Want to be stronger, have better balance, burn fat and build up your muscles as part of your exercise regime? Want to do all of that in one go? Then it’s time you reached for the kettlebell.
Don’t be daunted by the kettlebell. This cast iron ball with a handle will deliver you some great results if you deploy it properly. In recent years it has grown in popularity and can now be found in many gyms and homes. If you want to see what the fuss is about and get the benefits for yourself then you need to understand what this equipment is and what it can do for you.
Swing and you’re winning
Beginners will start with a 6-8kg bell, and more seasoned gym-goers can graduate to a 16-20kg bell. Then, when you brandish the right one for you, it’s about perfecting your swing.
Men’s Fitness highlights the three-step secret to success with this swing.
Firstly, you need to set yourself properly. That means standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes out. You need your knees to be slightly bent and to look straight ahead as you clamp your hands on the bell.
Then, keeping your back arched, it’s time to bend your hips, squeeze the glutes and swing the bell up and then back down between your legs. Bend your hips and your knees slightly as you swing it through and continue for ten reps (if you can).
Three ways you’ll feel the kettlebell effect
That’s a fairly simple to master exercise, but it can be extremely effective. How? Here are five ways you will benefit from wielding your kettlebell:
- Your whole body gets a workout in one swing. Your lower back, core, shoulders and legs are all invited to the kettlebell party. This makes it a great exercise to take on if you’re short of time, taking the place of several other workouts in one go.
- This doesn’t just engage your muscles, it also burns the fat away fast. A high number of kettlebell reps is a pretty high intense workout and ensure that you get cardio work in at the same time as your strength exercises.
- You can make your back stronger. A weak back can lead to a lot of pain and undermine your wider workout efforts. Provided that you get your form right and don’t try to do too many swings in one go, this can help build up strength in this key area and help you to combat the sort of back pain that other workouts might bring out and generally improve your posture.
There’s more than just the swing
You don’t need to stop with the standard swing. Your little kettlebell can be used in a host of other ways to assist your regime. Try adding a dead lift, push press or windmill to your swings to get even more value from this piece of equipment. Muscle and Fitness shows you how these other exercises work and how to build them into one big fat-burning regime.