When I ran a local health club, I would tour prospective members and explain what it had to offer and if the club would fit their needs. The gym was quite big and full of equipment which sometimes meant members wouldn’t know where to start. The most common question I’d be asked is “so which is the best piece of equipment to lose weight and to get fitter?” 9/10 I would explain that the best way to do this would be to use Kettlebells regularly.
The prospective member seemed confused and slightly apprehensive as the gym had state of the art resistance machines, beautiful cardiovascular options amongst a host of other equipment. So when I picked up a 12Kg kettlebell and said “this is what you need” I proceeded to demonstrate 2 or 3 simple yet effective exercises to show what I meant.
Here are my reasons for choosing the kettlebell:
- They offer the opportunity for quick workouts as you can flow from one exercise to another without having to put the kettlebell down. Spend 20 minutes pushing, pulling, swinging, squatting with a kettlebell and you’ll be ‘feeling the burn’.
- Most of the exercises target multiple muscles which lead to a higher level of energy being required, therefore burning more calories which contributes to fat loss.
- A kettlebell workout will not only help build strength and muscle (or toning if you prefer), it also targets your cardiovascular system, which means you don’t have to train weights one day and cardio the next, as using Kettlebells does both.
- You can perform the majority of exercises with only 1 kettlebell, removing the need for a gym membership.
- The space required for kettlebell exercises is minimal. Generally, if you can raise your arms to the side and over your head without touching anything, you have enough room.
Here are a few examples of kettlebell exercises that beginners can use as well as advanced athletes. The intensity level will just depend on the weight of the kettlebell, the speed of the movement and the recovery time.
Clean and press (Picture 3)