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What Are Kettlebells?

Kettlebells for MMA

by Brendan · 2 comments

Kettlebells are quickly becoming a popular fitness trend in the western world, especially in the Mixed Martial Arts community. The reason it has become so popular is due to it’s versatility and the effectiveness in helping those who use a kettlebell loose weight and put on lean muscle. Kettlebells really are a magnificent way to get in shape and burn off all that unwanted body fat. A kettle looks like a bowling ball with a handle attached to the top of it, this shape allows the person to perform ballistic exercises that combine cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training into compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups of the body at the same time. Kettlebells are traditionally measured in poods. One pood is the equivalent to 16 kilograms in metric weight.

The History Of The Kettlebell

The kettlebell (or Girya as it is known in Russian) was originally designed as a counterweight for Russian farm equipment. Farm workers who worked with them everyday noticed that they became fit and strong and thus they became a favoured fitness tool. Russian started lifting and throwing kettlebells for fitness and fun at local fairs which led to Kettlebells becoming a sport. By the 1940′s they had become a national sport.

The former soviet union recognized that kettlebells were such an import piece of fitness equipment it created a committee with the sole purpose of helping to promote its use. The reason for this is because the soviet union could see that kettlebelling would help keep the populous fitter and lower health care costs which would have the benefit of increasing the populations work capacity.

Kettlebell Exercise

kettle-mmaUnlike dumbells that have a tight center of gravity and involve only push and pull exercise (which only work a couple of muscle groups) kettlebells mimic real life situations due to being an odd shape coupled with the mass in a kettlebell being off center cause the individual to use more muscles which burn for calories than machines or free weights. This is due to the inertia and momentum created during workouts. The kettlebells allow for entire sets of fluid movements without stopping. They allow the individual to get a cardio vascular workout while simultaneously building full body strength. Kettlebells are the weights of choice by most professional MMA fighters.

The Kettlebell Swing

The kettlebell swing is an idea exercise because it is low impact and burns fat like no other exercise I have ever come across. You can also build some functional lean muscle (if the weight you are swinging is heavy enough) while also improving your cardiovascular strength and endurance. This is why professional Mixed Martial Arts fighters and other cambat athletes should be swinging a kettlebell like it is going out of style. The swing is the 100 metre sprint of weight lifting. Just look at the physique of professional sprinters like Usain Bolt. The swing is your destination for incredible fat loss coupled with a healthy heart and some lean functional muscle.

The swing the muscles in the arms, shoulders, pecs, abs, lats, hamstrings, glutes, hips, and grip. It is an incredibly simple and effective way of incorporating a very athletic movement safely while also burning a crap load of calories. The swing is an awesome way to burn stubborn belly fat while also preserving muscle.

So what are you waiting for? GET SWINGING!

To learn how improve your grappling for Mixed Martial Arts by visiting the Pedro Sauer Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu website.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna Dawson December 13, 2013 at 6:44 am

What I like best about kettlebells is that you don’t need any fancy equipment, a gym membership, or even a whole lot of room do start using them. I purchased a couple of 20 lb. kettlebells from a store nearby and was using them that day :)


Brendan December 13, 2013 at 8:04 pm

I agree with entirely!

Thanks for your comment Anna :)


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