Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Getting Battered with Kettlebells

You hear all sorts of things about Kettlebells; excellent all-over body workout, great for toning, good for building core strength, a strength session that is also a banging cardio workout.. blah blah blah. I never pay that much attention because they say all that stuff about every new exercise class. Plus, who even cares about all of that when the best thing is that you get to swing a colourful cast iron weight around the place?! 


Luckily the class was small, so there were less people to potentially take out with dangerous manoeuvres. Everybody gathered around to select their kettlebells for the session and to be honest, I was a little bit surprised at the size and weight of these things that we would be brandishing about the studio. Some of them are absolutely massive!



You could argue that any kettlebell exercise can be done with a dumbbell - which is true - but it's the shape of the kettlebell itself that makes the exercises so challenging. Once the thing is in motion you really need to control the movement by accelerating and decelerating at the right times. 


After a tentative warm up I realised it was less probable that I was going to kill or maim any of the other participants (except the girl right in front of me, she was at high risk) and after ten minutes I was swinging away happily. Some squats and deadlifts got the heart pumping, then we moved on to double and single arm swings which eventually culminated into 'the snatch' which is where you swing the kettlebell up then sort of flick it over so it rests still against your arm. Sound easy? Well, it isn't. First of all I did the whole movement too vigorously and I bounced it against my shoulder, I felt like I'd been given a dead arm by a heavyweight. I switched arms and tried it on the other side, the trick is to 'snatch' it before it accelerates too much so you don't whack your arm with it. Unfortunately it takes a fair bit of arm whacking before you perfect it. 


Once you start doing a routine and string a few of the movements together, it really does get the pulse racing. Even in just half an hour I was in the heavy perspiration zone. It's a great power workout. Just one hint though: once you do gather momentum, don't try to stop suddenly. I stopped mid-swing to see what the instructor was demonstrating and hit myself in the leg with the kettlebell, nearly knocked myself clean over.


All that hype at the start is absolutely true. Kettlebells are definitely going into the weekly schedule!

2 comments:

  1. Cool - excited about trying it now! Charlie x

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  2. You hear all sorts of things about Kettlebells; excellent all-over body workout, great for toning, good for building core strength, a strength session that is also a banging cardio workout. kettlebell training courses

    ReplyDelete