Dumbbell Kettlebell Swings - Get Into Shape With These Simple Exercises!
So, you're thinking about starting a strength and conditioning program with dumbbell kettlebell swings. Great choice! That's because kettlebell training is among the most effective means for total body conditioning and improvement. This is because when you use kettlebells for lifts, you force your muscles to handle tension (through stabilization and movement), and you build strength that transfers to other areas of your body.
To start out with your training, it's important to keep in mind that kettlebells are not a single weight device. Rather, they are designed to mimic the weight used by a professional fighter, or strongmen. When you swing a kettlebell, you're using more than one weight system. For example, you'll be using your legs for much of the work, as well as your core (hips and torso). This is a great thing to consider, because it means that you can vary your lifts between targeting different muscle groups.
Now, once you've taken the time to understand this, you can get down to choosing a pair of kettlebell to train with. Remember that there are three main designs: straight, inclined, and recumbent. A straight design is like a traditional dumbbell, meaning you have a handle, and a flat panel below the handle. An inclined design is similar, except it's shaped like an open-ended hammer. And finally, a recumbent design places the weight of the bell on your back, much like a traditional seat.
Now that you know the basic kettlebell designs, it's time to choose some exercises to put them to use. One of the best things about kettlebell swing workouts is that nearly every single movement (with the exception of arm extensions) can be performed with the kettlebell in your hands. This is very different than dumbbells, where you're often only able to do single-joint movements (such as biceps curls or triceps kickbacks). Therefore, you can put a tremendous amount of force behind each movement if you use kettlebell training! It's truly one of the greatest inventions of man!
Once you've decided on which kettlebell style you'd like to use, it's time to pick up a set of dumbbells. Again, because of the nature of kettlebells, you'll find that these tend to be much cheaper than dumbbells of comparable quality. You'll also find that dumbbells don't have to always be purchased from a dumbbell store - many stores that sell dumbbells will also have kettlebells for sale. This is extremely convenient, as dumbbells take up far more room than kettlebells...and when space is at a premium, kettlebells are by far the better choice. Also, you'll find that dumbbells are harder to use than kettlebell - so even if you're a beginning weightlifter, you'll probably prefer the convenience of dumbbells.
Once you've got your kettlebell, however, it's time to learn the dumbbell swing technique! Kettlebell swings are performed by bringing the dumbbell up to and then lowering it down over your head. The key to success with a kettlebell swing technique is keeping your body straight throughout the movement. Remember, the dumbbell must come down to your chest, not your stomach! If your body moves out of position, the weight will keep on moving, and you won't get as much benefit as you would do the swing correctly.
Keep your back straight throughout the movement, and don't allow your shoulders to move beyond your hands. When you reach the bottom of the dumbbell in the backswing, your hips should be about waist height. From there, you'll drive the dumbbell back up through a full range of motion, using your legs to lift the dumbbells. Don't cheat by cocking your wrists! Otherwise the dumbbells will just dip lower on their own.
Remember, to do a true kettlebell swing properly, your head AND upper body MUST stay in balance throughout the swing. The kettlebell swing will work your entire upper body like a pair of heavy dumbbells! You should feel a tremendous burn in your sides, chest, and abs when you do one, and it will immediately skyrocket your core. You'll be able to control the strength in your legs and abs, and you'll even notice a significant improvement in how you breathe. Not bad, right?