Training for Strength and Agility
Invented in Russia and used for decades by weight lifters, kettlebells are cannonball-shaped weights with built-in handles. They come in a variety of weights just like standard dumbbells, ranging from two pounds to over 100 pounds.
Where kettlebell training differs from standard weight training is in the handles. When lifting one by its handle, you use essentially your entire body. Doing a controlled lift with a kettlebell forces the major muscles in your core to contract as a group while you use your arms shoulder and back as well. Add your leg muscles into the mix and the training becomes a true total body workout that not only builds strength but also increases stability.
Kettlebell training is an option for just about anyone—whether you’re a bodybuilder or a couch potato looking to get back into shape. this style of training is a particularly good option for anyone who already does weight training on a regular basis and may be getting a bit bored.
One of the standard kettlebell exercises that you can incorporate into your at home workouts is the basic swing. The basic swing involves hoisting a kettlebell from between your legs up to either eye level, shoulder level, or head level. This exercise engages the hamstrings and glutes using a relatively heavy weight. A 12 to 25 pound weight is recommended for a woman while a 25 to 35 pound weight is recommended for a man.
A kettlebell figure 8 is another typical exercise. The figure 8 works the abs and hamstrings as a lifter bends over to transfer a kettlebell between his legs, alternating hands.
As with regular dumbbells, there are exercises to tone and strengthen every part of the body. (See resources section for descriptions of more kettlebell exercises.) It is recommended that you seek guidance from a personal trainer to learn proper kettlebell exercises and form.
Buying Cheap Kettlebells for at-Home Workouts
You can buy relatively cheap kettlebells for your at home workouts from a variety of sources including sporting goods stores, online, or local gyms. Prices will be comparable to those of iron weights, increasing in price as the weight increases. Bargain hunters may find the cheapest ones by calling local gyms who may be discarding equipment.
When you shop for cheap kettlebells, look for weights with smooth, comfortable handles that you can grip easily. If you’re new to kettlebells, you may want to go to a sporting goods store and actually try out the weights.