Kettlebell Supremacy Online Course

A kettlebell is a sphere shaped cast iron or cast steel weight that resembles a cannon ball with a handle; essentially a Russian dumbbell, known as a Girya.

kettlebell

Here are the main parts of the kettlebell;

1. The Horns

2. The Handle

3. The Body

4. The Base

history of kettlebell trainingOrigins Of The Kettlebell

It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact origins of kettlebells. It has been documented during the 1700s in Russia, they were used primarily for weighing crops and other goods and used as a counterweight for measuring when trading and bartering.

It is said that these farmers became stronger and found them useful for showing off their strength during festivals.

Participants of these village strength competitions were known as, ‘Bogatirs’ – a traditional Russian term meaning hero or valiant warrior. These weights would be used by men to display feats of strength.

Buying Your First Kettlebell

Should you buy regular kettlebells or competition grade kettlebells?

It depends on your specific requirements as each bell has it’s pro’s and cons.

The handles on the regular style kettlebell are wider allowing for two-handed exercises and for passing the kettlebell from hand to hand. If you’re a mobile PT or run boot camps they are smaller, easier to transport and cheaper.

The competition grade kettlebells are better for serious kettlebell training. When you become stronger and more skilled you can increase the weight without the size of bell changing so your technique can remain the same.

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Competition Kettlebells

As the name implies, competition kettlebells are used during kettlebell competitions where exercises are performed for time.

Competition kettlebells are always the same size even if the weight varies; this ensures consistency for holding and performing kettlebell exercises.

The handles are usually smaller and squarer in shape, allowing for less movement of the hand with only enough space for one-handed exercises.

competition kettlebells

Regular Kettlebells

Regular kettlebells have a slightly larger handle allowing for both one-handed and two-handed exercises.

The size of the kettlebell will differ depending on the weight of the kettlebell. So for example, a 20kg/45lbs kettlebell would be significantly larger than an 8kg/15lbs kettlebell.

regular shaped kettlebells

Types Of Kettlebell Movements

Kettlebell exercises are generally categorized into three groups;

ballistic movements, grind movements and hybrid movements (also referred to as combination movements).

Ballistic movements are by nature dynamic, explosive and multi-joint exercises. These movements are not only demanding on the muscles but will quickly elevate the heart rate and provide a great cardiovascular workout. Ballistic exercises require you to control your breathing patterns and your body tension, with each repetition your body tension changes, ‘tight-loose-tight’. Exercises include; swings, high-pulls, cleans and snatches.

Grind movements are slower, more controlled, require constant muscle tension and a breathing pattern similar to power lifting. Grind exercises include; squats, presses, deadlifts and Turkish get-ups (TGU).

Hybrid movements or ‘combinations’ include both ballistic and grind elements. These movements are demanding for both the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems and require you to perform exercises with fluctuating tension and within a wide range of movement patterns. Exercises include; thrusters or clean and press.

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1. BY THE BODY

Grab the kettlebell by the body with your elbows close the body and your shoulders packed down.

by the bell

2. GOBLET

Grab the kettlebell upside by the horns, keep your elbows close to your body and shoulders packed down.

goblet grip

3. RACKED

Hold the kettlebell with one hand with your elbow close to your body, your shoulder packed down and kettlebell resting in the ‘pocket’ between the forearm and bicep. The kettlebell should be positioned at a 45-degree angle at the heel of your hand and your thumb tight to your collarbone.

racked

4. STRAIGHT ARM HOLD

When you are in the overhead position you will hold the kettlebell at a 45 degree angle at the heel of your hand on the inside corner of the handle. Your bicep should be close to your ear.

straight arm hold

5. TWO HANDED

This grip is more suited to beginners, grab the bell by the top of the handle/horns.

2 handed

6. ONE HANDED

Similar to the two handed grip but using only one hand.

1 handed

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