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The Basics of Exercising with a Kettlebell

While kettlebells have been around for a long time, they are growing increasingly popular in the fitness world. Working out with a kettlebell can be a great way to add variety to workouts, and they also can provide many body benefits. Keep reading to find out more.

As a staple in many gyms, kettlebells are great to use in your workouts as a method of improving muscle tone and overall fitness. These weighted cast-iron balls are a great addition to many workouts and exercise routines, and using them can provide a variety of benefits. If you've never used a kettlebell before, but you're interested in trying one, there are several things to know that can help you use one properly and effectively.

The Benefits of Working Out with a Kettlebell

To  begin with, using a kettlebell is a great way to reap similar benefits as those you would receive from using dumbbells. The regular usage of kettlebells can encourage lean muscle development and even help accelerate your metabolism; utilizing the weight of kettlebells can help boost your physical power and also promote fat blasting. According to a 2010 study in which participants exercised with kettlebells for 20 minutes, the usage of kettlebells ignited a calorie burn of 20.2 calories per minute, or the equivalent of running a 6-minute mile pace. While dumbbells typically work only a couple muscle groups at a time, kettlebells work many more groups simultaneously. The handle on the kettlebell works your grip and ignites your core muscles to improve your stability and balance as you swing, push and pull the object. To receive the most benefits from kettlebells, using them regularly and correctly is key.

Who Should Use a Kettlebell

Contrary to popular belief, kettlebells are not just for women. Men can use kettlebells as a way to add variation to their typical workouts, swapping them out for dumbbells. For women, kettlebells weighing 15 to 18 pounds are recommended, or starting at 8 pounds for beginners. Men can use 35-pounders, or 15 to 25 pounds for beginners. The main difference between kettlebells and dumbbells is that kettlebells are designed for fast, repetitive, dynamic movements with generally lower weight, whereas dumbbells are created for low reps and more weight. If you're looking for a way to enhance your power endurance and overall strength while developing great muscle tone, working out with kettlebells is a great way to help you accomplish this.

Kettlebell Exercises

Before you pick up a kettlebell and just start swinging it around aimlessly, it's a good idea to be familiar with some of the basic movements and exercises. Each of these is most effective when repeated 12-15 times to begin with. Once you become familiar with each exercise, try performing more repetitions.

  • Swings

The key to swinging is relying on your hips to propel you body forward and outward to propel the kettlebell. Standing with feet hip-width apart and the kettlebell in both hands, bend at the waist and swing the kettlebell forward, between your legs. 

  • Squats

Holding the kettlebell at eye level, in both hands, position your feet hip-width apart. Then squat down as low to ground as you can get, aiming for a 90-degree angle. 

  • Deadlifts

Standing with feet hip-width apart, place a kettlebell in front of each foot. Stabilize your core and back, push your hips backward and lower your body to pick up both kettlebells. Maintain your core stabilization while slowly raising your body into standing position while grasping the kettlebells. 

  • One-Arm Rows

Position your body in plank position with two kettlebells in front of your hands. While maintaining core stabilization on the ground, grab one kettlebell with one hand and pull it up toward your body in a rowing motion. Place the kettlebell back on the ground and switch sides. 

Adding kettlebells into the mix can be a great way to prevent your workouts from becoming boring or repetitive. Aside from the many physical benefits it can provide, exercising with kettlebells is also a great way to add some fun to your workouts in the form of dynamic, weighted movements. We hope this article was able to provide you with some helpful tips for using kettlebells. Thanks for reading, and come back next time for more health news!

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