Get in the Best Shape of Your Life with Kettlebell Training
- No matter what expensive, advanced, sleek gym machines they create, nothing beats old school, low-tech, Rocky-style workouts using heavy objects, brute force, and sheer determination. This is why push-ups, sit-ups, and free weights provide the most bang for your buck in terms of working out and seeing results. This is something gyms don't want you to know: you can skip the expensive memberships, trendy machines, and overpriced classes and achieve weight loss or muscle gain right in your own home. Free weights are a staple of any home gym, and kettlebells should be as well. These "cannon balls with handles" have a host of benefits - the biggest of which is the ability to provide you with an intense workout in a short period of time. Hours on the treadmill? Forget it. Get kettlebell weights
, and watch your body change.
Why Use Kettlebells?
- The simple answer to this is because you want to develop healthy muscles. But why kettlebells? They are deceptive. Originally made from cast iron, kettlebells are literally round balls with a flat bottom so it can sit on the floor without tipping, and a kettle-like handle. You would think that the range and variety of exercises possible would be rather limited. You'd be wrong. Kettlebell weights are extremely versatile. In addition to the variety of workout options, these weights are also portable. Heavy, but still portable. You can take them with you to your office for a lunch hour workout; you can work out in your basement, your living room, or anywhere there is a free foot of space. What gym machine can do that? The benefits of kettlebell training include:
*Improved flexibility and range of motion
*Accelerated recovery times
*Increased grip strength
*Balanced muscle mass - no more weaker non-dominant side
*Conditioned muscles throughout your body that are lean and toned, not bulky
*Working multiple muscle groups at the same time
*Calorie burn. According to the American Council on Exercise, you burn about 20 calories per minute. 1200 per hour. Incredible. Again, what gym machine can do that?
*Strength training and cardio with one tool. This will make your workouts much more effective.
You can browse the best selling kettlebells here
Where Do You Get Kettlebel Weights?
- Kettlebells are a uniquely Russian invention and have been widely used by muscle men, athletes, and strong men (and women) throughout Europe. The United States has been missing out until only very recently. The versatility and efficacy of kettlebells, though, makes them a natural fit for virtually any fitness regimen. UFC's BJ Penn and celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, Penelope Cruz, Sylvester Stallone, Matthew McConaughey, Lance Armstrong, and Kim Katrell have harnessed the power of kettlebells, and have also increased their prominence and use in the U.S. Luckily, as they have grown in popularity, they have become widely available for consumers all over the country. You can find them at major retailers, including Walmart, JC Penney, Walgreen's, Target, and Amazon.
One of the top names in kettlebell weights is GoFit. RuggedReviews recommends these, saying they are "a great addition to any home gym." GoFit kettlebells
come in weights from 10 pounds to 45 pounds in 5-pound increments. Each kettlebell is covered with a colored vinyl coating that will protect your floor; the color coding system allows you to make quick changes. The 10-pound kettlebell, for instance, is yellow. The 35-pound weight is green. No matter what size GoFit kettlebell you opt for, you will get a training DVD and workout booklet. These feature the founder and owner of Iron Core Kettlebell, Sarah Lurie. You will soon be doing workouts that will leave you longing for the leisure of your old gym routine - until you see how your body changes.
Reviewers have noted that the DVD is not quite up to par as far as an instructional video. The video does go through various exercises, but there are breaks in between. This video is more geared toward learning the proper technique - which is essential for effective and safe workouts. This is, though, a good starting point. The 10-pound GoFit lists for $35, but you can find it on Amazon for $20.
If you'd rather not have 10 kettlebells scattered throughout your home, the convenience and versatility of adjustable weight kettlebell sets
is ideal. Like adjustable dumbbells, these have one unit and removable weight plates to add or decrease weight. This is ideal for two main reasons: you can progress and not have to buy more equipment, and you can adjust your weight for different exercises. If you already have weight plates, try the Kettlestack Handle. This is a handle onto which you can place your existing weight plates. The Kettlestack is a top pick of BestCovery because of the freedom it allows, and at 70-pound capacity, you're not likely to outgrow it. At $64, it is far less than a 70-pound kettlebell and more versatile. But the weight plates do not come with the handle! Remember this as you factor in the price! This is true of other top kettlebell adjustable weights, including Iron Woody and Weider.
Bestcovery's top pick, U.S. Kettlebells Large Adjustable, is a complete set, including weights that allow you to have from 35 to 62 pounds of weight. You can find this at U.S. Kettebells for about $100.
Using Your Kettlebells:
Now, what to do with these things? You could literally use a cannon hall with a handle - but the exercise you do with it is what counts. There is no shortage of videos to help you out. WeightLossHQ recommends Enter The Kettlebell
, a workout based on Soviet training regimes (meaning it will hurt you); there is also a version for the femme fatales among us. Both are $23. Other top picks are the Kettlebell Goddess Workout
for $27, and Kettlebell Boot Camp
for $17.50. This last has levels for beginners, intermediate, and advanced users.
You can also find workouts online, especially through YouTube. Experts caution that kettlebells take coordination - so don't drop one on your toes while watching YouTube.
If you're ready for a workout that actually makes you work, kettlebell weights are going to deliver for you. Make sure to use them safely and incorporate a full range of exercises to work your entire body.