If you have spent any time at all in a fitness gym within the last couple of years, chances are you’ve seen a Kettlebell. While using Kettlebells during a workout has grown in popularity in the last decade, I would not place them in the same category as many of the other “fad” workouts out there. These things have been around since the 1940’s, being used in sports competitions in Russia and areas of Europe since then. Their design makes it easy to incorporate them into many exercises. Their design also makes it easy to create different exercises, which adds to their current popularity.
At Prana Chiropractic and Wellness Center, I use Kettlebells often in the personal training sessions I offer. One of the ways I use them in sessions is to add a form of resistance training that focuses on many of the movements that we use during functions of daily living. In terms of living a Wellness Based Lifestyle, it is my position that building strength through exercise that improves our ability to function, is much more important than those exercises that increase muscle size and bulk only. Using Kettlebells also allows me to help Practice Members work their entire body during exercises, which means more bang for their buck. What I target with the strength and resistance routines I promote is increasing muscular strength and function, but also increasing the density of the bones, increasing metabolism, adding flexibility and range of motion, and improving endurance.
Kettlebells also help allow for more fluid movements of the body during resistance training than traditional weight machines, and even many of the free weight exercises utilized by most trainers. They are also great for circuit and high-intensity interval training. When we swing, or move the Kettlebell during exercise, in order to control the movement and to change direction, we have to incorporate many more muscles than the primary movers used in most other types of free weight exercises.
In addition to muscular strength and endurance building, Kettlebells are a great way to burn fat and calories during workouts. In fact, it is estimated that you can burn up to 20 calories per minute while using them. This is equivalent to the calories expenditure of running a 6 minute mile! So not a bad option if your goal is to lose weight.
Using Kettlebells takes a bit of getting used to if you haven’t tried them, but more and more trainers are using them to help people reach their fitness goals. Don’t be afraid to ask the trainers at the gym to show you a few exercises, grab a book on Kettlebells, or watch a few videos on the internet and give them a shot! Remember engaging in a solid Strength and Resistance Training routine at least 2 to 3 times a week is a must in order to build upon our Physical Wellness.
In Wellness and Love,
Dr. Christopher Weaver DC, PAK is a Doctor of Chiropractic and Professional Applied Kinesiologist. He's published two books on health and Wellness.