AttentionIn a continuing collaboration with Scott over at Straight to the Bar, we will be writing about things that deserve more attention throughout the month of October. This week, Scott has provided a nice introduction to kettlebells.

Photo by jaboobie
What is a kettlebell (or kettleball, as they are also known)? A kettlebell is “a cannonball with a handle.” It is similar to a dumbbell, and can easily be used in place of one. Kettlebells are not evenly balanced, though, because the center of gravity is nowhere near the center of the kettlebell. The handles are usually thick, which require you to work on your grip strength when you are using one. The large handles do give you a lot of room for your hand and wrist, though, which makes it easier to exercises that involve swinging and momentum than it would be with a dumbbell.

So should runners bother to train with kettleballs? I think so. I have not managed to purchase one for myself yet, but I plan on doing so at some point in the not too distant future. They are a good tool to use outside, and look like they could be a lot more fun than just doing bench presses and squats with dumbbells or barbells.

I think that any sort of weight lifting is a great cross training activity for most runners, especially marathoners. If a kettleball can be fun enough to get somebody lifting, then it would be a great tool for a runner. It is also fairly easy to pull out and do some exercises with, since it does not require all kinds of different pieces to use. It really is just a big lump of metal with a handle.

Scott answers some common questions about kettlebells, including where to purchase them and where to go to learn how to use them. You can read his article by clicking here.