Exploring the kettlebell craze

Monday, 29 April 2013

KettlebellsAfter meeting Sean Temple and training with him a while ago, I am an inspired and convinced Kettlebell enthusiast! If you have heard the buzz about this renewed form of training, but don’t know the facts, here is some information that will have you itching to try it!

What are kettlebells?
Kettlebells are cast iron weights in a ball-like shape with a handle for easy gripping. They range in size from about 2kgs all the way up to over 50kgs. The kettlebell originated in Russia and was popular in the U.S. decades ago, but has recently returned to trainers and trainees around the world with renewed vigour. Kettlebells offer a different kind of training using dynamic moves targeting almost every aspect of fitness – endurance, strength, balance, agility and cardio endurance. People love it because it’s challenging, efficient and you only need one piece of equipment.

How do I use them?
Kettlebell training involves swinging, pressing and pulling with your kettlebells in one or both hands. Some move require you to change the weight from hand to hand as you swing it up, or as you move sideways. This forces your body to engage your core and stabilise, more so than regular core exercises. Other moves require power from the legs and hips to move the weight, giving you integrated whole body movements that are often missing with other types of training.

What are the benefits?

Superior Strength:
Don’t worry – I don’t mean bodybuilder-type muscles or popping veins! There is an urban legend amongst ladies that strength training bulks you up instead of slimming you down, and this could not be less true! Kettlebell training helps to give you total body control and physical strength, and is not going to bulk you up unless you are enhancing your training with extra supplementation.

Superior Cardiovascular Fitness:
Whilst a strong body is excellent, a strong heart is even more crucial to your wellbeing. The various aerobic-style movements of kettlebell training will get your heart pumping, with the result being an indestructible cardiovascular system.

Strong Bones:
Strength training, if done effectively, can build stronger bones along with stronger muscles. Ladies, especially, are prone to osteoporosis and similar ailments and should take strength training seriously as early on in life as possible. It is possible to not only prevent these degenerative effects but also reverse them as well, so take it seriously!

The transformative benefits of a kettlebell workout are pushing it up my list of most effective training routines, and after your very first session I guarantee you will feel muscles working that you never knew existed!

Other articles you may be interested in:
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Get Pippa’s divine curves
Hollywood workout secrets
Which yoga is right for you
Exercises for energy and vitality

Written by

Fitness and lifestyle expert, Lisa Raleigh, has been an exercise specialist for more than a decade. Known for her television roles as the winning team trainer on SA's The Biggest Loser, fitness guru on Michael Mol's Hello Doctor as well as the health and wellness consultant on SABC 3's daily morning show, Expresso, Lisa is fast becoming South Africa's unofficial face of wellness and healthy living.

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  1. Shades Of Mink

    I love kettle bell swings as a warm up or in between my normal heavy weight execises. It tones the glutes, shapes up your front delts and is amazing for cardio!!

    6 years ago •

  1. NicoleLom

    Picking these babies up next time I go work out

    6 years ago •

  1. jackys

    Hubby wants to get me some. I will have to see if I’ll be able to swing them.

    6 years ago •

  1. Ladyconfused

    Goodbye flabby arms with these guys

    6 years ago •

  1. Azraa

    This is an amazing type of exercise, and fun too

    6 years ago •

  1. Carstens

    I got myself a 3kg kettlebell. Its great to excercise with and so easy to use.

    6 years ago •

  1. foreverGLAM

    Sounds tough but I would definitely try it.

    6 years ago •

  1. SpiceY

    This is difficult , you have to be fit for it no doubt….

    6 years ago •

  1. Larissa B

    i was looking for a new fun way to tone up. thank you, im gonna definitely get going

    6 years ago •

  1. Leana

    OMW… this is so intense. If I had the willpower I’d go on with it coz you’ll have the body of a super model… with biceps

    6 years ago •

  1. DIVA

    my personal trainer used to love kettle bells. You get a good workout with them.

    6 years ago •

  1. Pseudo_kate

    My guy loves using his kettlebell for work outs. I prefer my yoga ball but that’s because I’m not a fan of weights.

    6 years ago •

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