Five reasons to work the kettlebell

Romancing the kettlebell
by Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on August 25, 2015

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Magen Wooley with the kettlebell.

There are five reasons to swing a kettlebell.

  1. The kettlebell hits multiple fitness elements: cardiovascular, strength building, flexibility and balance.   Why spend extra time with several workout strategies when you can get more bang for your buck with 30 minutes of kettlebell?
  2. It’s cheap. Purchase one kettlebell, and a 30-minute sitcom in your living room can be your timer.
  3. You don’t have to join a gym. See #2.
  4. Even though kettlebells have been around for centuries, this fitness modality is still evolving and growing. There are kettlebell competitions and magazines and boot camps.  You can always change it up for variety.
  5. Legend has it that Gerard Butler used kettlebells to develop his physique for the movie “300.” Enough said.

A few tips:

  1. Do a kettlebell flow three times a week for 24-30 minutes.
  2. Begin with a lighter weight, perhaps 15 to 18 pounds. As you get stronger, build reps and time before you add weight.
  3. Create momentum for the movement with your lower body: hips, glutes and quads.
  4. As you move, try as best you can to keep your shoulders over your hips so you don’t strain your lower back.
  5. Make a choice. Count your repetitions for each kettlebell move or watch the clock.

Magen Wooley’s Kettlebell Flow

Click here for a video on how to do each of these moves!

 

Do four rounds of the following six kettlebell exercises.

  1. Single-Arm Swing.

Ground your parallel feet.  Engage your core muscles.

Hold the kettlebell in your right hand.  Load your hips into a quarter squat, and, with your quads, hips and glutes, create momentum to lift the kettlebell with a straight arm to eye-level.  Do each side for 30 to 40 seconds.

  1. Upright Row.

Hold a kettlebell in one hand in front of you with your arm facing your body, your arm straight down.  Squat low and touch the kettlebell to the floor.  When you straighten your legs with a small jump, bend your elbow and pull the kettle bell chest level.  Do each side for 15 to 20 seconds.

3.  Clean and Press.

This move is in two parts.

Squat, and hold the kettlebell low between your knees.  Using the strength from your legs, glutes and hips, pull the kettlebell to your shoulder and turn it upside down.  Rest the kettlebell on your shoulder before you straighten your arm and push the kettlebell to the sky.  Work each side for 30 seconds.

4.   The Snatch is the same as the Clean and Press, but the lift is in a single, continuous movement.  Don’t rest the kettlebell on your shoulder.

5.  The Pendulum.

Hold the kettlebell in two hands.  Side lunge right.  As you step back to center, swing the kettlebell overhead.  Side lunge left and let momentum swing the ball down with bent legs.  Step feet together to the center and the kettlebell rises.  Lunge right, the kettlebell swings down.  Continue the movement for a minute

5. Turkish Getup.

Lie on your back holding your kettlebell in your right hand straight up.  The arm points to the ceiling for the entire exercise.

Sit up.  Now place your free hand on the floor and use that arm for leverage to come to one knee and then step to two feet.  Now drop to the other knee, sit on the floor with your legs long in front of you, and lie down, arm still straight up.

Switch hands and continue for a minute.

You will be sore tomorrow.

 

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