If you aren’t quite familiar with kettlebells – I think it is time you two met. Kettlebells are the ‘cannonballs’ with a handle. And though they seem a little out of the box, they are an incredible training tool – which is why they are a staple here at Impact Performance & Fitness.
Kettlebells are extremely versatile and can be used for many different training purposes including:
- Strength training
- Total body conditioning
- Power development
- Improving mobility and stability of the muscles and joints
With all of that being said, the best feature (and my personal favorite) is that it is a powerful tool for functional training. Functional meaning – it allows people to actually train total body movements as oppose to specific body parts. Humans were meant to move and move well. In order to move well, we have to incorporate the whole body – after all it is connected and works together in anything and everything we do.
Plus! Moving well and feeling athletic is FUN. And when you enjoy your training you are more likely to do it, and do it often – which leads to results.
So here are some great kettlebell exercises we utilize here at Impact Performance & Fitness to get our students moving better and feeling like athletes.
1. Kettle Bell Swing – A basic hinge pattern done ballistically. It teaches your body not only how to create force but receive it. This great for power development, improving cardiovascular fitness, and once you can go heavy enough, building a great booty.
2. Kettle Bell Squat Press – The squat has been deemed the king of all exercise and rightfully so. It involves every bit of your body and demands large ranges of motion from your hips, ankles, and knees. Adding the over head press takes it up just one more notch – making it a total body, strength building, fat torching exercise.
3. Kettle Bell Windmill – This is a great one for multiple reason like: increasing mobility in the hips, improving stability in the shoulder, strengthening the core, and enhancing flexibility in the posterior chain, especially the hamstrings.
4. Turkish Get Up – This exercise may be one of the greatest movement based … moves. Why? Because it asks your body to work together to get you off the floor, into a standing position, all while under a load. It improves everything from single leg hip strength, stability and extension, shoulder stability and mobility, thoracic extension and rotation, increasing core stability and strength, and the mind-body ability to link all these various movements together.
5. Single Leg Romanian Deadlift (RDL) + Bent Over Row – Another hinge movement that hits the total body by strengthening the posterior chain and back, while improving balance. RDL’s are wonderful for strengthening the low back, glutes, and hamstrings – now do that on 1 leg and you increase emphasis on all the tiny stabilizing muscles in the feet, ankles, and hips.
6. Kettle Bell Clean – So, may be you don’t know how to do a barbell clean, are intimidated by it, or lack the mobility to catch the bar in a good position. The good news is, you can get many of the benefits of a barbell clean like power development, triple extension (extending the ankles, knees, and hips simultaneously), speed, and posterior chain recruitment all from the kettlebell clean. Plus! It also give you the option to use 1 arm at a time, increasing the demand on the core by resisting the urge to rotate – and the learning curve is much shallower!
These movements are sure to get you moving better and feeling like an athlete again – mind, body, and spirit. How do we know? Because we use these and many other movements with our students our program to get them into the best shape of their lives!
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