I am super excited to let you all know about this Kettlebell workout ebook! I just picked up a copy and haven’t even had time to look at it, because I wanted to make sure to get this out first!
I had the honors of doing a Q and A with Caroline, creator of Kettle Belle Body. She has the most amazing energy, and has really inspired me to make kettlebells a fundamental part of my workouts!
Q: What made you decide to become a Kettlebell Coach?
I had seen kettlebells being used for a while but was seriously sceptical to start with - I even had a session with a trainer and was not convinced! I can’t remember exactly what was the trigger that took me from cycnic to evangelist, but it was a quick transition. I think curiosity got the better of me - so many people were raving about them. It may have been an email from Pavel at Dragon Door that did it. I bought a couple of kettlebells and Anthony DiLuglio’s DVD and was hooked in no time. There was no way I was not going to share this amazing tool with my clients, so I quickly contacted the United Kingdom Kettlebell Association (UKKA) and got in training!
Being a freelance trainer, I train clients in their homes and out in the parks and beaches. Kettlebells are just perfect for ‘freestyle’ training outside of a gym environment as they are portable and just so versatile - I’m not confined to making my clients run in order to get a blinder of a cardio workout, but can also give them strength, stability, and power training, in one little(ish) package!
Q: What are the differences between KB training and DB training?
Essentially anything you can do with a dumbbell you can also do with a kettlebell, but it doesn’t work the other way round in quite the same way. Sure you can perform Swings with a dumbbell but it feels a lot more awkward and kettlebells are made for that kind of ballistic, dynamic move. I still highly recommend training with dumbbels over gym machines and you can get a great workout with them, but kettlebells go the extra mile!
The offset centre of gravity is key to many of the benefits of kettlebell training over dumbbell training. As you are not controlling the majority of the weight in your hand, it’s harder to control and therefore more of a challenge to your stabilising muscles and core.
The handle is also key, you can perform exercises in all different ways, such as ‘bottoms up’ where you hold the handle with the bell part facing up - really hard and a great challenge for your core and shoulder stabilising muscles, as well as really good for grip (so great for many sports too). You can perform press ups with your hands on the bell and the handle balancing on the ground for a real challenge too!
The kettlebell gives you more options and even more variations than a dumbell would. They look fab too!
Q: I see a lot of videos and photos of people working out with KB with no shoes? Why is that? Aren’t they afraid of dropping it on their toes?
There are many people who do train without shoes, as you get a better connection with the ground and you work your feet and legs even more effectively without the support of shoes. As a windsurfer I understand that concept completely - I refuse to wear boots to windsurf in unless my feet are iceblocks as it just doesn’t feel the same! However, I do usually wear shoes when kettlebell training, mainly for the reason mentioned - toe protection! Also, I train outside as much as possible, and I train my clients outside, and it’s not really warm enough to go barefoot most of the year over here in the UK, and not really practical either. Your best bet is flat soled shoes - running trainers are not ideal as they are too soft and may lead to injury.
Q: What 3 KB exercises could you put together to get a full body workout in a short period of time?
I would start with a minute of 2 arm swings to get the heart pumping and all the muscles primed for action. Then a set of Turkish Get Ups, alternating 5 on each side for a minute. Then a set of swing snatches, again, 5 on each side for a minute. Repeat that twice for a 6 minute workout that hits pretty much every muscle of your body and will seriously boost your metabolism and incinerate that fat!
Q: I am always wanting to improve my lower half, what KB exercises do you recommend for that?
OMG! Kettlebells are just fab for toning your tush! Because you use your hips so much in the Swings and other ballistic exercises (called the hip snap or hip drive) you are constantly firing the muscles of the butt and back of the legs, as well as the abs and quads. Swings really are the cornerstone of kettlebell training. As they also use so much of the body they are great for fat burning - at the end of the day we can’t spot reduce so in terms of losing lower body fat we still need to focus on the big, full body moves. So Swings and Snatches are fab, but you also have loads of squat, lunge and deadlift variations which are all vital for conditioning the lower body. The choice is yours on these as there are so many, but Tactical Lunge Walks, where you pass the kettlebell under your leg as you walk, are great as well as Cossack Side lunges, which will mean you never feel tempted to get on those ridiculous ‘Good Girl / Bad Girl’ machines in the gym!
Q: Is there any other insight into KB training that you would like to add?
Get one, get my book and get started! You will be addicted in no time! Just keep it safe, bear in mind dropping the kettlebell is always a possibilty and ensure you have an appropriate area in which to train, free from expensive ornamants, children and pets!
Intensity and Recovery are the key themes, too. Keep your workouts intense and focussed, but give yourself enough recovery time to reap the rewards and see the results, and have the time to actually enjoy your life in your new, hot body!
Thank you so much Caroline! Amazing interview and can’t wait to get started with your Kettle Belle Body Workouts!