The fitness industry is like all other industries. It has to keep new and unique formats coming. The public loves a new fad.
Are Kettlebells a fad? Not really. They’ve been around since 1704. They were first used in Russia. In 1885 a committee for the sport of Kettlebell lifting was created.
A Kettlebell is a cannonball shaped weight with a handle on it. It generally is made of cast iron but is now also available in rubber.
In standard weight lifting using momentum is thought to take away from the training effect. With Kettlebells momentum creates the training effect. With momentum comes the higher risk of injury! If your form is not perfect you stand a high chance of neck and back pain as well as injury.
Using momentum requires good agility, proprioception (body awareness) and core stabilization. All these abilities come with time and practice. Kettlebells are often used to train Olympic weight lifters. Those who compete in combat sports also benefit from using kettlebells as part of their training. But is it wise for the average person to strength train with them?
If you are already in great shape they may be a fantastic addition to your workouts. Learning the basic form needed for using the kettlebells is crucial before including them in your strength training routines. Learning from a book or a DVD is not a wise choice for this type of training. Having an qualified instructor present watching you for any needed corrections is extremely important.
For those who have back or neck injuries I would not suggest including kettlebells into your strength training routines. I would not suggest the use of kettlebells for those just starting to exercise. It takes time to obtain the core strength, body awareness and agility needed to perform the moves used.
So is it wise to train with Kettlebells? It depends on your fitness level, health and your availability to a qualified instructor. Picking up a pair and trying them out for yourself is not a good plan!
Your fitness expert