Crossfit training is a focused fitness program that incorporates movements like plyometrics and weightlifting to challenge the participants physical fitness. Each athlete is supposed to finish a specific number of repetitions in a workout in a specified time frame. The program is intense and focuses on explosive muscle action for the athlete. However, because of the explosive nature of the program, the risk of injury is also higher than a more common aerobic workout if the exercises are not completed with proper form.
The originator of the program wanted to design something that would prepare the athlete for any physical eventuality. This means that although the program is intense and develops strength and endurance, there is no specialty in the sport.
Coach Greg Glassman designed the program over a period of several decades to optimize fitness. In other words, it was designed to increase the ability of the athlete to work across a broad range of time and modalities of exercise. Crossfit also has a community of athletes who have improved the effectiveness of the program through growing a community of people who compete against each other and support each other.
Crossfit uses a variety of pieces of equipment to accomplish their goals, and the kettlebell is one of those pieces.
The kettlebell is a round iron weight with an attached handle that was originally used by Russian farmers to weigh their grain. Over time it was incorporated into sporting activities and made its way to the US in the 1940s. Today it is a trending piece of weight equipment that can be used at both the gym and at home. Because of the small size and relative portability, the kettlebell can easily be used in a home gym.
However, when not used correctly, the kettlebell can increase stress and strain on the lower back and potentially increase the risk of injury. Physical therapist also use the equipment to help improve the strength of the posterior chain (along the spine) to stabilize the spine and prevent injuries. When used correctly it can help shape the health of your back, when used incorrectly it can damage your lower back.
Crossfit trainers use the kettlebell for a variety of different exercises because of the versatility and total body workout that the athlete gets with the kettlebell. Those exercises include the basic swing, kettlebell clean, kettlebell snatch, kettlebell press and thrust, Turkish get up and kettlebell figure 8.
Each of these exercises has the benefit of engaging the upper body, core and lower body in varying degrees. This overall body workout with one exercise makes the kettlebell perfect for a Crossfit program, to increase strength and endurance.