Wednesday, June 3, 2015

6 Reasons Why Kettlebells Are Awesome - Part 2

New to training and wondering how to get started? Tired of your gym routine? Let’s talk about kettlebells.

As a woman who has trained  for years and years, I can tell you with great confidence that kettlebells are that missing link from body weight and cardio to the barbell. They are the perfect combination of strength and conditioning.

In part 1 of my series 6 REASONS WHY KETTLEBELLS ARE AWESOME I explained that they are inexpensive, compact and help burn fat.  Today I'll go through points 4, 5 and 6.

As I mentioned before, kettlebells are a step up from body weight exercises and are good introduction to barbell exercises. They are less intimidating and utilize some of the same concepts as in olympic lifting (hip pop) .

Though less intimidating they are still badass. I just found out that the kettlebell may date back to Spartan times when handles were placed into cinder blocks to help move them around. OMG!  BADASS.  So no, you dudes these are not just for the ladies. Want more proof.  The kettlebell was popularized in America by former Soviet Special Force trainer, Pavel Tsatsouline.

Badass should have been one of my reasons.  I'll call it reason number 3.5.  They are BADASS.
I digress...on to the real reasons.

Reason # 4 Total-Body Workout ... ESPECIALLY GLUTES & CORE 

Any movement that requires holding a neutral spine is working your core and guess what that includes your butt. Example, suitcase carry or something a little bit more dynamic and glute focused, the kettlebell swing.  Imagine you're swinging a heavy kettlebell in one hand, popping the hips to create momentum which essentially means squeezing your posterior-There's your glute workout. Now as you swing that 'thang' your body is going to naturally compensate for the imbalance.  The core, shoulder, quads, glutes, calves and even feet will have to work at keeping the spine neutral. And that is core stability!  BOOM! And this is just one example.  Start adding deadlifts and cleans and snatches OH MY!

A total body workout improving your strength in movement.  Strength plus glute activation plus dynamic movement = sweat and a firm butt. You are lifting a weight after all and when working with kettlebells on a regular basis one can expect to see larger, firmer muscles as a result.  Who doesn't want a nice firm posterior?

Reason #5 Time Savers

The number one reason I hear for not exercising is: I don’t have time. Trust me, I get it. Mom, entrepreneur, coach, wife, writer, actor —I can add so many more things to this list but I won't. I get being busy and this is where the kettlebell helps.

All you need is one kettlebell and a few basic exercises to complete a total body metabolic resistance workout. By combining cardio and strength in one quick and intense workout you can get in a great workout in very little time rather than doing separate cardio, strength, and mobility workouts. Even this busy mom can take 15 minutes every day for a workout. Take this simple time-saving workout. 1 to 10 kettlebell swings & burpees for time. This workout might not sound like much, but it will take you between 8 to 10 minutes to complete, will increase your heart rate and will work nearly every muscle in your body.

So don't spend hours at the gym or following videos online - unless their mine then that's OK;)- when you can engage your entire body in just a handful of moves with a kettlebell and get a full body kettlebell workout in as little as 10 minutes.  That's a huge time benefit.

Reason # 6 They're Fun! 

And isn't that the whole point of exercising? It shouldn't feel like a chore.  If you don't like what you're doing you’re not going to keep doing it. I don't know about you, but running just isn't my "thang". Sure, getting outside and being in nature is nice, but about 10 minutes in, I'm pretty bored. Where am I going?  Who is chasing me? Hey is that a squirrel?  This is partly why I started training with the kettlebell.  I needed something different.

Kettlebells are loads of fun, because they are, well...different. You're swinging a hunk of metal through the air. Your entire body is engaged requiring focus and coordination. It's so much more exciting than just running or picking up a weight and putting it back down.  With kettlebells, you are really engaged in the exercise and there are endless variations of what you can do.  They're easy enough to get started, and challenging enough to keep you coming back for more, so you'll never get bored.  Bonus!
To be brutally honest.  You are more likely to continue exercising if you find it fun.   Period. Kettlebells are just that, fun, and extremely effective to boot.  That combination can lead to you in the best shape of your life.  Have fun with your workouts!

So that's it.  My first set of reasons you should own a kettlebell.

The kettlebell is convenient and versatile.  It’s pretty incredible what you can do with just one kettlebell. All you need is one and a little bit of space to swing it around.  The kettlebell can help you develop the form, mobility, core, strength and endurance to improving your performance and overall fitness.

PS. I recommend purchasing PRO grade kettlebells.  The big round steel type.  I'll have a post on my reason soon.

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Be you. Be strong. Be awesome!

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