A kettlebell is a large round piece of iron that has an iron handle welded to it. The traditional kettlebell weighs 35 pounds (about 16 kg) and has an off-center point of gravity, although they do come in various other sizes. It can either be used by itself or in pairs for strength-training exercises. Exercises with it include the kettlebell swing and the kettlebell snatch. A kettlebell snatch is basically performed by picking up the kettlebell, swinging it between the legs, and then using the momentum to swing it up over the head.
The difference between kettlebell exercises and standard weight training is that the kettlebell focuses on integrating and using the muscles together as opposed to focusing on one muscle at a time. Each kettlebell exercise typically focuses on the core and back muscles working together to collect the heavy object from the air when thrown. If exercises with a kettlebell are not performed properly, they can result in injury. Exercisers are generally advised to learn how to use one by beginning with a lower weight until they are fully versed in the movements.
A kettlebell snatch is performed by first standing over the object with its handle up. The legs are bent, buttocks pushed out, back held straight, and eyes turned forward before the athlete grabs the handle of the kettlebell. With a smooth motion the kettlebell should be lifted and swung between the legs backward and then forward. When it is swinging forward, the athlete should snap the hips upright and allow the ball to follow its natural progression above the head. In transit, the kettlebell should be let go of briefly in order to reposition the hand so that it is facing the opposite direction.
This exercise is most often used by body builders to help build muscles together and increase girth. In the beginning, it typically is best to keep kettlebell snatch workouts to around 3 sets of 15 repetitions each. As a person becomes used to the exercise, he or she can then increase the repetitions. While this is not an exercise that helps people lose weight, it is an effective exercise that can aid in strength training and muscle growth.