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Kettlebells are iron cannonballs with a handle. They are an excellent tool for getting a tremendous amount of exercise in very little time. They work and strengthen every muscle in your body while providing a great cardiovascular activity. Kettlebells are popular with both athletes and people looking for general fitness and weight loss.

My exposure to Kettlebell strength and fitness training began serendipitously in 2001 with a web search for a protein drink containing eggs instead of whey or soy. Somehow I stumbled upon a web site discussing Kettlebells. I recognized these strange looking devices from working as a therapist and trainer while attending National University of Health Sciences to earn my doctor of chiropractic degree (See Doc Kelley's Biography). I never found the protein drink; but did order an instructional DVD and haven't looked back since. Apparently many others have found Kettlebells as well. They became one of the top 10 fitness trends for 2009.

The ultimate achievement of my Russian Kettlebell Certification (RKC) was not without difficulty (See the Overtraining article). Even so, it was accomplished in April, 2006. Re-certification is required every two years. As of this date, I have not re-certified. What follows are my procedures for safely and effectively training with Kettlebells from beginner level to advanced.

There is no end to improving and progressing with Kettlebell training. New students begin with instructions in proper squatting. This naturally progresses to swings.

Invariably, there are stories of extreme soreness, while getting up and down, for days after class. The most extreme was a lady who said she had to relieve herself while standing in the shower. She explained it hurt too much to sit and stand again. To minimize this problem, begin slowly and progress gradually.

If you become interested enough to purchase a Kettlebell and begin training, make sure you get the correct size(s). It's always good to begin a little lighter to perfect your technique and then progress to heavier Kettlebells. For women I usually suggest beginning with a fourteen pound or eighteen pound Kettlebells. With practice and time you'll probably progress to twenty-two pound or twenty-six pounds. If necessary, lighter Kettlebells are available. For average size men in reasonably good physical condition, consider beginning with a thirty-five pound Kettlebell. When you're ready you'll likely move up to forty-four or fifty-three pounds. The weight choices continue up to over one hundred pounds.

Learn the proper techniques of lifting and moving your kettlebell below your waist, above your waist, and above your head. There are many excellent DVDs to help you learn correct techniques and skills at home. Best, however, is studying with a certified Kettlebell instructor.

If you're like me and you prefer learning and practicing at home, the following is an excellent list of the best Kettlebell training books, DVDs and sets for beginners and advanced practitioners:

  • The Russian Kettlebell Challenge - Pavel DVD
  • From Russia with Tough Love - Pavel DVD - Great for Ladies
  • Enter the Kettlebell - Pavel Book
  • Enter the Kettlebell - Pavel DVD
  • Enter the Kettlebell - Pavel Book & DVD Set
  • Return of the Kettlebell - Pavel Book
  • Return of the Kettlebell - Pavel DVD
  • Return of the Kettlebell - Pavel Book & DVD Set
  • The Kettlebell Goddess Workout - Andrea DuCane DVD - Great for Ladies
  • The Ageless Body - Andrea DuCane Book
  • Click here to return to the main Exercise information page.

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