What is a Russian Kettlebell?

Kettlebells are great strength training exercises that can be done most anywhere. They require the use of a weight called a kettlebell. These weights are metallic and come with a handle at the top. The trick is to swing the kettlebell in a specific way to create an explosive motion that helps condition the muscles for various states of fitness. Most popular are the Russian and American swings, although the kettlebell itself comes from a Russian background, which is why Zero Gravity Fitness focuses on the Russian kettlebell.

Origins of the Kettlebell
The kettlebell is merely a cast-iron or possibly a cast steel ball with a handle at the top. It has become useful for ballistic exercises that use cardiovascular, flexibility, and strength training. The Russian girya, a borrowed word from Persian meaning “heavy,” is a metal weight that was used especially for weighing crops during the 18th century. The weights became useful for testing the strength of men in the circus during the 19th century. Before long, they spread into competition for lifting around the work. The English term of kettlebell began to appear in the 20th century, referencing the Russian girya. Although Russia is credited with the origin of this weight, there were similar weights used in Classical Greece known as the haltere. They used similar motions, as did the Shaolin monks and their own version that was used for centuries in China.

Types of Kettlebell Swings
The Russian kettlebell swing uses what is called a loaded position, something that resembles that of a deadlift position. The movement requires extension through the hips while engaging the abdominal muscles. It is considered a ballistic movement and uses a wide range of motions from the hips through the hamstrings. The movement is key for building on the strength needed for jumping, pulling, running, squatting, and various other human motions. The cyclical pattern of the swing itself is great for working on breathing, bracing, and other conditioning elements as well. The Russian kettlebell is similar to the American swing, but in the American method, the swing ends in an overhead position instead of the chest area where the Russian method ends. This requires much more motion coming from the scapular area of the body.

Benefits of the Kettlebell
With a Russian kettlebell, you are able to get a serious cardio workout, improve flexibility, and acquire the strength you want without having monotonous sets of isolated repetitions. Many people find the Russian kettlebell to be more fun and with varied poses that aren’t held too long, plus it is safe, easy to learn, and a compact piece of equipment that can be taken most everywhere. It is easy to workout with a kettlebell in the privacy of your own home. It also enables a full body workout that promotes better fat loss but which also doesn’t cause women to bulk up. It is the perfect solution for building lean muscle and is far cheaper than hiring a personal trainer!

Benefits of Russian Kettlebell Training

The sheer amount of fitness products that are currently available can make the journey to becoming healthier quite confusing. Many people look around the gym at a loss of where to even begin and which weights, machines, or classes will help them meet their own goals. While everyone’s needs are slightly different, it may be time to take a fresh look at Russian kettlebells and see how they can help you become faster, stronger, and more flexible than ever.

Functional Workouts

When it comes to making gains as quickly as possible, there is quite a bit of difference between functional workouts and isolated workouts. Isolated workouts are the traditional movements such as a bicep curl that exclusively works one muscle at a time. These have been extremely popular for many years and can be adopted into any routine, but functional workouts are often more effective for total body training. For Russian kettlebells, this comes down to their ergonomic grip and the shape of the weight that allows you to fluidly alter its position in your hand as you carry out compound movements.

Burn More Calories

For many years, it was believed that grueling cardio workouts were the most effective option for burning calories and losing weight. Health enthusiasts would often find themselves spending 60 minutes or longer swimming, biking, or running, but recent studies show that cardio might not be the most efficient way to lose weight. Swinging Russian kettlebells can burn as much as 20 calories a minute, or the same as a light jog. When combined with other high-intensity workouts, these weights can be used by anyone that is looking to shed some pounds as quickly as possible.

Improved Flexibility

Improving your flexibility is one of the most important aspects of a well-rounded fitness program. Those that are more flexible will be able to extend their range of motion with every single movement that they make. The farther you are able to extend a muscle, the harder you will be able to work that muscle. In addition to helping you work more efficiently, your flexibility also plays a role in how susceptible you are to injuries. Stiffer tendons, ligaments, and muscles will drastically increase the risk of tears and sprains, and fluid kettlebell movements could help you avoid these issues.

Less Equipment, Shorter Workouts

An incredible amount of time can be wasted during a workout simply moving between machines and weights. In fact, you will often spend more time walking around the gym or switching out weights in your home than actually exercising. With kettlebells, on the other hand, you may only need just a handful of weights for your entire workout session. These unique weights can be used for everything from heavy lifting and cardio training to dynamic stretches and high-intensity interval training. Shorter workouts without sacrificing the quality of your exercise means less time in the gym.

Russian Kettlebell at Zero Gravity

At Zero Gravity Fitness in Ocoee, we offer Russian kettlebell training to help you reach your fitness goals. We provide group fitness classes to help you get the most out of your workout as well to educate you on proper form, technique, and effective movements. Contact Zero Gravity Fitness to schedule your complimentary consultation and our trainers can help create a fitness plan for your needs.

Zero Gravity Fitness