I’ve never been much for lifting weights on fixed gym equipment. For one thing, most of the machines are used in a seated position negating stabiliser muscle training and thus reducing functional movement capacity. Don’t get me wrong, these machines have their place for beginners and injury rehab but if you’re not in this category overall functional progress is greater with free weights. In a bid to find new ways to improve my functional strength and conditioning I took a kettlebell certification and I’m totally addicted!

There’s a kind of primeval satisfaction to be gained from swinging a large chunk of iron around and, if I’m honest, once you have mastered the complex moves, such as the snatch, it looks pretty badass too!

For posterior chain training, you can’t go wrong with the kettlebell swing and deadlift. Improved posterior chain strength translates to better running endurance so I’m all in. Anything that takes the pressure off my lungs is a win, win for me!

As I work out how to link moves into a coherent flow I will be posting videos on my Instagram (@liftfitnesstraining). For those interested in improving their functional strength and conditioning I suggest a 6 or 8kg kettlebell for female beginners (depending on upper body strength) and 10 or 12kg for male beginners. This may seem a little low for lower body work but it’s best to leave your ego at the door and start with a low weight to reduce the risk of injury while you master your technique.

If you do fancy taking the plunge, make sure you purchase a high-quality kettlebell that does not have any seams or rough edges on the horns and handle. This will avoid painful blisters and skin rips. Whilst they are expensive, I recommend wolverson. This company leads the way in the UK for kettlebells and offers a vast array of additional functional training equipment to boot. Oh, and the kettlebells come in an array of colours so you can embrace your inner rainbow too!

 

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