible) body capable of full range of motion. The hips and shoulders are especially called upon to open, as tight hip flexors, hamstrings and pecs are gradually goaded into submission, rep after rep. Tight hips are the culprit behind many a back pain, and creating fluid open movement in the hip joints not only enhances speed and power, but reduces stiffness and discomfort in many lifters. Not something that can be said of many resistance sports. The posterior chain, or back of the body, is developed equally to the generally overused pecs, biceps, and quads, which tend to dominate in traditional exercise. Body balance is achieved.
If you're looking for something new, a way to get you fit, lean, healthy, that doesn't bore you to death, that's safe even at higher intensity levels, look no further. AKC Fitness Long Island offers a personalized program for every member. Do the work and it works, every time.
Posted by Mike Stefano at August 21, 2010