Today I was fortunate to be able to present to my fellow trainers, fitness instructors, lifeguards, and fitness coaches at the YWCA Health and Fitness Centre Vancouver on Kettlebell fundamentals.  It was a great day of learning for our annual continuing education conference.

Kettlebells are a great tool to get an efficient, metabolically challenging, functional exercise session done with minimal time, space, and equipment.  I also love training with KB’s for improving grip strength, strengthening posterior chain muscles, strengthening the stability of the core, and working in multiple planes of motion with various exercises.

I thought I would share with you the handouts I provided the participants today.  This information includes details on:

  •  Safety
  • Form and technique
  • Beginner and more advanced exercises
  • How to tell if Kettlebell training is for you


Here is the handout that details general information about the effectiveness of KB training, details on KB hand grips, and various exercises to consider. Here is a handout with some basic level KB exercises you can try including step by step details on form and technique:  KETTLEBELL TRAINING (1)

Here is a handout on safety considerations for specific KB exercises, and for general KB training:  KETTLEBELL SAFETY (2018) (1)

This handouts should give you a good basis on how to start some basic KB exercises with light weights, if you are interested!  Let me know if you have questions.

I also suggest a core and shoulder/posture endurance drill to try as a baseline for if you are ready for KB exercises like a swing:

  • How do we know if a person has a strong enough core for a dynamic motion like KB swing? Neutral spine test on floor with leg lowers.  Lay on your back with one hand under your lower back, put the other hand on your top 2 abs under your ribs.  Exhale forcefully so that your abs engage without crushing your bottom hand.  Your ribs should have drawn down.  If you can hold this breathing pattern with your knees in the air and leg lowering slowly one at a time for 60-90 seconds your core is strong and stable!
  • How do we know if a person has good postural awareness and shoulder stability? Hinged position, holding neutral spine, moving shoulders in T’s X 15, W’s X 15, Y’s X 15, I’s X 15.  If you lose your posture, your back hurt, or your shoulders are tired after 20 seconds you aren’t ready for overhead shoulder stabilizing exercises.


And remember:

  •  Start light
  • Always make eye contact with the bell


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