Having the right tool can make all the difference when it comes to getting results for your clients. But with all that's out there, how do you know what the right tools are and when to use them?
To answer this question entirely, we'd have to break down a lot that goes on inside the training world in regard to programming. Rather than sift through all of that complexity, we will turn our focus to one simple tool and how it's used alone as well as with other tools within your training toolbox. A kettlebell is a unique free weight that looks like a cannon ball with a handle. It differs from a traditional dumbbell in that the center of gravity of the kettlebell is extended from the user's grip, rather than remaining within the user's grip as in dumbbell or barbell training. The unique design of the kettlebell allows for easy transition from one exercise to another without needing to switch weights or even put the weight down.
Kettlebells have been in existence since the early 1700s but have recently exploded in the fitness industry as one of the hot new training tools and workouts. Everyone wants to know what a kettlebell is and how to use them. Unlike some other training tools out there, kettlebell training requires more thorough instruction, but with that instruction, the results you can produce for your clients are significant.
Kettlebell training is unique in several ways. One is its ability to combine both strength training and cardiovascular training into one short workout with just one tool. Additionally, when using a kettlebell, the center of mass is outside of the user's grip, simulating day-to-day activities such as carrying a bag or briefcase.
When shopping for kettlebells, you will have to take into consideration the population you are working with. Most men and tough women will opt for the traditional looking kettlebell, made of cast iron with a black or silver finish. You may work with people that aren't all that concerned with the hardcore image. They may prefer the colorful rubber-coated kettlebells that appear less daunting. The different weights are more easily identifiable with this type of kettlebell, since they are color-coded.
Lastly, you may work with some folks who are interested in competitive kettlebell lifting, in which case the competitive style kettlebells will be more suited for your population. This type of kettlebell is unique as the handle is more square than rounded and regardless of the weight of the kettlebell each one is uniform in physical size.
The biggest consideration in choosing equipment is what will work best for your clientele, not you personally. Investing in kettlebells with a smooth handle that won't rough up your client's hands and cause them unnecessary irritation while you'Re working with them to reach their fitness goals should be your highest high priority.
So you've got the tools, you know how they work, what's next? How do you use them? The three best kettlebell exercises that you can start to incorporate into your client workout programs to see significant results are the Kettlebell Swing, the Turkish Get Up, and the Clean and Press.
Check out the digital magazine for illustrated, step-by-step instructions for these exercises!
Pamela MacElree is currently completing a Masters of Science in exercise science from California University of Pennsylvania. She is co-owner of Urban Athlete in Philadelphia. Pamela has also collaborated on developing and delivering the only peer-reviewed kettlebell training certification through Kettlebell Athletics in the United States and Germany.


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