Friday, September 24, 2021

Working Out With Kettlebells Part One

I recently started using kettlebells as part of my workout routine.  When I was in Iceland, I climbed a very tall hill.  I thought I was in shape but this sucker was so steep, I realized I could be in better shape. So when I got home, I dug out my kettlebell set and started doing it 3 days a week and after just 2 weeks I am noticing a difference.

A kettlebell is a type of dumbbell that is round with a flat bottom and an arched handle that originated in Russia over 300 years ago..  It looks like a tea kettle and thus its name.  A real kettlebell is made out of cast iron or steel.  The design of a kettlebell allows it to be swung, thrown, juggled, pressed, held, and moved in multiple ways.

A kettlebell is an effective tool to lose weight, tone the body, improve cardio vascular health, strength, maintain joint health, mobility, and flexibility. Kettlebells come in different weights from 5 to 100 pounds. I use the 5 pound one because I'm just starting out.

A good kettlebell workout is classified as high intensity exercise because it gets your heart working and burns 20 calories each minute or the equivalent of running a 6 minute mile. After a 20 minute workout, you'll burn 400 calories.  A kettlebell targets your core because you do squats, lunges, crunches, and other moves that focus on the abs and other muscles.  It also targets your arms, legs, glutes, and back.  It is not a low impact workout and it 

A good kettlebell can be purchased for between $10 and $100 depending on the weight of the bell.  With COVID going on, it is fortunate, you can buy a DVD designed for beginners or those who are more advanced.  I picked up a kettlebell and six DVD's in a set when one of the sports stores went out of business locally.  I just sent off for a few more including one for beginners so I make sure I'm doing the moves correctly.

Be aware that all exercises must be done correctly or you could injure yourself, especially if you start with a kettlebell that is too heavy.  The areas most likely to be injured are the neck, back, or shoulders so be careful and if you can, work with an experienced trainer. Although doing a kettlebell workout is a good way to workout, it is not recommended for anyone with arthritis, bad knees, or other such issues.  If you are just starting out, one should check with your doctor before using one.

When you use a kettlebell, always be aware of your surroundings.  Make sure you are working out on a non-slip area with the area around you totally clear.  When working out, do it either in barefoot or in footwear with flat, thin soles with space for the toes to spread out. Always use proper form with the kettlebell so you don't hurt yourself.  Finally, if the kettlebell starts falling, let it rather than trying to stop it.

If you wondered which is better - a kettlebell or dumbbells, it depends on what you want but kettlebells can have an advantage.  They provide a much better cardio workout due to all the swinging and extra movement involved in using them. In addition, they activate all the muscles in the back, and since the weight is not balanced, your core has to work harder. Kettlebells are great for improving endurance and getting a good cardio workout.  Although you can mimic many of the kettlebell moves with a dumbbells, dumbbells are much better for building muscle.

On Monday, I'll talk about some exercises you can do with the kettlebell in your house.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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