The Science of Kettlebells

kettlebells

Kettlebells have become a very popular mainstream training tool in the fitness industry. However, their use in strength and conditioning is less widespread because of their relative novelty in the US.

This is unfortunate, as there are many advantages to training with kettlebells, some of which are well-known and some of which are only clear through an appreciation of the research.

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What can research tell us about kettlebells?

Sports science researchers have only recently began to perform studies using kettlebells and therefore we still have much to find out. However, we do already know that the path of the swing motion is very different to the straight bar path that is found in the more traditional compound barbell lifts.

The curved rather than straight path of the swing means that the biomechanics of the fundamental kettlebell exercises are very different from those of barbell lifts. This means that their training effect on the body will also be different and may cause superior or inferior adaptations, depending upon the athletic goal.

We also know that kettlebells impose a different type of stress on the cardiovascular system to conventional cardio, such as treadmill running. This is apparent from research done in measuring the oxygen cost and heart rate response in each method and comparing the two.

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What versions are available?

KettlebellsThe Science of Kettlebells is automatically provided in the normal PDF format as well as in two e-Reader formats (.mobi and .epub).  So you can read it wherever you are and whenever you have time, whether you have an iPad or a Kindle.

That means you don’t have to worry about picking which format you want, as all three files are provided automatically with each purchase.

We think that without a sound understanding of this research you are not going to fully appreciate the differences between training with kettlebells and training with more conventional methods. That will likely mean you will not maximize the training potential of each tool.

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Chris Beardsley

Chris Beardsley is a sports scientist specialising in lower body biomechanics. He writes the monthly Strength and Conditioning Research Review service.

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