Introduction to Kettlebell Workouts

by Sarah
(Indiana )

I was introduced to kettlebells around this time last year. At first, as a female who does not have much upper body strength, they appeared to be very intimidating, and not something I would use in my exercise routine. However, I have found that they are great for not only building upper body strength, but also core strengthening as well as getting a lower body workout.

Kettlebells are now easily found in most fitness stores and even at large chain stores like Walmart. There are many different sizes, and because kettlebells were a Russian military invention, generally the weights come in metric kilogram units. I started with 12 kilogram kettlebells and purchased a pair for myself to learn the basic moves. It will not take long before you are feeling the results.

I started with just doing arm swings and alternating arm swings in a squat position and it really worked quickly. The idea of the kettlebell and performing the swings is that your body senses an unstable force at the end of your arm, serving as a long lever arm. Since the majority of weight hangs from the handle from which you are swinging, your muscles have to work extra hard to control that additional weight. It is causing your body to work much harder than if you were just performing the exercise with normal weights.

One of the more advanced exercises that can be performed is the Turkish get up, which requires you lying flat on your back with the kettlebell raised high above your head. You then are using your core and abdominal muscles to lift your entire body off the ground without using much arm support to help you up, all while maintaining the kettlebell in the overhead position. This is definitely a more advanced exercise, and you need to make sure you have a light enough kettlebell that you are able to perform this move without injuring yourself. Kettlebells are a great way to tone all the muscles of your body, just make sure you start with a light enough weight so that you do not injure yourself.

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