The Benefits of a Light Kettlebell (Lander Sports Kettlebell review)


4kg kettlebell
Nice and light.
Like a lot of people, since getting my first kettlebell a couple of years ago my collection's been slowly expanding - generally with heavier bells. A 1 pood is quickly paired with a 2 pood, 3 pood and so on.

Yesterday, however, I received a package from Lander Sports which may change all that - a 4kg kettlebell.

Now before you say 'that's far too light to do anything with', let me explain. There are actually a number of reasons you'd want a light kettlebell in your arsenal. What's more, this isn't replacing any of the other bells. It'll get used in different ways. For example :

Grip training

When I pulled the 'bell out of the box, I immediately began to think of the many ways to use this as a grip tool. Essentially it's an iron ball with a handle; perfect for gripping (as you'd hold a tennis ball) and suspending weight from. A short section of chain or rope is quickly fed through the handle; attached to the weight of your choice. Love it.

NB : this particular 'bell is vinyl coated (looks great, challenging for grip work), so chalk doesn't help a great deal. Additionally, it's the perfect size for this sort of work (for me, that is).

Throwing / Putting

As part of an outdoor session, try throwing or putting it across the yard. Once again, it's a great size for doing this; and at that weight it won't exactly destroy your lawn.

Demonstrations

A kettlebell of this size is about as far from threatening as you can get (I'm sure I heard someone say 'oh, how cute' when I pulled it out of the box). Perfect for demonstrations.

If you've ever tried to get someone to try a kettlebell for the first time, you know what it's like. Show them a couple of simple exercises with a modest 'bell, and they're keen to have a go. Hand it to them, and suddenly it's far too heavy.

Instead, demonstrate with an incredibly light 'bell such as this. Hand it over, and watch their face light up as they realise they can actually do it. It's then much easier to move up to more reasonable weights.

Light high-rep work (for warm-ups)

When it comes to high-rep kettlebell work (for warm-ups, or light recovery sessions), there are only a few exercises I actually use. Two of my favourites (both suggested by Adam, incidentally - greatly appreciated) are the Halo and the continuous Turkish Get-up.

The Halo is a great way of loosening up the shoulders prior to a bench session. On a cold day (remember, it's Winter here), a light kettlebell is a perfect start.

The second exercise is a continuous version of the TGU. Rather than 2 or 3 reps with a fairly heavy 'bell, try a solid 5, 10 or 20min session with a light 'bell. Non-stop.


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NB : For a complete list of everything we use and recommend, swing by the reviews area. And of course the Straight to the Bar Store. It's all in there.

To learn how to put it to work, swing by the Guides area.


The Kettlebell Itself

The kettlebell was provided by the team over at Rizhao Lander Sports (thanks Lily) in Shandong Province, China. If you find yourself in that part of the world, they're definitely worth checking out.

As you'd expect from a company that produces a number of safety products for commercial gyms, the 'bell itself is vinyl coated (except the handle - still nice and metallic) and attached to a thick rubber base. If you're working out in a home gym with wooden floors, these two things will definitely make a difference.

A side benefit from the rubber base - the kettlebell sits flat. For exercises where the weight of the 'bell is not important (such as the many elevated push-up variations), this is perfect.


Scott Andrew Bird

Scott Andrew Bird is a writer, photographer and a guy who just loves this stuff. He's been at home in front of a computer for more years than he cares to remember (OK, 34) and is now making amends for years of many mistakes noted in the De-constructing Computer Guy articles (part 2) on T-Nation.

Find out what he's up to via Twitter, Google+, Facebook; and of course his online home. Enjoy.



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