There are many purported methods for achieving the ultimate level of
fitness. Some are better than others. But, is there one tool, method, or
philosophy that shines above them all? Fitness has five aspects:
muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular fitness,
flexibility and body composition. To achieve an optimal level of
fitness, each area must be addressed.
With a ridiculously large variety of strength and conditioning systems—
kinetically based, explosive power, P90X, Orange Theory, Powerlifting,
Olympic lifting, bodybuilding, CrossFit, fitness boot camps, speed
initiatives, sport specific, and age specific to name a few—how does a
fitness enthusiast or athlete choose the right one? First, determine the
eventual goal(s). If one desires to become a bodybuilder, do so, a
powerlifter, go hard and heavy. But if someone wants to achieve
incredible fitness with one tool or method, pick up a kettlebell, then
add calisthenics and skipping rope. Most fitness programs require gyms
with rows of machines, racks of dumbbells and a slew of cardio
machines—or attending the latest group workout fad classes with blaring
music and a screaming spandex-clad instructor.
…Or you could learn how to use a kettlebell..
One of the distinct advantages of a kettlebell and bodyweight training
system is the small amount of equipment required. To achieve lifelong,
ultimate fitness all that is needed is a jump rope, staff (dowel), a
pull-up bar and four pairs of kettlebells (Ross & Gallagher, 2016).
The Three Categories of Kettlebell Movements
Kettlebell movements are categorized as ballistics, grinds and mobility-enhancing movements.
Ballistic movements include the kettlebell swing,
clean, and snatch. They develop hip drive, explosive power and muscular
and cardiovascular endurance. The grinds include the kettlebell press,
squat, deadlift, row, and floor press. Grinds increase raw power and
strength. Mobility-enhancing exercises like the get-up,
the armbar and the kettlebell pullover enable the practitioner to learn
how to pack their shoulders and move fluidly throughout the thoracic
and lumbar regions as well as the hips. There are also a few hybrids and
balance-enhancing movements such as loaded carries, kettlebell
thrusters, single leg deadlifts and the push press which address two or
more categories simultaneously.