The human body is designed to move and follows the “use it or lose it” mentality. Every joint in our bodies are surrounded by synovial fluid and when we move this fluid pumps in and out of each joint providing nutrients to the tissues. Our muscles work in a similar fashion. When we remain sedentary our muscles shorten causing weakness and decreased range of motion. Kettlebells aid us in improving mobility by activating multiple muscles through repetitive movement of contraction and relaxation, keeping our muscles flexible and creating healthier blood flow and nerve function. Additionally, they provide full range of motion for our large joints while they are under tension. Our joints are important and we aim to keep them in the best shape possible.
Each joint in our body has multiple sensors that send signals to the brain about the position of the joints during movement. If our joints are injured or we hold them in poor postural position, those sensors become disrupted. Since the weight of a kettlebell is not centered, compared to a dumbbell or barbell, training with kettlebells can help build stability using instability. Our body’s ability to counteract this off-center of gravity, by activating smaller stabilizer muscles, is what creates this increased stability.
A stronger grip means heavier lifts and better control. Kettlebells have larger handles than your typical barbell/dumbbell, so with each exercise your grip strength gets stressed even more. “The Swing", which is the foundational move to a kettlebell workout, puts increased stress on your hands and forearms for an extended period of time. This increased work of movement helps develop your grip strength quicker than traditional workouts.
There are two main energy systems our bodies use during exercise, anaerobic and aerobic. Kettlebells are a very efficient tool, because they engage both of these systems simultaneously. Traditional strength or cardio activity tends to only work one or the other. Due to the ballistic nature of kettlebell swings and the high tension of kettlebell grinds, you can improve cardiovascular ability and strengthen your whole body in a much shorter amount of time.
back pain relief
Lower back pain is one of the most common symptoms any healthcare practitioner will treat. One of the biggest contributors to lower back pain is glute and posterior chain weakness. The glutes are the largest muscles in the human body and share responsibility for nearly all movement. Without training, our glutes can become weakened and begin to fire incorrectly adding strain to our lower back muscles. These muscles can only withstand so much and begin to fatigue/spasm, causing lower back pain. With kettlebells, we train our bodies to extend and fire through the hips. This movement strengthens these muscles and removes the stress from our lower backs.