Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Kettlebells 101

An Introduction to Kettlbells

A lot of new people are discovering kettlebells, and I get a significant amount of traffic to the blog everyday with searches like 'beginner's kettlebell''kettlebell basics' and others.

What follows is a guide to help you get started as easily and with as little wasted time and money as possible.

The smartest first step would be to find a qualified instructor. I personally am an RKC, which means I have been certified by Pavel Tsatsouline to teach his methods of basic kettlebell lifting. I would also recommend any coach certified by Valery Fedorenko of the AKC or any CSCS.
With it's emphasis on general fitness, with a leaning towards functional mobility, strength, power and meaningful endurance cacpacity, I think that the RKC system or the 'Hard Style' as it is often called is a great place to start for almost anyone.

Early in your training, the best thing to focus on is the swing and core stability. Hence Enter the Kettlebell;
Enter the Kettlebell Book
With it's focus on the Swing and the Turkish Get Up, it provides the beginner with everything he/she needs to get started right.

After a little progression, I'd recommend trying out the Russian Kettlebell Challenge;

It's more akin to a beginner's dictionary of all the basics.

Should you outgrow these, there are several other wonderful resources, but I say work on your snatches and sign up for the RKC. What an experience!

You can of course get your kettlebells from Dragon Door as well, here's a link to get a catalogue of all their products;
Click Here to download the latest issue of Hardstyle Magazine

But I find them a wee 'cost prohibitive'. I typically recommend that people get MuscleDriver bells, as they represent the best value. They are almost (90%) as good as the best bells out their, like Dragon Door, but they cost half as much. I prefer the Gray bells, as they have a rough finish like the RKC bells, and nice dimensions. If you ever attend one of my workshops or classes, you will most likely be using a MD bell.

Well, that's it for now. With the Hard Style catalogue, the Muscle Driver bells, the Enter The Kettlebell book, you're off to a pretty solid start. Pick a bell that weighs about 20-30% of your own bodyweight, and start practicing the swing!

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