Depending on who you ask, like everything else in life you are bound to get a different picture as to what Kettle Bell exercise would encompass. I have compiled this blog to provide some clarity as to what kettle bell swings are all about.
You go to any gym out there and you’re bound to find the beginners lurking about trying to make sense of what is it that they are supposed to do. This is a guide for you if you fit the description.
First and foremost you should focus on your form (the posture and the correct movement), rather than on lifting weights and being obsessed with how much you can lift. Don’t forget the end goal, it’s not how much you can lift but how fit you are.
If you have worked out at a gym in the past you would understand the pressure that we tend to put on our self’s to lift more weights, sometimes in spite of us knowing better. As is true with other strength building exercises so is with Kettlebell swings, it takes time to build strength. As a rule of thumb, do not increase the weight till you have gotten the correct form and are comfortable with increasing the weights. This is common problem especially with men. Men (a generalised statement) tend to over-estimate their strength and tend to go for the heaviest weight they can move, this is especially true if an audience is present. Women on the other hand generally, play it safe (often too safe) when it comes down to selecting weights. So I have taken this into account in my advice. Like any other weight training programme Kettle bell swings requires a sensible well thought out weight increment plan. So leave your pride at the door and do the right thing.
Females: Its recommend that females start with either 6kilos or 8kilos, having said that, you should look to progress to 10kilos or 12kilos quickly. 6kilo and 8kilo weights would be a good starting point for your upper body exercises and 10kilos and 12kilos would suffice for your lower body exercises. If you’re minding the budgie and planning to buy two kettle bells for a DIY home training program, a pair of 8kilo and a 12kilo, should suffice. In all likelihood for the first few weeks you would be using the lighter KB, but as mentioned earlier you should aim to increase your strength and ability and permit for a heavier KB (even if it’s just for the lower body exercises and swings). Once the neuro-adaption takes place and you get the form right, your confidence as well as your ability to use heavier weight will increase. So don’t be afraid of weight progression and keep your form correct.
Another important point worth mentioning here is that some females tend to get comfortable with the weight they are using and tend to stick to the same weight, it is advisable that weight be incremented to reap the full benefits from you kettle bell workout. As a rule of thumb once you’re able to perform 12 reps comfortably of a given exercise, or 30 seconds of a Kettle bell swings easily it’s time to move on to a set of heavier Kettle Bells.
When it comes to females and any sort of weight training, one of the most common questions that arises is, will using heavier Kettle bells make me bulker? Women don’t tend to get bulky with weight training as they lake the key ingredient that tends to make men bulkier, Testosterone. When it comes to KB training, the high intensity of the training makes bulking up fairly unlikely, so rest assured that you will not bulk up. What you will get is a body that’s tighter; leaner and conditioned.
Males: The recommend weight for men to start with should range from 10kilos to 16killos. This may seem conservative but remember as a beginner your focus should be on getting the form right. Comfortable weights will set the foundation for an expansion of weights at a later stage. Keep in mind that Kettle Bell exercises are like no other, it requires a unique combination of power, endurance, mobility, strength, stability and cardiovascular fitness. It has a very steep learning curve for your body so take it slow and you will get there.
What weight should you set a goal?
The weight that you use will depend on a number of factor like your gender; personal ability; training style (the intensity and duration of you program).
We have already talked about the kind of weight you should be looking at as a beginner let’s look at intermediate and advance levels.
|Male||18 – 20 Kgs||16 Kgs|
|Female||24+ Kgs||20 – 24 Kgs|
What to look for when shopping for Kettlebells
- You can go for good quality cast iron or steel Kettle bells. Make sure that the handles are smooth and rounded. Angular handle are a bad idea for a number of reasons.
- Take it for a spin, It’s highly recommended that you try them before you buy them. If you already know the perfect dimensions for you, be sure of the dimensions when ordering online. For instance when you rack them, it shouldn’t rest on your wrist!
- It should allow for enough room for both your hands side by side.
- They should have a flat and stable base.
- Check the paint quality, it shouldn’t chip off easily otherwise it might catch you clothes once the paint has chipped off.