Our crossfit friends Sevan and Darren recently introduced me to Russian Kettlebells. Essentially, they look like large cast iron cannon balls with a handle on top.
|8kg and 12kg Kettlebells|
What sets the kettlebell apart from the trusty dumbbell is that they are far more versatile and take up a small amount of space, which is great if you are working out from home. I have subsequently learnt that they have been around far longer (300 years) than the standard dumbbells seen in most gyms.
One thing I first noticed about the kettlebell, is how it feels slightly heavier and a bit more awkward to hold than a dumbbell. This is down to its centre of mass being extended farther out from your body, so making it harder to handle and manoeuvre. This ensures that when you do lifts or swings you have to concentrate more on your form to keep the kettlebell stable, thus improving your technique.
I am still learning new routines, but so far I have been able to target all the main muscle groups and core. One of my favourites is called the Kettlebell Get-Up. It works the entire body and begins with you laid out on the floor and standing up with a kettlebell raised in the air. It's not as easy as it sounds.
At the moment, we only have an 8kg and 12kg kettlebell, but as we become more confident in the routines and stronger we will be adding to our collection.
For more information, have a look at the really informative blog by Ben Greenfield.