07 December 2022

Beginner’s guide to: Kettlebells

December 15, 2009

Kettlebells can be incorporated into a weights session in the gym, or as a session on their own – as well as being included in a circuit’s class. They are very effective for sports performance, functional training and workouts for people who are short of time, but look for quick results.

kettlebellWhat is a Kettlebell?

The kettlebell looks like a circular lump of metal with a handle on top and some are now coated in rubber to look more appealing, and come in a range of colours. Do not be deceived by the now pretty exterior….they are definitely a challenging work out which will give you quick results, if you keep your technique good.

What’s it all about?

Kettlebells have a rich international history, stemming from Russia (and possibly Scotland). Kettlebell training has been utilised for athletic and warrior training throughout the world and there is speculation that they were used by Greek athletes thousands of years ago.

There is also evidence that fighting monks of the Shaolin Temple used granite padlocks as a training tool to enhance their kung fu fighting skills. In 1948 the first kettlebell competition was held in Russia, and since then it has gradually grown in popularity.


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How does it work?

Kettlebells are really versatile, and can be used for all goals within fitness, as long as correct technique is established. When you use the kettlebell the main centre of gravity is off set so the body recruits other muscle groups to aid in stabilizing the movement being carried out.  This means the core muscles are used in nearly all workouts, fat burning is high and results are quick due to high muscle recruitment!


The kettlebell is different to a dumbbell due to the swinging motion from the handle which activates a variety of different muscles, to stabilise the body as you perform the exercise.

Initially time should be taken to ensure you are happy with techniques, and using a mirror is really useful to make sure your posture is right. It is very easy to get things wrong, due to the swinging motion so be careful to begin with, and if you are unsure get a trainer to give you a session to teach you the basics.

What will it do for me?

The kettlebell workout will increase your metabolic rate, increase your strength, fat burning, power and core strength – quite a claim but try a couple of sessions and we think you will agree.

It will make all your muscles begin to work together, like a chain of domino’s – giving you something called Functional Fitness- waking up all the muscles in your body!

Once the basics are established and you are confident a 30 minute kettlebell workout will leave you feeling well exercised and like every part of you body has been used through combined exercise with the kettlebell and squats, lunges, press ups, rotations, stomach and back work.

If you combine the Kettlebells and Flexi Bar once or twice a week into your training sessions I guarantee you would see and feel a difference, whatever your goal!

What is it good for?

Kettlebell training is predominately used for strength and endurance training for athletes and sports team. This is due to the benefits of the functional training, giving quick response times, reducing the risk of injury combined with developing a strong yet lean body.

The training is now being adapted into general group fitness classes, and 1;1 sessions providing quick results, something different and the ability to do it anywhere – so even if you travel you can still do a session.

Contradictions and thoughts!

If can take a little while to grasp the movements with the Kettlebells, and does require a little patience and consistence practice! However, once you have grasped the technique the rewards are significant.

Kettlebells do require instruction in the beginning to avoid injury and we would not recommend the use to people with back injuries, shoulder instability, acute injury and third trimester pregnancy.

Combining the Kettlebells and Flexi Bar gives a great work out – guaranteed to get results.

NB. Always consult your doctor before beginning a new fitness programme and always asked a professional fitness trainer or registered personal trainer to advice you, avoid injury and give maximum results.

Kim Ingleby, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

Kim specialises in Posture and Toning, as well as being a qualified athletics and triathlon coach, and sports therapist so if you have any specific questions for integrating these bits of kit into your training the most effective way please do contact her.

For more information please contact Kim @ kim@energisedperformance.com.

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