Frequently Asked Questions About
1. What is a Kettlebell?
A kettlebell is a centuries old Russian training tool that looks
like a bowling ball with a handle. It is essentially a weight, with a handle that displaces the weight from your
2. How are Kettlebells used?
Kettlebells can be used in ballistic or swinging movements or
used in press or pull exercises similar to those one would use with a weight. The displacement of the weight
from the hand requires that the stabilizing muscles engage more with each movement than would be required of a
similar movement with a weight such as a dumbbell. Kettlebell exercises are whole – body exercises requiring
full body integration and core stabilization. There is no such thing as isolated muscle work in Kettlebell
3. Why would I want to use them?
REAL FITNESS RESULTS. With proper training and real
physical exertion – yes, you do work hard with kettlebells – a 20 minute workout will get your heart pounding,
strengthen your muscles, and even increases flexibility. It’s an efficient whole – body workout for strength,
stamina strong abdominals, aerobic exercise and dynamic flexibility. Time – efficient, functional and effective.
4. Who uses Kettlebells?
ATHLETES – The 1980 Russian Olympic athletes swept Gold in all
throwing events after training with kettlebells. Pro and amateur athletes from triathletes to football players
to martial arts to dancers have discovered the benefits of kettlebell training. Athletic – trained individuals
usually feel an immediate affinity for kettlebell training. The movements make sense in the body. Athletes
routinely work with momentum and therefore experience direct benefits when working with momentum – based
MILITARY – Long used by the Russian military, its no surprise that when kettlebells were brought to the U. S.,
one of the first groups to recognize the benefits of working with kettlebells was the U.S. Military and Secret
Service. As a matter of fact, Sonoma FIT’s Sandy Young trained under Steve Maxwell, RKC who trained the U.S.
Secret Service’s (already highly trained) Counter Assault Team with kettlebells.
MOMS – Mothers and other busy women gravitate toward kettlebell training when they discover the kinds of results
they can gain in a time – efficient workout. Yes, kettlebell training provides excellent result for all the
areas women complain about – abdominals, buns and thighs. Minimal time but NOT minimal effort! You don’t have to
be an athlete to train with kettlebells.
EXECUTIVES – Male and female, working executives, college students and offices personnel all face the challenges
of high stress, minimal available time and too much time sitting.Too much sitting can lead to bad posture and
weakened hip and back extensors, hamstring an gluteal muscles. Counteract stress and muscle imbalances, increase
cardiovascular endurance, improve stamina and forget about the office! You won’t even be able to think about the
office because kettlebell training requires concentration and focus. You can sweat out your stress in 20 minutes
or less (physical exertion required)!
ALL AGES – Children and seniors alike, can be taught how to use kettlebells. In our club, the age range is 16
thru 65. Some of our regular and most dedicated kettlebell participants ar in their sixties. And in Russia, its
not uncommon to find people in their 70’s and 80’s continuing to work with kettlebells.
NOTE – Kettlebell traing can be rigorous and is most enjoyed by those who like to challenge themselves
CAUTION – If your are new to exercise, these kettlebell group training are not appropriate.
One – on – one training is recommended.
5. Will I bulk up?
What kettlebells does is work your system entirely different from
bodybuilding –style weight training. The dynamic, cardiovascular aspect and whole – body moves of kettlebells
make them completely functional. That means you’re not building muscle for show. Instead, you are getting your
body to work better. Traditional bodybuilding techniques aredesign for bulking up, so if that is your goal,
kettlebells will not be your best bet.
6. Is this good for by back?
If you are healthy, active individual without back pain,
kettlebell training may keep your back healthy and pain – free. Basic kettlebell moves require back endurance
and strengthen the back extensors. Proper training teaches abdominal bracing – a method of supporting the spine.
Robin McKenzie, a world – renowned physical therapist who devoted his life to the study of mechanical disorders
of the spine and their treatment, found a correlation between back pain and lack of endurance. Kettlebell
training builds great back endurance and strengthens the postural muscles of the back. As with any exercise, it
is important to learn correct form and technique before performing a new move. Check with your doctor if you
have back issues.
7. What about shoulders?
The Russians don’t know rotator cuff injuries. Kettlebells almost
force proper shoulder form. People have reported increased range of motion and greater joint integrity (balanced
strength around the joint) from using kettlebells. As with everything, proper warm-up, sequencing and form are
important. Always check with a doctor before beginning any new exercise program and if you have physical issues.
The great think about kettlebells is that you can work with a lighter bell to develop proper form before adding
a greater load.
8. It looks like a lot of arm work. Is it?
It may that way to the uninitiated because it
appears as ifthe swings are done by pulling up the kettlebell with the arms. In fact, it’s just the opposite.
Swings are leg, hip and core training.
The swing is all about the “hip drive”, the same motion used in running or jumping. It’s a very functional move
that works most of the body, and while the back and shoulders act as stabilizers, they do not pull up or lift
the kettlebell during the swing.
9. Will this be too hard for me?
Kettlebell training is not something you can do while being
distracted or staring at a TV screen. You cannot just throw a kettlebell around or lift it up any way you
There are specific postures and skills required for effectively working with kettlebells. An athletic individual
or someone accustomed to working with weights will likely pick up the technique and learn proper form more
quickly than someone who has never trained before. That doesn’t mean you need any particular background to train
with kettlebells. Beginning kettlebell exercisers learn technique with a lighter kettlebell and then progress to
a level that is more physically demanding.
Note: Group training at Image 2000 and Planet Image are designed for students who have some history of exercise,
fitness, sports or training with weights. Students new to exercise will need more tailored one-on-one guidance
than the workshop will accommodate.
10. How heavy are the Kettlebells?
Our studio has kettlebells ranging from approximately
8lbs. to 50lbs. This won’t really mean anything to the student until he or she learns how to use them.
Each person in the workshop will work with his or her level and be guided toward finding the appropriate
kettlebell for various moves.
What our students are say …
“A workout – and – a – half!”
J. B. (Tiathlete)
“Awesome core work.
The best I’ve ever done.”
T. M. (Power Lifter)
“I finally lost the weight I couldn’t loose before.”
E.C. (New mom)
“I tried every AB exercise consistently for the last three years and nothing seemed to work on my waistline until
kettlebells. Now I’ve lost inches.”
L.S. (Social Worker)
“My runs are now stronger.”
J.U. (Competitive rower)
“I dropped a pant size.”
K.L. (Business manager)
“I lost 4 inches around my waist.”
“Now I swim straight in my backstroke. That never happened before I trained with kettlebells. “
C. W. (Administrator)
“I love kettlebells.”
E.M, E.C., C.M. and others