As a Crossfit athlete, our Keller Sports Pro Art Claas loves nothing more than a varied, dynamic and above all effective workout. He’s been using kettlebells in his daily training for a long time now. In his Heartcore- Athletics blog, Art explains in detail why he can no longer even consider a workout without kettlebells and why you should do the same. We’ve summarised Art’s post so we can share with you three reasons why the kettlebell is such an effective training tool: - Unilateral training Unlike a barbell or a weight machine, a kettlebell allows you to work on one side of your body at a time. Unilateral training highlights any differences in strength and flexibility between one side and the other, as you’re not given the chance to make up for your weaker side with your stronger one. Another positive side-effect of unilateral training with a kettlebell is that you improve the interaction between tonic and phasic muscles, while also challenging your torso more. The kettlebell is an unbeatable tool for all-round fitness. Gateway training Despite the fact that you lift less weight than you would with a barbell, with a kettlebell your training will be very effective. If you have a good coach, the exercises will be easy for you to learn. Apart from that, kettlebell training is often quite explosive, as you can see from the single arm kettlebell swing in the video above. This means that you push yourself hard during your training without lifting as much weight and the end result, of course, is that you become stronger. With a kettlebell, you also complete exercises that are within your joints’ natural range of motion. You don’t force your body into unnatural positions and you don’t strain yourself by lifting too much weight. Instead, you strengthen your natural movement cycles and work your way towards becoming a true athlete. In the video, Art demonstrates how to do a goblet squat. Ballistic training As already mentioned earlier, some kettlebell exercises are explosive. By speeding up and slowing down your movements, you’re switching between tension and release. This significantly reduces the strain on the joints, tendons and ligaments usually caused by barbell training, among others. Nevertheless, with kettlebells you’re still investing huge amounts of energy into your workout, therefore improving your strength and explosive power. Art_Kettlebell-Swing The kettlebell allows you to build up a massive amount of physical tension without lifting as much weight. It also requires you to put lots of energy into every movement and to keep challenging and improving your movements. When used for weight training, kettlebells will increase your explosive power and strength, but they’re also perfect for endurance training if you’re also into cardio. With effective training like this, you’ll develop into a fully fledged athlete. As our Keller Sports Pro Art says: “Just pick up the iron and get it swinging”. Enjoy your read and have fun putting your new knowledge into practice! - Heartcore- Athletics.com