Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Kettlebell workouts: Are they effective?

Although kettlebells have been around forever, it's only been the past few years where they've really become the latest fad in the fitness world. I've never thought throwing weight around quickly is the smartest thing in the world and with most kettlebell programs that's exactly what is done. Most kettlebell exercises are done fast and create force and unnecessary pressure on joints.
Kettlebells have around

My opinion is that kettlebell exercises if done smoothly could possibly be used for a warm up or conditioning.  Even in that respect, there are much better alternatives.  Kettlebell exercises serve little purpose as it relates to strength and muscle gain.  While designing a workout program, use the highest form of technology available.  Kettlebells are a "horse and buggy" era technology.

Here's an article that finally examines the kettlebell workout fad:



  1. First of all I am going to take a deep breath and address your use of the word 'fad' to describe kettlebells. If your definition of a fad is that they have been used successfully for hundreds of years then by all means call them that. I don't think that is what you mean however. Anyone who knows anything about how to properly use a kettlebell is reading this and shaking their head. Kettlebells have the potential for injury yes, as do every other tool on the market. The key is learning the proper technique before attempting to use them. I use kettlebells as one of many tools as the strength and conditioning coach for our city Track and Field team and for our Tier one Bantam football team. When done properly, kettlebells strengthen the entire body. Isolated muscular exercises such as concentration curls are 'horse and buggy' technology, not kettlebells. Due to their unstable nature, kettlebells have the ability to strengthen the small stabilizer muscles that are untouched by traditional resistance programs. The only technique that looks remotely like throwing the weight around is the swing and done properly it is a great technique for strengthening the hamstrings, glutes and quads as well as the core and lower back. As for other techniques such as the clean and jerk or snatch let me ask you why you aren't picking on Olympic lifting then as well? Perhaps because there is solid science backing it up just as there is for kettlebells. A balanced kettlebell routine will create long, lean and strong muscle. Bulking up will only work you to a disability, it is not functional strength, it only looks pretty. I started working with our bantam football team last season and by the end of the season our athletes saw huge gains in strength, speed and agility and we had fewer injuries than any other year. Last season was the first time in the history of our league that our team made it to the tier 1 final. So in answer to your question, YES! they are extremely effective.

    1. Congrats on your team making it to the final! I'd love to discuss with you further your perspective about kettlebells but I can't until you clarify the following statement in your comment:

      "Due to their unstable nature, kettlebells have the ability to strengthen the small stabilizer muscles that are untouched by traditional resistance programs."