Workout Ideas

The Kettlebell

While mostly associated with CrossFit workouts, the Kettlebell can be an excellent addition to any Fitness Lifestyle. After getting to know a few exercises, the possibilities kettlebells can offer rival those of a full gym. With a substantial variety of workouts available, an added benefit to the kettlebell is that space is not an issue; all of the workouts can be done at home and without the need to travel to a gym – so no excuses!

Further benefits of the kettlebell include cutting down your workout time. If you are spending an hour or two at the gym, waiting on benches or the right dumbbell, and then trying to squeeze onto a hamster wheel for 30 minutes, a change to kettlebell training might be a way to get rid of this stress and save you time.

The dynamic movements of the workouts will fire more muscles over a shorter period of time, meaning your calorie burn is much higher than you would get with single muscle exercises. Think of all the muscles involved in a kettle bell swing; at the bottom, the squat involves the hips and all of the leg muscles. The swing is a hip movement involving the core and a strong drive of the hips.  Getting the kettlebell above your head in a stable position involves the shoulders, muscles of the arms, and chest and back. After this description, 30 kettlebell swings sounds daunting. But these swings work almost all of your muscles, in about the time it might take you to check into your gym, make it through the locker room and to your first exercise.

You’ll also realize that this is not just a strength workout, but also a combination of cardio. The explosive movement of the hips and inclusion of a high number of muscle groups bring that calorie burn on par with a fast-paced run. Typical kettlebell sessions burn about 20 calories a minute, that’s 400 calories in a 20 minute session! Also remember those calories are burned in conjunction with your strength training. No wonder Jessica Biel is a kettlebell enthusiast.

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Abs and backside a constant focus? The Kettlebell will most definitely take care of that. Think of the swing I just described; a lot of core and a squat in every rep. The swing is of course just one of the movements; the goblet squat, clean and jerk, sumo deadlift and high-pull all engage the core and glutes.

Pick your goal. The number of reps you decide for each workout will tell your body how to respond. If you’re wanting to bulk up, you’ll keep the reps low and utilize a heavier weight. If you’re looking to lean out, you’ll up the reps and drop the weight. With each choice, you’re still burning plenty of calories, but the amount of weight you use will tell your body where to grow or burn.

For a personal introduction on the correct form, and putting together your own kettlebell workout, there are several options in Houston. While you will find gyms that incorporate kettlebells into a workout, there are many apps and youtube videos that will get you started.  Most important with kettlebell workouts, as well as all workouts, is form.  Be sure you feel comfortable with the workout before you start it.  Enjoy!