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Kettlebells are a girl's best friend

While I would recommend kettlebell training to anyone trying to get fit or improve athletic performance, the kettlebell can be an especially transformative training tool for women.

Even as kettlebell training grows in popularity, many people still believe it is too risky to attempt. 

It is common to associate kettlebell training with hardcore training techniques like the martial arts; however kettlebell workouts are not confined to those populations. 

While I would recommend kettlebell training to anyone trying to get fit or improve athletic performance, the kettlebell can be an especially transformative training tool for women.

Don’t believe me? See for yourself…

Decreased Body Fat

Women tend to be interested in losing body fat and inches around the waist, thighs and arms. Kettlebell training burns fat and builds lean muscle during high-intensity workouts. Studies have shown that it is possible to burn up to 20.2 calories per minute while training with a kettlebell. To equal that type of calorie burn you could run at a 6-minute mile pace or cross-country skiing up hill. Yeah, I pick kettlebells too

“I don’t want to get bulky”

Women aim for strength and fitness gains, but are afraid of looking like a body builder. Kettlebells promote the development of lean muscle without the bulky appearance.  Additionally, to ward off osteoporosis, it is imperative that women take up resistance training. Load bearing exercises, like kettlebell training, promotes development of calcium deposits that keep bones strong. 

Better Results, Less Time and Equipment

Juggling work, children, and daily tasks leave women with little spare time for a trip to the gym. By training multiple muscle groups simultaneously, kettlebell training provides more significant benefits than traditional strength training programs in a fraction of the time. What is more, is the fact that these outcomes can be had with only one piece of equipment in a spare bedroom or basement, at
home.

Functional Fitness

Kettlebells force the body to work as one unit. This type of exercise reflects the demands we put on our bodies during everyday activities. Unlike typical strength training circuits and stationary exercise machines, the asymmetrical construction of the kettlebell requires core engagement throughout every repetition.  Training the entire body as one energy system reveals weak links, while increasing functionality.

Healthy Joints:

Because kettlebell exercises are no/low impact, there is little strain on the
joints.  Increases in range of motion improved balance, muscular recruitment, and flexibility around joints have been reported by individuals participating in kettlebell training.

Sealing the Deal

Kettlebell training promotes the development of lean muscle and strength while revving up the metabolism. For busy women looking to get lean and toned, while torching away stubborn body fat, kettlebell training is the ideal exercise solution. 

Begin your foray into kettlebell training by mastering the proper athletic or exercise position and perfecting a bodyweight squat.  Proper athletic position is defined as feet shoulder width apart, chest up, shoulders back and down, abs flexed, back arched (not rounded), slight bend in the knees, and weight distributed into the heels.

Next, move onto the kettlebell swing.  It is important to note that the hips, not
the arms or upper body, are used to propel the kettlebell through the swing. Power is created by the large muscles of the lower body including the quads,
glutes, hamstrings, and core.

Beginning in the squatted athletic position, grasping the kettlebell with long arms, drive from the heels through the ankles, knees, hips and core. While rising out of the athletic position, driving with the hips, the kettlebell rises through the full motion of a swing. This motion is created by the hip drive, not a squat or pulling from the upper body.

After you become comfortable with this movement, consider attempting additional exercises such as the weighted sit-up, kettlebell thruster, or deadlift-high pull.  

Once you are ready, give this workout a try. 

Warm-up:

2 rounds, 30 seconds each

Body Weight Squat

Jumping Jack

Arm Circles (forward /backward, large/small)

Alternate Lunge (each leg)

Training:

5 Rounds, AFAP

20x Kettlebell Swing

20x Deadlift-High Pull

20x Thruster

Rest @ 30 sec max.

5 rounds

15xWeighted Sit-up
5x Push-up

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Maura February 21, 2012 at 12:52 PM
I take a Kettlebell class at "You Rock Fitness" on Rt. 19 in Wexford. I love it and they make it so easy to understand. It IS a great workout!

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