What Kind of Physique Do Kettlebells Give You?
To obtain the ripped look of the ancient warriors of Sparta, the actors in the film “300” grabbed hold of -- you guessed it -- kettlebells. Fifty reps of the single-arm clean and press at each workout helped them to rid themselves of modern flab and look ready to punch wolves in the snout and sleep in the snow. Similarly, modern warrior queens can attain a subtle, sleek aesthetic of lithe appeal -- without bulking up.
Kettlebell workouts typically combine moves performed while standing -- swings, and overhead movements such as presses and jerks -- and mat work such as renegade rows or kettlebell-assisted crunches and flyes. The standing work especially works the posterior chain: muscles at the back of the body, especially the glutes, lower back, hamstrings and calves. Unlike bodybuilding, which builds the front of body’s “mirror muscles,” kettlebells create functional strength and a less bulky but still ripped, toned appearance.
Work with the assymetrical kettlebell tends to result in a trim, supple waist and strong obliques, as all of the moves recruit the core for stabilization in a way not required as much for dumbbell and barbell work. In particular, windmills, the Turkish getup, and kettlebell-assisted crunches give extra attention to this area. Along with the fat burning inherent in performing the standing exercises, the core work results in a lean, athletic appearance -- like that of a Greek or Roman statue, writes Dave Randolph in “The Ultimate Kettlebells Workout.”
Women especially love the high, tight glutes that result from kettlebell work. Your arms become more toned, your legs and rear are tighter and more shapely, and you appear graceful, healthy and athletic. Thigh circumference shrinks. Your upper hamstrings will be clearly demarcated from your buttocks, creating a terrific look in shorts and swimsuits.