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Kettlebells

Although an established sports and fitness tool, kettlebells are enjoying something of a revival thanks to the introduction of kettlebell classes at gyms and clubs up and down the country. 


A Kettlebell is one of the smallest and simplest pieces of fitness equipment around and hugely versatile too.  Although it’s a weight, a kettlebell can be used to build stamina, develop flexibility, burn fat and improve cardiovascular endurance as well as being a really effective strength training tool for the entire body.


The kettlebell is a small, heavy metal ball with a cast handle which originates from Russia some time in the 18th century.  Their original use was a weight for market traders but soon they were being thrown around for entertainment and lifted by weight trainers. Back then, as now, kettlebells were measured in “poods.” (16.38 kg/36.11 lbs).


You can use a kettlebell as additional resistance for traditional exercises like lunges or squats but the kettlebell really comes into play with its unique big range of motion moves.


If you haven’t seen a kettlebell in action do spend some time surfing the net for demonstrations or better still attend a class to experience them first hand.  The kettlebell moves are full body, functional moves which enhance day to day living, improve posture and increase flexibility.  


The benefit of a kettlebell workout is that every exercise accesses pretty much every part of the body – legs, hips, torso, shoulders and arms.


The exercises are powerful and dynamic and boast a calorie burn rate of 1,200.


The range of available kettlebell weights varies greatly, and it’s sensible to get a few to suit your individual strength and to enable you to safely execute the variety of exercises you’ll be doing.  Typically speaking you’ll manage a heavier weight for a slow, controlled movement with the kettlebell close to the body but require something lighter for more dynamic movements over a greater range.


Excellent technique is crucial in kettlebell training and even if you’re fit and strong it’s best to go low weight and slow speed the first time to attempt any of the exercises to ensure you’re practicing safely and effectively. 


You can play with the pace and resistance and build a truly inspiring programme of your own blending the dynamic with the more graceful moves to tighten and tone every muscle fibre.

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