Kettlebell Workout

Get Back to Basics for a
Fun and Effective Workout

A kettlebell workout will allow you to increase your strength, endurance, agility and balance. It challenges both the muscular and the cardiovascular system. By combining the two, you spend less time working out and still achieve the results that you desire.

If you have been trying to lose weight, carrying small kettlebells while walking or doing other aerobic activity will allow you to increase the number of calories that you burn. A heavier person burns more calories than a lighter one. This is why a person that has recently lost ten or 20 pounds feels frustrated. Suddenly, the pounds come off slower and slower. It simply takes more energy to move a larger body around.

If you carry kettlebells, it is like working out with a heavier body. We refer to that as increasing resistance. As time goes by, you can continue to increase resistance by carrying heavier weights.

The original kettlebell workout was designed in Russia and was brought to the US by athletes, coaches and fitness trainers. Originally, the weights were made out of cast iron. They were difficult for small-handed individuals to handle and uncomfortable for most people. Today, they are composed of a weighted core, surrounded by rubber. The handle is rubber, as well, which means that they are more comfortable to hold and easier to grip.

If you are just starting out, are not used to doing aerobic activity or lifting weights, you can start with three basic exercises; the deadlift, military press and the swing. Stick with these exercises for the first two to four weeks and then move on.

If you are not familiar with these exercises, you need to learn the proper form, both for safety and effectiveness. I can give you some information here, but you really need to "see" a kettlebell workout to fully understand how these exercises are performed.

Deadlifts are notorious for causing back injury. But, it is not the exercise that is bad; it is the way that the lift is performed. Basically, you use your heels to "push" your body to an upright position. You keep your shins vertical, reaching the weight on the floor by bending your knees and lowering your hips. You should look straight ahead, never down as you return to a fully upright position.

A military press is simpler to explain. You need two kettlebells of the same weight. You pick them up and bring your hands up to a point where they are even with your chin. Then you push the weights up above your head. Return to position and repeat.

There are variations of the "swing". One is to stand in the same position that you would use to begin a deadlift. You may need to move your feet further apart or point them slightly outward, because you are going to swing the weight back between your legs and then up in front of you to a point above your head. You straighten your body, as you raise the weight.

Before you begin a kettlebell workout, speak with a trainer or, at least, watch a video. Many sets come with an instructional video. If you skip the instruction, you risk injury.

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