The kettlebell. One of the oldest pieces of fitness equipment we know about! Yet until recently, almost completely ignored by the world of fitness.
I believe, very strongly, that it is the singular best piece of training equipment in existence.
I am going to list the three reasons why in a moment but first I want to talk about one thing the is what I consider to be the singular most important thing the kettlebell can bring to your life and to your health and fitness endeavours.
It is a skill. And it is hard to master.
You can’t just grab one, watch a couple quick vids on Instagram and start crushing it.
That is what everyone wants though. Something easy. You don’t have to think. Just start going, get a six pack, lose 10 pounds, get stronger, and achieve all of your health and fitness dreams. That is LITERALLY what the entire fitness industry is predicated on. That is what you are marketed, what you are told, what you are sold.
And now that is the belief.
Oh, that’s too hard? Let’s give you an alternative. You can’t figure out that move? No problem! Here are 147,873,872 other things you can do that won’t give you anxiety trying to learn something.
The truth is that learning the kettlebell takes time, patience, and effort.
That is the top reason I love it so much.
Because you NEED THAT in your life. Learning a new skill, putting in the effort to practice, handling the challenge of not being great at it right away. Not getting frustrated that you can’t do what the insta-stars are doing (who are only showing you the highlight reel FYI, NOT their personal learning curve!!!) and give up.
It is in the act of the effort, of the learning a new skill, of putting in the work that true success comes from.
So the kettlebell is a beautiful tool that gives you an opportunity to truly experience what taking care of your health and fitness is really all about.
I promise, if you put in the work and learn how to kettlebell it will give you SO much more than just better health and fitness.
Ok, ok….Here we go. The three top training benefits of kettlebells and why they are the greatest training tool on earth.
Use Your Body the Way it Was DESIGNED
Your body is a single unit. It is NOT a collection of separate parts. This is what is completely dismissed in the vast majority of fitness. The idea of segmenting the body into individual pieces, training them separately, and then somehow expecting it to function as the beautiful machine it is, about sums up the stupidity of modern fitness.
I don’t want to get too technical or deep into anatomy and physiology so just trust me when I say everything that has been learned over the last decade is pretty fucking definitive that our body is a single unit and not a Frankenstein-esq collection of pieces. There is this nifty little tissue called facia that surrounds every muscle and organ in your body and is essentially a single sheet connecting it all. It’s why you can get a foot massage and feel it in your neck for example.
Every single kettlebell exercise requires that the entire body coordinates and works together. JUST THE WAY IT WAS DESIGNED TO DO.
When you train like this your body responds accordingly. By getting stronger, adapting faster, and functioning better.
Why is this the case? Because the kettlebell doesn’t just move in straight lines. It can move in straight lines but it also moves in arcs and in different directions and this is what forces the body to turn on everything and work in beautiful synchronicity.
There is no other word for it…it is beautiful
The Kettlebell Does it all
For some reason we weren’t happy dividing the muscle and limbs into separate components, we also wanted to divide the overall body systems as well. Cardio day, strength day, recovery day, stretching day…we ignored, again, how the body is designed.
Like, it’s really so fucked up. How? How did this happen? How could so many smart people look at the body this way, design programs, and then come to believe it was a really good idea?
Your heart and lungs, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and neuromuscular system all function TOGETHER and it is all coordinated by that big, beautiful brain that is letting you read this article with a sense of wonder and joy.
When you use the kettlebell the way it was intended everything is based on movement. And when it is used this way your muscles work, your heart and lungs pump away to get fresh oxygen flowing and clean out the used up energy, the tendons and ligaments keep everything attached and leverage their elasticity the way they were designed, and everything has to be coordinated and controlled, helping develop neuromuscular control.
Working the kettlebell right will increase your strength, your cardiovascular health, your flexibility, and develop your ability to move better with greater resiliency.
Dumbells and machines don’t do this, they can’t do this.
The kettlebell does it naturally and again, it is simply beautiful.
Makes Your Brain Work
Machines turn your brain off. As does most of the rest of the fitness equipment that is popular.
The kettlebell has not set track and is free to move in any direction. To control it you have to learn the right technique, the right patterns, and then constantly be reinforcing those patterns to master and utilize the movements.
It is always just bordering on the edge of control.
And this is where the magic happens.
This is what forces your brain into the moment. To turn on and conduct the beautiful symphony that is human movement.
As the kettlebell travels with momentum and with varied patterns your brain must be coordinating the effort and preparing for what is coming. And there is nothing in fitness truer to how life works.
Life doesn’t work in the same repetitive pattern indefinitely, life doesn’t happen with equal loads, life doesn’t happen in predictable patterns, life doesn’t happen in three sets of ten reps. Life is unpredictable, off balance, free motion. If you aren’t training your body to get better at the things that you do in real life you are missing THE most important part of training!
The kettlebell trains you for life.
And there you have it, the three reasons you NEED to be training with kettlebells.
Yes, I know, weird descriptions today right? But they are all so true! Human movement is beautiful. It is an incredible balance of strength and coordination that we still can’t replicate with machines because it is so complex. We take it for granted. Standing up and walking down a set of stairs to make a coffee before working out in the morning.
But behind the seeming simplicity is a vastly complex system we take for granted.
It is like kettlebell training itself. It looks simple when it is done right but belies the complexity and effort required.
You need to use this training tool.