Each week we send a member of the USC team to try out a different activity in our offering so you know what to expect and to inspire you to try new things. Up this week: Kettlebell training…
What is Kettlebell training?
A kettlebell class is a full body workout that activates every muscle in the body. The kettlebells are used in a wide range of exercises designed to help you tone up and push your body to its limits. The class combines elements of cardio, strength, endurance and coordination training into one mega workout.
What can you expect?
Kettlebell club is hosted in Ringside Gym in Berlin’s Friedrichshain district. Klaus-Dieter Lehmann is the trainer and founder of the concept. He aims to provide fitness for people in their everyday life. The floor of the studio is covered in padded mats with kettlebells lining the walls and punch bags dangling from the ceiling.
How was the workout?
Klaus is a friendly and good-humoured trainer. He knows everyone by name in the class and introduced himself to the new people. We began by warming up with hip opening exercises, complicated shoulder warm ups and various yoga moves.
Then it was time to grab a kettlebell and begin training. Ours was a beginners class so Klaus really focussed on technique. We began with kettlebell swings. “All the power should come through the hips,” Klaus told us. He demonstrated how to pick up the kettlebell in a deadlift and then “explode through the hips” in order to lift it just above shoulder height.
Although it looks like the movement comes from your arms Klaus assured us the arms should have nothing to do with it.
“It’s all about the hips,” he reiterated.
To demonstrate he instructed us to partner up, turn with our backs to our partner and use our butts to thrust them as hard as possible. The exercisedemonstrated how much power was needed to lift the kettlebell. I found it absolutely hilarious.
Next we learnt how to do Turkish Get-ups. This is a great example of the versatility of kettlebell training as the move requires a mixture of coordination, strength and flexibility. You begin in a foetal position and in several stages get yourself on your knees, then feet with the kettlebell stretched into the air. You then work your way back to the foetal position. After two of these I wanted to remain in the foetal position for the rest of the class.
The exercise was so difficult that a very kind member of the class showed us how to do it in segments (thanks Jesco!) I found the combination of balance and coordination incredibly difficult to master, but by the end of the class I was able to wobble on to my feet with the kettlebell held triumphantly in the air.
How did I feel after?
Because the class had involved a lot of technique and I only mastered two moves I didn’t think I would ache the next day, but my arms and my stomach muscles were sore.
Directly after the class I felt calm and focussed as I’d spent the full hour concentrating solely on keeping my balance and moving in the correct position.
Benefits of kettlebell training
Kettlebells help you improve your balance, build power, improve flexibility and work every muscle in the body. It’s also a great cardiovascular workout as the movements paired with the heavy weight mean you work up a real sweat.
Anyone can reap the benefits of kettlebell training. It doesn’t matter if you’re a total beginner or a seasoned bodybuilder – every exercise is totally scalable to your fitness level.
Don’t forget to bring…
Water and a towel to mop up the sweat – those Turkish get-ups are killer!
If you’d like to try out kettlebell training USC has tons of functional fitness partners across Germany, Italy and France. Take a look at our site to see what’s available in your area.
And check out Kettlebell Club’s website for all their latest news, events and updates.