This article is contributed by Jonathan Boey. Jonathan is a regular reader of this website.|
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Why Are Russian Bodybuilders and Weight Lifters So Powerful? An Introduction To Kettlebell Training to Lose Weight And Build Muscles!
How exactly kettlebell training was invented is not clear, but here's the most plausible explanation I've read. Long ago in Russia , farmers used to weigh grain by using kettlebells . It wasn't long before someone had the idea of using them to train. From then on, up till the early 1900s, they were popular in Russia , Europe and the US , and were used by various world-class athletes and strongmen. With the advent of "modern" training methods, they pretty much disappeared from the scene, until Pavel Tsatsouline started a revival with "The Russian Kettlebell Challenge" in the US in 2001.
So who uses them nowadays? For the military and law enforcement, examples would be the Spetnaz, Force Recon Marines, FBI's Hostage Rescue Team and the Secret Service Counter Assault Team. For contact sports such as boxing and full-contact martial arts , names would include 2 time Brazilian Ju-Jitsu World Champion Stephen Maxwell, 5 Time Ultimate Fighting Championship Middle Weight Champion Frank Shamrock and Undisputed World Super Lightweight Boxing Champion Kostya Tszyu. Even celebrities such as Sylvester Stallone and Penelope Cruz have taken to them. And of course, there are plenty of others out there in the world who are enjoying the real benefits of kettlebell training, whether it's fat loss , rehabilitating injuries or just plain old toughening up and building muscles shocking your muscles to new growth.
Kettlebell drills are basically divided into two parts, grinds and ballistics, or in other words, fast and slow exercises . Grinds are great for developing overall strength and flexibility, and ballistics are excellent for training explosiveness, endurance and flexibility, as well providing you with an intense full body cardio workout so that you can also lose weight as well as building muscles . Two of the basic drills that I will be introducing, the Swing and the Turkish Get-Up are just the tip of the iceberg, but they represent the fundamental of what kettlebell training is: to train the whole body altogether in a short, intensive session.
Ok, let's get down to the nitty-gritty. Most likely you don't have a kettlebell on hand now, so use a 20-30kg dumbbell if you're a guy or 10-20kg if you're a lady.SWING
Breathe explosively by sharply inhaling through your nose as the weight swings between your legs, and sharply exhaling through the mouth as you thrust your hips to swing the weight up. Keep the back straight at all times, and remember to use your leg muscles to propel the bell, not your arms. Take extra care not to knock out your kneecaps if you're using a dumbbell. And last but not least, remain stable throughout. Control the weight . Don't let it control you. Try 10-20 reps for up to 5 sets with 1-2 minutes of rest in between. If you prefer a challenge, swing continuously for a minute or two.
Always keep your eyes on the weight. You don't want it to come crashing down on your head or face if something goes wrong. Breathe shallowly as you sit up and down, and use power breathing when squatting up and down (inhale through your nose, contract your abs and butt and hold your breathe throughout the motion). For those who are concerned with breath holding, this is not the same as holding your breath through chest breathing, I wouldn't do that either. Do up to 5 reps per side for 5 sets with 3-5 minutes of rest in between.
Practise the Turkish Get-Up before the Swing and do them two or three times a week. Limit your sessions to less than forty-five minutes (if you can last that long), and don't train until you feel like dying, vary the intensity of each session. Email if you have any questions or to report your progress. Enjoy! SFO