Why Kettlebells Work

There is no magic embedded in this steel ball, but there can be tremendous wisdom in its use for any individual who seeks to improve both physically and mentally. Personally, and after five years of learning, lifting, and coaching, I believe more than ever in the depth of knowledge that is kettlebells. Unfortunately however, this article still needs to come with bit of a warning. All kettlebell lifting is not created equal, so buyer beware, but my job is not to comment on any other system, but simply to share mine.

At AKC Fitness LI, we employ a method of kettlebell lifting that is decades old, and refined by World Champion, Valery Fedorenko and the World Kettlebell Club.  As a Master Coach, who has studied with Coach Fedorenko for over five years, I've devoted much of my training to kettlebells, and the dynamic lifts involved. What I've learned about the human body has truly amazed me, and my coaches and I share this knowledge with the members of my gym on a daily basis. People from all walks of life, from accountants to firefighters, benefit from kettlebell lifting.

What we've learned is that many people don't really move well, and this is usually reflected in the way they look. As we age, this "stiffness", for lack of a better phrase, increases and limits our movement more and more. We fall prey to ever increasing levels of deconditioning, and a sedentary lifestyle. In addition, mainstream exercise, over the last few decades, has focused on the isolation of muscle groups, just making matters worse.

When we move a kettlebell in ballistic lifts that mimic real lift, such as Swing, Snatch, or Jerk, the entire body is rhythmically called upon to fluidly, explosively, efficiently, accomplish the task at hand. The larger muscle groups (glutes, abs, quads, hamstrings, lumbar) are active every set, every rep. Proficient lifters learn very high-level technique, and how to "manage" the smaller muscles, which can't help but get a superior workout as well, even though the major muscles are doing most of the work. The entire body, including the heart and lungs, is given a no-impact, yet explosive, strength-endurance, fat-burning workout that is repeatable on an almost daily basis. This high level of intensity, efficiency, AND safety is what allows kettlebell lifting to stand up for the long haul.

Watching a champion lifter execute perfect repetitions is being witness to fluid explosiveness in motion. This previous weekend at AKC Fitness LI, World Champion Kettlebell Lifter, Ivan Denisov set another world record by performing 47 LongCycle repetitions, with two 40kg (88lb) kettlebells in five minutes. Watch Ivan Denisov make total efficient use of every muscle in his body, yet remain graceful and as relaxed as possible under such a tremendous load.