All Entries For kettlebells
Just like fashion trends come and go, same can be said about workout trends. Hundreds of years ago Russian bodybuilders were using cannonball-like equipment for strength training. Little did they know then that their workouts would be turned into classes in gyms across the globe 300 years later. The reason kettlebell workouts are so popular is they provide strength training, cardio, balance and flexibility all in one short workout.
In the January 2011 issue of Fitness magazine, John Porcari, PhD, an exercise researcher at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, stated that "an intense 20-minute workout with kettlebells burned on average, an astonishing 400 calories, or 20 calories a minute."
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Although kettlebell training has been around for more than a century, they've only recently become mainstream fitness tools within the last few years.
I get questions about kettlebells, requests for kettlebell videos, and queries about the best kettlebell workout DVDs regularly—and for good reason. Kettlebells are popular because they offer a unique way to train for both strength and endurance in a single workout. They challenge your balance, allow you to move functionally, and strengthen your body from head to toe. Plus, kettlebell training may just be the highest calorie burning exercise there is, if this study by the American Council on Exercise is any indication.
When I review a DVD or fitness product and make recommendations to all of you, safety ALWAYS comes first. I don't care how popular, fun or even effective a workout is; if the instruction and demonstration doesn't emphasize safety and form, I simply won't endorse it. Let's face it: When you consider these factors, there are a lot of really bad DVDs out there! That's especially true with more and more people trying to capitalize off of the popularity of kettlebell training. I have tested MANY kettlebell workout DVDs, including the titles from famous trainers you know well, but I have never come across a kettlebell workout DVD that I would recommend—until now. Read More ›
Kettlebells continue to lead the way as one of the biggest fitness trends of 2011. Having participated in an eight week kettlebell class with a certified kettlebell instructor this past spring, it is now one of my favorite of all-time cross training activities that I do outside running.
Kettlebell training incorporates cardio using strength training moves when you transition quickly from one exercise to another. However, performing individual exercises can be quite challenging as well, while giving your body the same benefits as conventional strength training exercises. Read More ›
I always try to stay on top of the latest fitness trends—not only because it helps me to answer questions from our members and keep our fitness content fresh, but also because I'm a bit of a fitness junky. I like to try new things so that my workouts stay fun, exciting and effective. Kettlebells recently caught my eye, and I can't even tell you how I first heard of them. But then, I kept hearing more and more about them and began to see trainers working with them at the gym, too. I started to watch kettlebell videos on YouTube just for fun—it looked so different and intense—and that led me to researching and writing an article for SparkPeople that explains the benefits and basics of kettlebell training. (If you've never heard of kettlebells or don't know much about them, I suggest starting with that article.)
One thing was clear to me from my research and my interviews with kettlebell experts: Kettlebell training isn't something you can just jump into without the proper instruction. As a fitness professional, I understand a great deal about how the body works and how to move in a safe and effective manner, but kettlebell training looked so different and unusual to me, that I knew I had to learn about it directly from a true expert if I was going to do it right. So that's exactly what I did!
I gathered a couple of my co-workers who were also eager to try kettlebells, and we met up with Henry Marshall, a NSCA-certified personal trainer and IKFF- and AOS-certified kettlebell trainer for an hour-long workout at HealthStyle Fitness club in Cincinnati. This was our first time trying kettlebells. Want to hear what we thought about it (and see the short video we filmed during our session)? Read More ›