By ali, 05-Apr-2012 08:52:00
I love kettlebells, they are so much fun and one of my favourite ways of training. They are fantastic for weight loss, and provide great functional movement, helping to build muscle, enhance sport performance, maintain/improve fitness levels, improve quality of life as you age, and best of all they help women get the long and lean look that is so desired. What's not to love??!
What is a kettlebell?
Kettlebells are cannonball shaped weights with a single handle on top. Although they look very different from the traditional free weights and machines found in gyms, they are in fact one of the best and most efficient fitness tools available.
They are often made out of pure cast iron, and are available in a wide range of weights and sizes. They are unique tools which can be used in a wide range of strength training exercises, to increase muscle and build endurance.
Benefits of kettlebell training
• Lowered body fat - kettlebells provide high intensity workouts. By consistently working out with kettlebells, your metabolism will increase which will lead to a decrease in body fat.
• Functional strength - kettlebells increase strength by using full-body functional movements that incorporate several muscle groups for each exercise.
• Full body conditioning - they help to strengthen every muscle from head to toe, and encourage the body to work as one synergistic unit linked strongly together. In addition, the off-centred weight of a kettlebell recruits more stabiliser muscles and works the targeted muscles through a wider range of motion.
• Increased core strength - kettlebells strengthen backs and abs like nothing else!
• Increased flexibility - the use of kettlebells improves mobility and increases the range of movement through joints.
• Fun and varied training - there are hundreds of exercises and circuits that can be performed using kettlebells. So there is no excuse for getting bored!
• Safe for any age, shape or size - providing you have been taught the techniques correctly.
• Builds a lean, muscular physique - women in particular benefit from the svelte, lean, firm shape given by kettlebell training that enhances the best of the female body. Training with kettlebells is not designed to increase muscle mass or add bulk but rather to build strength by increasing the amount of lean muscle tissue - giving a lean looking appearance.
• Increased resistance to injury - they use fundamental movement patterns making everyday activities easier and injury less likely.
• Serious cardio - they provide high intensity workouts which challenge both your aerobic and anaerobic energy systems, increasing fitness levels dramatically, all without the boredom of endless hours spent on the treadmill, cross-trainer etc.
Kettlebells are fun and when used properly give fantastic results. However, because they are so different to traditional free weights the techniques need to be mastered correctly to ensure a safe and effective workout. With an increasing number of classes and trainers out there who are not properly qualified, it makes sense to learn the movements with a qualified instructor who can ensure you are doing it properly and getting the best possible results.
If you're unsure I would advise you to open your mind, and give kettlebells a try. You might just find yourself in the best shape of your life!
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