The Illustrious History and Many Benefits of Kettlebell Workouts
Even though most of the world did not hear about the kettlebell until the latter part of the 20th century, historically, people in other countries have been using kettlebells for strength training for many centuries. Archeological records report evidence of the use of kettlebells in Ancient Greece, and in fact, a 270 lbs. kettlebell is displayed at the Archaeological Museum of Olympia in Athens.
Most notably, kettlebells appeared in Russia at the beginning of the 18th century. It was known as ‘girya’, an object that was used in their culture as a counterweight to measure goods or grains. The Russian culture admires strength, so it stands to reason why they began to find another use for these kettlebells, which is to show their strength. Soon enough, they recognized the related health benefits.
Dr Vladislav Kraevsky, founder of heavy athletics in Russia, travelled throughout Europe from 1870 to 1880, researching new ways to improve health via physical education. When he returned to Russia, he introduced a series of exercises using barbells and kettlebells to Russian athletes. By August 10, 1885, Kraevsky had opened the first weight training hall, so this date became the birth of weightlifting in Russia.
The kettlebell could also be found outside of Russia and in other parts of the world by the early 20th century, thanks to those who trained with the Russians. By 1974, kettlebells were officially declared an ethnic sport of Russia. At the same time, worldwide development was in progress.
Rolling Stones magazine featured the kettlebell as the Hot Weight of the Year in its Hot List of 2002. Since then, this training method grew exponentially in popularity. Today, the kettlebell is a mainstay in gyms, very popular with trainers, and is often seen featured on fitness television shows worldwide. The rest, as they say, is history.
Kettlebells and women
Women, in particular, swear by the kettlebell. This is likely because the kettlebell is small enough to be portable and quite easy to handle. Not only that, you can do kettlebell workouts just about anywhere. Indeed, it’s easy for women to get toned and stay fit with the use kettlebell workouts for women, which is comprised of dozens of different exercises that one can combine and mix up. Here are some tips to make the most out of your kettlebell workout:
• Start with stretching. Stretching prior to your routine ensures that your muscles are conditioned enough for the workout, helping you avoid injuries and strain.
• Make sure your kettlebell is the right weight. You should be able to easily lift the kettlebell between 15 to 20 repetitions without having to put it down. This way, you get the maximum benefit without any danger of injuries from over-training.
• Focus your mind during workouts. Focus will help you get the best results. Forget thinking about your family, your to-do list, work, or anything other than your workout alone. Get into the right mindset by tuning into the mind and muscle.
• Avoid hitting a plateau. When you do the same repetitive exercises over and over, this could mean you are not going to make progress. It is best to switch up your exercises. Chart out the progress you make and take note of when you think you have not gained any muscle as it could indicate that you need to change your routine. For best results, it is best to keep your muscles guessing.
• Watch what you eat. Remember, too, that your diet comes into play along with exercise and intensity training. It is important to eat nutritious food from all food groups that help build muscles, including lean proteins like eggs, chicken, beef, and fish. Nuts and legumes also serve up lots of healthy protein and rich calories. Certain gains also have protein, and these carbs help will give you the energy to work out. Most importantly, although vegetables will hydrate the body, be sure to drink lots of water, as well.
• Start easy. The basic kettlebell swing is always a great place to start and makes a great foundation.
Indeed, kettlebell workouts are an effective, time-efficient way to build strength from your core, increase stamina, and feel great, as proven throughout history. And while women get the most benefit out of it, it certainly is meant for everybody.
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