How many hours per week do you spend at the gym working out?
When I was younger, I spent a lot of my time at the gym because I thought I had to in order to be in good shape. Fast forward to completing school, starting a career, and having more responsibilities, and I found myself not being able to exercise as much as I used to.
I went from spending too much time exercising to not enough time exercising.
My solution came when I was introduced to kettlebells.
What Are Kettlebells?
Kettlebells are cast iron weights that can range from 5 lbs to over 100 lbs, with a cannonball shape and a handle for gripping. They originated in Russia, used in high performance training, and are now gaining popularity in North America.
Why Do I Love Them So Much?
They are extremely versatile. You can use them to do a full body workout anywhere. It’s the biggest bang for your buck piece of exercise equipment you’ll ever own. No gym membership is required.
They are simple, efficient, and effective. There are so many challenging workouts you can do in a short amount of time to naturally balance your body composition. This means less time working out and more time enjoying life.
They make you feel strong and powerful. Moving around a cast iron cannonball in a workout carries over into feeling strong in the rest of your daily life. Your core strength, power, coordination, agility, balance, posture, and endurance will all significantly improve.
How Do You Start?
For women, a great weight to start with is 20 lbs. This weight is usually not too heavy and not too light. Unlike isolation exercises, kettlebell training uses multiple muscle groups at once so you will be moving the weight using your core, lower body, and upper body rather than just using one arm or one leg. This will wake up muscles you might have never even felt before, and make you realize you are stronger than you think you are.
The reason why you don’t want to choose a weight that is too light is that a light weight will allow you to muscle through movements rather than using proper form. Having improper form can lead to injuries, poor progression, and you won’t achieve the full benefits kettlebells offer. It is not about muscling through movements, it’s about performing movements with proper form.
In today’s world we spend the majority of our time over using the muscles on the front of our bodies:
we hunch over keyboards causing our chests to cave in
We sit at desks which shorten the hip flexors
We drive with our arms out infront of us while sitting, again caving in the chest and shortening the hip flexors
We slouch on the couch watching TV
The chest caving in compresses the lungs, causing short chest breaths rather than deep long belly breaths. The tight shortened muscles pulling us forward also gives the image of being weak and lacking confidence as opposed to standing tall with our chests expanded and our chins up.
Kettlebell exercises, most notably kettlebell swings, combat the effects of modern living. A kettlebell swing works the posterior chain muscles (hamstrings, butt, back) to strengthen the entire backside, loosening tight hips, and opening the chest for better posture, less pain, and optimal body composition.
Interested in getting started? Check out my free Kettlebell + Yoga exercise videos here.
Now I’d love to hear from you. Have you tried using a kettlebell? Are you going to give it a try? Share and let me know!