From the Russian Fair to the Fitness Studio

Kettlebell Training: The functional full body workout

In use for centuries and trendy again in recent years: the Russian iron ball, also known as kettlebell. It all began with the bodybuilders at Russian fairgrounds that wanted to prove they were the strongest. The balls were mainly lifted above the head, thrown and swung. But then they are forgotten. But with functional training, the ball has again rapidly gained popularity and is now an elementary component of every good fitness studio. And not without reason - it has a lot to offer: The ball can be used both for classical strength exercises and for complex motion sequences under load.

Die Kettlebell und die Wiederentdeckung von funktionellem Ganzkörpertraining -  Vom russischen Jahrmarkt ins Fitnessstudio
The kettlebell and the rediscovery of functional whole-body training -  From the Russian fair to the gym.

Why Kettlebell Training? Mobility, Stability, Explosivity

A kettlebell is more than just the special form of a dumbbell. Of course it can also be used for many common muscle building exercises, but the special shape of the Russian bell requires even more stabilisation work in the torso, wrists and shoulders than conventional dumbbells. It is therefore well suited for pressure exercises on the bench and on the floor (bench press or horizontal chest press), rowing movements while standing or with support and as a weight for the knee bend (Goblet Squat or front knee bend with one or two kettlebells). If you use only one kettlebell instead of two at the same time, i.e. if you have an asymmetrical weight distribution, the kettlebell even brings an anti-rotation component for the torso into many common exercises. Only the classic biceps curl should please most people better with the dumbbell.

Another often forgotten factor is the fact that even body weight exercises can be supplemented with one or two Kettlebells. When planking or propping up, it serves as an unstable base and at the same time enables a neutral wrist position. In push-ups, kettlebells increase the range of motion and can provide more muscle work.

Those who would like to combine the counter-movement of rowing with hull training will find the perfect exercise in the "Renegade Row": Here you lean on the kettelbells and pull the balls upwards alternately. Abdominal aching guaranteed.

But a kettlebell offers much more than just classic strength endurance training.

1) Mobility: How the ball posture and exercises such as the "Kettlebell Armbar" promote a mobile spine

The mobility of our thoracic spine and shoulders is crucial for a good posture and a healthy back. But by sitting a lot, it wastes away. Time to do something about it!

Kettlebell Training Übung Armbar
  1. Lying on your back, hold a kettlebell on your stretched arm.
  2. Put your free arm over your head, stretch your leg on the same side. Put the other leg up.
  3. With pressure over the raised leg, turn into the ground on the side.
  4. Place the knee of the leg with pressure on it on the floor and turn the hip towards the floor.
  5. Tighten the buttocks of the crossed leg several times and thereby expand the thoracic spine.

2) Stability: How the exercises "Turkish Getup" and "Bottom-up Press" ensure a healthy shoulder through (in)stability

The so-called "Turkish Getup" is a complex exercise that guides the shoulder through a variety of positions while you hold the kettlebell upside down and stand up with it. This trains stability throughout the body and strengthens the movement pattern of getting up - an important factor for healthy aging!

Kettlebell Training Übung Turkish Getup
  1. "Cuddle" with the kettlebell over the lower wrist while lying on the side.
  2. Bring the kettlebell to the stomach while turning on the back.
  3. Press the ball with both arms up into the "shooting range" position, then place the free arm laterally at a 45° angle, as well as the leg on the same side.
  4. Place the other leg close to the buttocks and exert pressure on the floor with your foot, the elbow of the put down arm pulls parallel to it. We rotate up on our elbows.
  5. Stretch out the attached arm, that'll get us up to the hand.
  6. Lift the hip off the ground so that we can bring the knee from the stretched leg under us. The knee points towards the hand.
  7. Raise your hand away from the floor and align your hips forward like a windscreen wiper.
  8. With abdominal tension, look forward and stand up with your shoulders arrested.
  9. Perform the movement upside down to the ground.

3) Explosivity and High Intensity Training: How the ball gets the body and circulation going again - especially important for "frequent users"!

The movement pattern of the Kettlebell Swing is very well suited to learn the correct hip movement mechanics required for back-friendly lifting and jumping. At the same time, it trains the hip extension muscles and the stabilizers of the back and torso, which is particularly important for people who are seated. The musculature around the spine must reflexively tighten in order to resist the flying ball. At the same time, the grip strength of the hands and the strength of the shoulder blade muscles, which have to master the swing of the ball, are improved.

It can also be used as a high-intensity endurance exercise by increasing the number of sentences and repetitions. Due to its ballistic nature, it is also an excellent fast power exercise, which can have a high transfer to various sports. A real Powerhouse exercise that no other training device can offer you so easily!

  1. Place the ball on the ground one step in front of your legs.
  2. Bend forward from the hip and grab the ball, tilting it up.
  3. Pulling the shoulder blades together brings the ball into the correct distance from the body. And also, tense up your stomach like you're expecting a punch.
  4. Raise the torso slightly and swing the ball between the legs.
  5. Simultaneously with the forward movement of the kettlebell, stretch the hips and knees explosively.
  6. When the ball swings back between the legs, the hip bends quickly and intercepts the swing of the ball.
  7. Accelerate the kettlebell again or swing it to the end.
  8. To finish the exercise, when the ball swings back, edge it back on the ground without making any noise. The secret is not to let the ball swing so far that it wants to swing back between its legs!

A word of warning: The present exercise descriptions provide as complete an overview as possible of the Kettlebell Swing. However, a description in the form of text cannot in any way replace a professional instruction by a trained kettlebell trainer! The Kettlebell Swing is by its ballistic nature a complex matter and must be learned and practiced under constant correction. Otherwise you risk incorrect movement patterns and thus incorrect loading of the spine, shoulders and knees.

Kettlebell training, as you can easily see, has a lot to offer! Learned under competent guidance, it offers a versatile, functional workout with some health benefits. So let's get it started!

Kettlebell Training hat, wie man unschwer erkennen kann, einiges zu bieten! Unter kompetenter Anleitung erlernt, bietet es ein vielseitiges, funktionelles Workout mit einigen gesundheitlichen Vorteilen. Also ran an die Kugeln!


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