I have wanted to write this blog for a while, but wasn’t sure how to write it without sounding like an infomercial. Today’s blog is about a new form of exercise I am doing. The exercise is Kettleballs. I started using Kettlebells about six weeks ago and have been really happy with the results.
I am someone who exercises . I have done everything from Yoga, running, aerobic dancing and weight lifting. However, I have noticed since I passed the 45-year-old mark the soft stuff in my middle section seems to be getting bigger. I eat well, exercise at least 4 days a week and still my muffin top remains. I did a little research about incorporating Kettleballs into my workout when a friend of mine claimed it had done wonders for her overall fitness.
If you don’t know much about Kettlebells, here is a little information gathered from Wikipedia.
The kettlebell or girya is a cast-iron weight (resembling a cannonball with a handle) used to perform ballistic exercises that combine cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training. By their nature, typical kettlebell exercises build strength and endurance, particularly in the lower back, legs, and shoulders, and increase grip strength. The basic movements, such as the swing, snatch, and the clean and jerk, engage the entire body at once,and in a way that mimics real world activities such as shoveling or farm work.
Unlike the exercises with dumbbells or barbells, kettlebell exercises often involve large numbers of repetitions. Kettlebell exercises are in their nature holistic; therefore they work several muscles simultaneously and may be repeated continuously for several minutes or with short breaks. This combination makes the exercise partially aerobic and more similar to High-intensity interval training rather than to traditional weight lifting.
Staying fit after the age of 40 proves to be challenging. I read somewhere once we lose a pound of muscle each year we age past 40. This explains why my arms don’t seem as toned as they used to, even though I do weight training two or three times a week. Building muscle and strength is what Kettleballs are all about. They use full body movements for arms, legs and abs for each exercise. I am happy to report I have lost 1 full inch in my waist. Not an easy thing to do when you are approaching 50 pretty soon. I have always been at a healthy weight, but my stomach area has continued to get squishy despite my efforts.
Before I recommend anyone to try Kettlebell exercise I strongly suggest a visit to the doctor to see what exercise program would work best for you. Also, if you have back, wrists, shoulder or knee problems I do not recommend Kettleballs. The movements could place stress on these areas causing further injury. You will need to be in pretty good shape to begin the program. However, if you have done weight training for a while and have a fairly strong core this program could really benefit you. The best place to begin a Kettlebell workout is with a licensed instructor in a class setting. That way you can learn proper form and technique.
I workout at home with a DVD from Sarah Lurie called, “Ironcore Kettlebell: Sarah Lurie“. I chose this DVD based on the reviews and because Sarah Lurie is a fully certified Kettleball instructor. The DVD set has four workouts. Each one focuses on a different type of exercise. Volume 1 and 2 are for beginners. Volume one provides an introduction to Kettlebell basics and I highly recommend watching at least twice before beginning. Volume 3 and 4 are tougher and designed for people strong and skilled with Kettleballs. The exercises are clearly explained and captions are provided, so you know what exercises are coming next. Each exercise is done in sets with rests in between. At times the exercises can seem a bit boring, but they work.
Here is more information about Kettlebells taken from the magazine featuring the DVD’s instructor, Sarah Lurie, and written by Lisa Jones.
Be aware that flat shoes are essential for a Kettlebell workout. Running shoes are made for running and elevate your heals and will cause pain to your knees if you wear them using Kettleballs. I learned this the painful way. Also, start with a light weight Kettlebell first. Using 8 to 10 pound Kettleball is good for a beginner. I am up to 20 pounds, but still have difficulty with some of the moves. My goal is to use a 25 pound Kettle ball soon. I recommend arm bands protect your wrists from getting banged by the Kettlebell. Be sure to do the exercises at your own pace. Some of the arm exercises move quickly and in order to avoid an injury I go slower than the DVD pace. The stronger you become the quicker your pace will be. Only one Kettleball is used for each exercise. You don’t need to buy more than one of each weight you want to work out with.
I hope this will be something to jump-start you into better shape. Start slow and work out at your own pace. I think you will be happy with the results. Who knows maybe a bikini will be added to my summer time wardrobe. Well, maybe I am getting a little ahead of myself.