Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
FAQs : Kettlebells in General
- What is a kettlebell?
It looks like a solid cast iron kettle without a spout. It started life in rural Russia as a counterbalance for weighing grain. Russian peasants picked it up and swung it around for a bit of convenient weight training.
Over time, the Russian military understood its potential and started to use it, then Russian strongmen, weightlifters and wrestlers. American athletes eventually discovered it. Today it is regarded by fitness experts as the ultimate training tool for all-round fitness and physical development. Kettlebells are easy to use and recommended to learn under expert initially. Looking at you tube videos and executing the drills cannot help understand Kettlebells and related exercises.
- How does it work?
Unlike a conventional dumbbell or barbell, the Kettlebell’s centre of mass is displaced from the handle. This means the weight constantly pulls against your hand and requires not only strength and co-ordination when exercising with it, but also the recruitment of other muscles through your arms, shoulders and trunk. Swing, clean, press or push press is entire body movements, burns more calories for time spend as compared to any other exercise.
- What will it do for me?
Everyone can benefit from a regular kettlebell workout: from those who just want to look and feel good, to elite athletes of all kinds. Primarily a kettlebell workout will develop your all-important body core – back, hips and trunk. You’ll also burn fat at an amazing rate and exercise your cardio-vascular system. Because you use your whole body to control the kettlebell you will also strengthen arms and legs.
You can exercise in your own time and space and get genuine results faster than ever before. The overall result will be increased strength, flexibility, timing, muscle tone and general body conditioning. Elite athletes can use advanced exercises and techniques to target various muscle groups and movement patterns.
- Who uses Kettlebells?
Kettlebells are used by a variety of people including stay-at-home moms, business professionals, athletes, martial artists, law enforcement, firemen, military, and other people who are looking for a more efficient and functional workout.
- What size Kettlebell should I start with?
An average man should start with a 16kg. Most men will eventually progress to a 20kg.
An average woman should start with an 8kg. A strong woman can go for a 12kg.
- What are the Benefits of Kettlebell Training?
Benefits of Kettlebells are numerous, but just in short it is truly an all-in-one fitness tool delivering incredible weight loss, fitness and athletic performance development results. It offers your body feedback in a unique way uncovering how dynamic the human body actually is and can be. Kettlebell Training combines components of athletic development, building multiple components of fitness simultaneously.
- I have lower back problem and knee problem, can I train with Kettlebells?
Yes, actually a big Yes! If you precisely see the techniques and form of Kettlebell movement, neither in back nor in knee the bending is not more than 30 deg (ref from ground) and knees are always soft. Correct training ensures that your back and core muscles are strengthened from all angles. Kettlebell training will leave you with a healthy spine with adequate range of motion in all the right areas.
- Can’t I just do the exercises with dumbbells?
Yes, many Kettlebell exercises, such as presses can indeed be done with dumbbells, but the movement will be less effective. A good analogy would be comparing a free-weight bench press to a machine chest press. You may be able to lift more on the machine, but you still won’t recruit as much muscle as you would doing the corresponding movement with a barbell.
Other exercises, like bent presses and swings, would be more awkward to perform with dumbbells, because of their shape and balance. Exercises like around-the-body passes, would not be possible at all due to the dumbbell’s design. With snatches and cleans, the flipping action of the Kettlebell provides excellent feedback and closure for each rep, and it’s satisfying to hit the groove just right. Dumbbell snatches are no more than a swing, and dumbbell cleans merely resemble cheat curls.
Besides providing more versatility in exercise selection than a dumbbell, the unique design of the Kettlebell means an offset centre of gravity. For example, when you press it overhead, the mass remains outside the axis of the forearm, as opposed to being centred within the hand – as with a dumbbell. You must work throughout the movement, even at the top of the lift, to control the resultant lever arm. Trunk and shoulder stabilizers are forced to contract harder and in greater numbers to control the ‘awkward’ weight. The range of motion is also increased in the military press- it does not restrict your shoulder on the bottom and it stretches it at the top.
Because machines actually discourage the use of stabilizing muscles and three-dimensional motion, informed lifters have realised that they shouldn’t rely on them. Barbells and dumbbells recruit and build more muscle by adding an element of instability, or degrees of freedom. Kettlebells take things up another notch since you’re constantly wrestling them for control, but in the process you receive even greater neuromuscular stimulation.
- I don’t have any time to workout, are kettlebells good for me?
Yes, and you do have time it just lies with your priorities. With few exceptions I think most people could sacrifice 15 to 60 minutes of TV 3-5 days per week in order to feel and look better. If you want something bad enough you will find a way to make it work.
ACE (American council of Exercise) says Kettlebells doubles the result in half the time you spend in gym. Yes it’s just matter of 20 mins, 3 times a week and you are all set to get in shape.
- I’ve heard when training with Kettlebells you shouldn’t wear shoes. Is that true?
Yes, working out bare foot helps to strengthen the ankles and feet. It also provides a more stable base to stand on. If you prefer to wear shoes, we recommend flat-soled shoes, like Chuck Taylors or wrestling shoes, Olympic lifting shoes, and no running shoes.
- If I’m a Female will Kettlebells give me big bulky muscles?
No, never. The hormone differences between women and men are radically different and therefore women cannot gain muscle like men. Women naturally have much less testosterone than men. Strength training also increases bone density which is especially important in females.
- Do 2 day course from EKFA help me design my own workouts at home or in Gym?
Yes, absolutely! We have over 2000 clients who have already used our online training program (if location is far) OR if you are in close proximity we can help you design the program which can fetch good results. 2 (two) day training is sufficient to understand the Kettlebells and we also run follow up sessions to go through the form and techniques of Kettlebells learned.
Also a two day training program of trainers emphasis on technicalities of Kettlebell science which have helped many across the nation to upgrade their personal training skills, earn more money and give good variations to there clients.
- Do EKFA have online training program?
FAQs : Kettlebells for Sports Training
- What is Kettlebell Sport?
Kettlebell Sport, also known as Girevoy Sport (GS), is a highly challenging power-endurance feat of a cyclical nature. Lifters’ success involves technique, flexibility, strength and power, proper breathing patterns, aerobic capacity, stability, and mental focus.
- What’s the difference between Kettlebell sport and Olympic Lifting or Power Lifting?
As opposed to Olympic or Power Lifting, Girevoy Sport requires an athlete to lift a sub-maximal load, completing as many repetitions as possible in ten minutes.
- What are the traditional Kettlebell Sport Lifts
The three traditional Kettlebell Sport Lifts are the Jerk, Snatch, and Long Cycle (Clean & Jerk).
- What is the Kettlebell Sport Biathlon?
Performed with 10 minutes Jerk, followed by 10 minutes Snatch, with a minimum 30 minutes rest between the two lifts. For Jerk, Men use two bells, women use one, changing sides once. These two, 10-minute events are very challenging to perform and prepare for; therefore the Biathlon is not ideal for beginners.
- Are there age restrictions for Kettlebell Sport Competitors?
There are no age restrictions in Kettlebell Sport. I’ve seen ages 5 thru 75 on the platform, a beautiful and inspiring sight!
- Do you need to qualify for Kettlebell Sport Events?
Some Kettlebell Sport meets require qualification via video submission prior to competition, while others do not.
- Do you have to be experienced in Kettlebell training to compete?
As with all resistance training, providing you don’t have any debilitating medical issues or acute joint problems, Kettlebell Sport is available to everyone. You don’t a need a wealth of resistance training experience to prepare for competition, but a solid foundation with Presses, Push Press, Deadlifts, Squats, and trunk stability will help you get started.
- Can I learn how to compete on my own, or do I need a Kettlebell trainer?
It is highly advisable that you use a good Coach throughout your competition process. A Coach is necessary to guide you in the many aspects of the sport; from breathing patterns, pacing, execution of lifts, footwear, hand positions, hand care, specific assistance drills to overcome weaknesses, recovery, mental preparation and much more.
- How much should I train before entering a Kettlebell competition?
For novice lifters, a minimum of 6 months preparation is recommended before the first competition. For more experienced lifters, a minimum of 4 months is usually necessary, though everyone progresses at a different pace due to age, work and family life, motivation and other factors.
- Is Kettlebell Sport good for anything besides Kettlebell Sport?
If you enjoy activities like running, cycling, rowing, tennis or swimming, you can utilize them to further develop the aerobic capacity necessary for Kettlebell Sport.
- Is it easy to get injured during Kettlebell Sport?
The incidence of injury in Kettlebell Sport is very low when compared to other sports. Kettlebell Sport involves standing in one place while moving the weights overhead through the use of the legs, spine, abs and shoulders. The process of training results in increased lean muscle, fat loss, reduced risk of osteoporosis, aerobic conditioning and endurance, a balanced muscular system- utilizing 3 dimensions of the joints, flexibility, muscular symmetry and joint stability. Since Kettlebell Sport is a power endurance sport, it creates bodies that are, in most cases, lean and strong.
- What does basic Kettlebell Sport training entail?
Within a training week, Kettlebell Sport lifters will perform the following:
- Their competition lifts in various timed sets, with varied weights
- Assisted drills to improve flexibility, timing, grip strength and tempo and breathing patterns
- Full body resistance training
- Flexibility training
- Cardiovascular exercise in the form of running, swimming, biking, rowing, skating, etc. at various intensities
- What are some of the Ketllebell Sport Organizations?
You can find listings of upcoming competitions from host organizations such as IKSFA, WKC, IKFF, IUKL, WAKSC, IGSF & IKMF.
- How can Athletes benefit from Kettlebells?
No matter what sport you participate in – a strong core is absolutely essential. Think of the muscles that make up your core as the hinge that connects your upper and lower bodies. It doesn’t matter how strong that door is, if the hinge is weak, then that door is weak. It is the same with your body. If you cannot stabilize, transfer and generate appropriate force from your core, then you will be ineffective, regardless of how strong your other body parts may be. Kettlebells develop a strong core. The kettlebell workout is unique in how it strengthens the stabilizing and supporting muscles.
For example cricketers, undergo a start and stop action (acceleration and de-acceleration), so is Kettlebell snatch which helps train your body the way it might need by a cricketer on the field.
Tennis players need good shoulders, so is Kettlebell swing clean and press or push press which gives a compound movement and strengthens the shoulders in the process.
- How can any athlete start the Kettlebell training to enhance the sport?
He should hire a Professional and certified Kettlebell trainer, preferable with sports background. Understanding the function in sports is important before starting the training. EKFA Asia team collectively have huge background of sports and are trained under world’s best coaches. We are possibly only one institute in India sports background and are eligible to teach athletes.