Kettlebells and Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy emphasizes strength, stability and endurance exercises, and for that reason the kettlebell is one of the hot new equipment pieces that you can work into your routine. As holistic practitioners, we recommend safe, efficient exercise equipment but as this little ‘bell’ works the whole body at once, you’ve got to be prepared both mentally and physically. No sense in picking up these seemingly harmless weights and then throwing yourself out of whack, right? The Physical Therapists here at ActiveCare Physical Therapy are trying to get you out of rehabilitation, not have you return!
While the kettlebell may be the new rage, it’s definitely not a new piece of equipment. A kettlebell is a ball-shaped weight with a handle, and it facilitates strengthening with instability. It is a traditional Russian cast iron weight or girya and originated approximately 350 years ago!
Usually kettlebell exercises incorporate some sort of swinging movement that utilizes the core (abs, back and hips) along with the legs and shoulders. It’s a whole body exercise that demands a strong core to avoid injury. It facilitates ballistic or swinging movements.
The full-body exercises using a kettlebell often mimic real world activities, such as shoveling and farm work. Basic movements include the swing, snatch and clean and jerk. Here are some videos that show the exercises:
Kettlebell Swing Exercise
Kettlebell Snatch Exercise
Kettlebell Clean and Jerk Exercises
The movements used in kettlebell exercise can be dangerous to those who have a weak core, back or shoulder problems. Make sure you have done the appropriate rehabilitation exercises to strengthen around each individual joint. Incorporate them together to perform full body movements and build strength and endurance. Then try adding the kettlebell to your routine.
Consult your Physical Therapist before implementing this advanced exercise. The therapists at ActiveCare Physical Therapy can instruct you on the appropriate timing as well as prescription for rehabilitation using Kettlebells! Have fun and be safe!