A New Fitness Trend From Centuries Ago. The Kettlebell.

KettlebellsWho could have guessed that a centuries-old piece of cast-iron would make such a resurgence that it would become one of the top fitness trends of 2010? I re-introduce to you the kettlebell, a piece of equipment that looks like a cannonball with a handle that one can trace back to 1700′s Russia. It’s newfound popularity isn’t all that astonishing though. The kettlebell workout provides a complete body workout, one that builds your muscular strength, endurance and aerobic capacity in a short amount of time. And in this day and age, who isn’t looking to get things done faster and more efficiently?

The kettlebell workout provides a higher-intensity workout than regular weight-training. The moves involved with kettlebells use your whole body with ballistic and swinging movements to also help increase your flexibility, agility and balance. And let me tell you, those moves are not easy. They really do get your heart rate pumping and every muscle in your body is in motion. Is it any wonder why the 1980 Russian track and field team took the gold in all throwing events? They trained with kettlebells. So why not you or I? We may not be training for the Olympics, but I think we can all agree that less time spent in the gym, the better! Below are some kettlebell moves that would be great to incorporate into your workout. Also, check out your gym’s class schedule, kettlebell classes are popping up all over the country!

Kettlebell Single-Arm Swing

• Stand with feet hip-width apart, and place a kettlebell between your feet.

• Hinge your hips to lower your body down to grasp the kettlebell with one arm.

• Swing the kettleball backwards and then forcefully swing the kettleball forward to chest level. Keep your arm straight and forcefully extend your hips, knees, and ankles to standing position.

Try for six to eight reps and then repeat using other arm. This move should generate explosive moves in your hips as you’re coming up.

 

Turkish Get-Up

• Set your kettlebell on the ground and lay down on your back so the kettlebell is next to your head on the right side.

• Start with your right arm, slide your right foot towards you so that knee is sticking up. Put your left arm out at a 45 degree angle with your palm down towards the ground.

• Press the kettlebell straight up and lock out your right arm. Your arm will stay this way for the entire duration of the exercise. Also, your eyes should be on the kettlebell for the duration.

• Roll over so you can get up on the elbow of your left arm. After you’re on your elbow push up so you’re on your left hand.

• Push down on that hand enough so you bring your straight leg back under you. You want to end up resting on that knee.

• After on that knee, step up. You should now be standing straight up with the kettlebell extended above your head.

• This is only half the exercise, the other half is going back down. Just go through the steps in reverse order until you are laying on your back again.

(This is a tough one! Go through it slowly a few times to get the movements down.)

 

Kettlebell Single-Arm Row

• Start in push-up position, but place one kettlebell under your left shoulder.

• Widen your feet to help stabilize your body.

• Grab the kettlebell in the left hand, exhale slowly and lift the kettlebell towards your left shoulder. Hold for a moment and then slowly lower it back to starting position.

• Try not to rotate your torso through the movement.

Try for six to eight reps and then repeat using the other arm.

Anne Marie Costanzo is a nationally certified personal trainer and owner of Little Black Dress Personal Training. She can be reached at am@littleblackdresspt.com or (914) 841-1121.

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About the Author: Anne Marie Constanzo