I’ve been to a few Kettlebell classes over the last few years but over lockdown I started doing Steve Watson’s class with my mum at home, on Zoom, and feel like it helped me rediscover Kettlebell Training and how versatile it is! I’d recommend it to anyone as the exercises can be adapted to make them easier or harder depending on your ability and fitness levels, and of course you can get different size Kettlebells in terms of weight too, meaning you can go lighter or heavier.
The first thing I recommend to anyone setting up a home gym space is resistance bands as they’re also versatile and can easily be transported, and the second thing I recommend investing in is a Kettlebell. I could talk all day about how amazing Kettlebell Training is, but instead I’ll break it down into a few top reasons why it’s good for you.
WHOLE BODY WORKOUTS
It’s incredibly easy to work your full body with just a Kettlebell, and Kettlebell classes are mostly full body workouts. Of course it’s also possible to focus on one body part, but one of my favourite ways to train with a Kettlebell is linking movements together to create longer sequences that work your whole body.
Obviously anything involving some kind of weight in your workout is going to help you build strength, and Kettlebells is no exception. It is also a great way to improve your cardiovascular endurance as well as muscular strength. Kettlbells will get your heart rate up and keep it there, strengthening cardiac muscles as well as other muscle groups.
Compound movements are basically movements that involve more than one muscle group, recruiting more muscle fibres and therefore burning more calories and increasing the challenge and difficulty of your workout. It’s easy to do this for a Kettlbell by combining upper and lower body exercises together, for example a lunge and rotation or shoulder press. A squat on its own is a compound exercise because it trains the quadraceps, glutes and calves all in one.
Literally the opposite to compound exercises, isolation exercises focus on one muscle group only. This can be useful after an injury to rehabilitate and build the strength back up in the injured area, but I believe everyone should include some kind of isolation work in their workout programme. It allows you to find out where your weaknesses are, and focus on building strength in a specific area. For example, single arm shoulder presses, single arm rows and single leg deadlifts can all be done with a Kettlebell to work on isolating muscle groups and working on building strength. It will highlight if you have one shoulder stronger than the other, and then you can plan this into your workout by doing more repetitions on the weaker side in order to build it up to match the strong side. Obviously you can also do these kind of exercises with a dumbbell too, but I find Kettlebells can often be easier to manage and hold due to their shape.
MY TOP 5 KETTLEBELL EXERCISES
If you want to give it a go for yourself, I have a real time 15 minute Kettlebell Workout here. I also post Kettlebell workouts on my Instagram from time to time!