Christopher Walken had a fever. And a better prescription would have been more kettlebell. Not that Walken appears to need to lose any weight, but who couldn’t benefit from these tried-and-true, old-school, fat-blasting globs of iron?
Read any article out there (correction: any quality article out there) pertaining to weight loss and strength training and you will undoubtedly come across an emphatic plea to pick up a kettlebell. Or three. Or to ditch everything else you ever knew about weight lifting and commit the remainder of your life to the kettlebell and only the kettlebell. Depends on who wrote it.
One of the oldest pieces of conditioning equipment around, kettlebells originate in Russia from as early as the 1700s. Of course, they were initially used to counterweight dry goods at the market, but after being tossed around for entertainment and spectacle, were discovered to provide impressive gains in strength and overall fitness. A major reason for this is the kettlebell’s distribution of weight: the majority of the bell’s load comes from underneath your grip, confusing your body’s center of gravity. This small difference from a traditional
dumbbell (with a more even weight distribution) makes a huge impact on how the muscles in your core activate. Without a predictable center of gravity, you will recruit more of the stabilizing muscles and maintain that support throughout the exercise. Bonus: your grip strength will improve immensely without any added effort, simply by holding onto one of these cannonballs.
People ask me all of the time, “What are the most beneficial exercises I can do to lose weight and build strength?”
My answer, every time: “Push-ups and kettlebell swings.”
Here is an example of one of the very best ways to shed pounds and create a solid mid-section:
The possibilities are endless when incorporating kettlebells into your current strength training regimen. Be sure to learn proper form to reduce the risk of injury and gain maximum benefit.
Jodilyn Stuart is the Health & Sports Senior Staff Writer for 303 Magazine, owner of ModaBody Fitness, and has been a professional fitness geek since 1997. If you have questions, feel free to email at: [email protected] *Vote for Jodilyn as Denver’s A-List top trainer here*