Have your gains plateaued, and do you need a change?
Kettlebell training builds muscle, burns fat, and can be done in as little as 25 minutes, making them both effective and efficient. Kettlebells can also add variety to your training and increase strength and coordination more than any free weight or weight machine.
Paseo Club is a social club in the Santa Clarita Valley. We offer over 60 fitness classes each week, from HIIT to Pilates, LIFT to TRX. Strength training is an essential form of exercise for people of all ages.
In this article, we will address one of our favorite pieces of equipment — the kettlebell. You will learn what a kettlebell is, its origins, the benefits of exercising with kettlebells, and about the Paseo Club’s special Memorial Day class, Beers and Bells.
What is a kettlebell?
Kettlebells are a type of free weight that is round in shape and has a handle at the top to grip. They are typically made of cast iron or steel.
The user can perform kettlebell exercises with one or both hands on the bell. Some movements require two kettlebells — one in each hand.
Kettlebells are used to squat, swing, press, hold, and manipulate dozens of different ways.
What are the origins of kettlebell workouts?
Kettlebells originated in ancient Russia, where they were used as counterweights on scales when measuring goods at local markets.
Farmers noticed the physical benefits of using the kettlebells and began to hold contests to see who could swing and press the heaviest kettlebells.
Eventually, kettlebells began to be used for exercising and as a competitive sport. By 1948, kettlebell lifting became the national sport of the Soviet Union.
What are the 10 benefits of kettlebell workouts?
Kettlebell workouts are one of the most diversified exercise programs available. There are a wealth of benefits to using kettlebells for exercise.
1. Burns fat
When you watch someone performing a kettlebell workout, you will see them panting and sweating. Many kettlebell movements are explosive, recruiting most (or all) major muscle groups, which use high levels of calories.
After the workout, your body goes into EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption), which means you’ll burn calories at a higher rate after your workout due to increased metabolic activity.
You do not need to be a twenty-year-old Olympian to use kettlebells. When properly trained, teens, adults, and seniors can use kettlebells for exercising. Kettlebells are made in a range of weights so that users can scale the movements safely according to their ability.
In addition, most kettlebell movements can be adjusted if someone has limited mobility or an injury.
3. Low impact
Whether it is because of injury or simply aging, sometimes our ankles, knees, or hips do not want impact. Running and jumping can stress your body, causing pain and inflammation.
Kettlebell exercises are low impact, making them safe for people with joint issues. In fact, over time, you can strengthen your joints by exercising with kettlebells, making your joints more resilient and less prone to injury.
4. Full body workout
You can get a full-body workout when you train with kettlebells.
Strengthen glutes, hips, and legs with squats and swings
Target your core with Russian twists and weighted sit-ups
Tone arms, shoulders, and back with overhead presses and curls
5. Great for home gyms
If you like to train at home, or want a workout plan for when you are on the road, look no further. Kettlebells are small and compact. They easily fit in the corner of your bedroom or living room — or stash it in the trunk of your car for your next road trip.
6. Help to prevent injuries
Once you have trained to use kettlebells safely, you develop more strength, stability, and coordination. Kettlebells help prepare the body to resist typical overuse injuries — often the result of tight and/or weak muscles. Kettlebells help you to be a more resilient athlete in all your favorite physical activities.
7. Increases strength and power
Kettlebell movements teach you how to have explosive power. Swings, snatches, and deadlifts are ballistic movements that require high velocity, developing the ability to recruit muscle fibers faster and producing more power.
The more you engage in kettlebell workouts, the stronger you get, providing measurable progress.
8. Supports symmetrical muscle engagement
Many sports rely on activating just certain parts or sides of the body, such as cycling, running, tennis, pickleball, softball, and more. Most kettlebell movements are unilateral, forcing your body to engage both sides. Kettlebells can help correct muscle weakness and imbalances.
9. Strengthen your core and improve body posture
Most of us spend too many hours on laptops, tablets, and smartphones, rendering us hunched over sporting “nerd necks.” Not only is this unattractive, but it can also create tension and pain in our backs, necks, jaws, and head.
There are several movements in the kettlebell workouts that engage the core and upper body, strengthening these areas and thus supporting proper alignment of the spine.
10. Increases stability in major joints of the body, such as shoulders, knees, and ankles
When you exercise with kettlebells, you engage stabilizer muscles throughout your body. These muscles are in your pelvic floor, torso, and back and are responsible for supporting your body and holding proper alignment.
Increasing your stability will help you have more strength, balance, and coordination. It also decreases the chance of injury.
Who can use kettlebells to train?
Everybody can use kettlebells. You can perform dozens of exercises with a kettlebell, and most of them can be scaled for any level of fitness and mobility.
It is best practice to attend a fitness class that features kettlebells to learn proper technique and form.
When is Beers and Bells and how do people sign up?
Beers and Bells is a special class led by trainer Cayden Dunn at the Paseo Club. Cayden will teach a challenging but fun kettlebell workout. After class, attendees will head to the bar to cool down with a beer.
Beers and Bells will be taught on Memorial Weekend on Monday, May 29th, at 9 am. The fee to attend is $25 per person.
Training with kettlebells
It is important to change your workout routine to prevent stagnation and injuries from overuse. Kettlebells are a great option for people of all ages and abilities, and workouts can be as short as 25 minutes.
Training with kettlebells consistently provides results. You can get stronger, leaner, more coordinated, and have better endurance. You can use kettlebells as your primary workout program or use them for cross-training with your favorite sport or activity.
The Paseo Club has been at the forefront of health and wellness for almost twenty years. Our members can select from over 60 fitness classes each week, pickleball and tennis courts, and a junior Olympic pool.
Classes that we offer that use kettlebells are LIFT, Paseo Tribe HIIT/Core, Greatest Results, and TRX & Core.
When members aren’t busy working out, they enjoy meals at the cafe, a massage or facial at the spa, or visiting with friends and neighbors at one of our many social events.
If you are interested in joining a club that values fitness and community, then the Paseo Club may be the place for you. Schedule a tour today to see our facilities and meet members, staff, and instructors.
Read these three articles to learn more about the fitness classes taught at the Paseo Club.
Jen Azevedo is a person of many talents. She is a tennis professional, pickleball professional, personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and the general manager of the Paseo Club. She loves the community at the Paseo Club and that it is also a safe and fun place for her daughter. Jen’s favorite activities are joining her tribe for trail races or her partners for tennis matches. Occasionally Jen slows down to relax with a book — she reads over 100 a year!