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  • Effective kettlebell exercises

    Kettlebells long have been a staple of fitness in Eastern Europe which have only recently made their way over here to the States. People who integrated them into their workouts have been seeing amazing results, while those who refuse to use them continue to thumb their nose, but the tides are changing. Dumbbells, barbells, and machines still stay top of the American fitness world, but there is definitely a lot to be said of this reportedly ancient tool. Think back to the first fit civilization in the world, the Ancient Greeks. They are reported to have invented this piece of equipment. They survived through the ages long enough to give birth to civilization in Europe, and by many accounts, their love of fitness and the kettlebell are to thank.
    First, you have to be sold on the kettlebell before you run off and start using them. Kettlebells come in different sizes, colors, and materials, all of which are nice, but the true star of what makes it such a versatile piece of equipment is how large of a range of motion the kettlebell gives you. The wide handle lets it rest easily in the palm or grip while maintaining a lower center of gravity in the bell itself. Unlike with a dumbbell where you are holding directly on the center of gravity, you can easily allow the kettlebell to have more fluid movement, while you also can match its movement without keeping a rigid hold on it. So what can you do with this new found range of motion? Lot of exercises, it turns out, with one and two kettlebells.
    For single kettlebell exercises, there are two main varieties: one and two handed. Regardless if it is one or two hands holding the kettlebell, each of these give a total body workout, another benefit over the traditional bar workouts. One handers like the Strict Press, the Clean, and the Turkish Get-up are great, and the general consensus on these are that they belong in any kettlebell routine in alternating side sets. Two-handers like the Swing and the Goblet Squat are even better at total body workouts without using time to switch between arms. If you want instead to dual-wield your kettlebells, there are many exercises for that too. You have Double Rack Squats, Double Swings, Double Push Presses, Double Turkish Get-ups, basically any kettlebell exercise you can do with one kettlebell, you can do with two.
    Of course now you just want to run out and get a couple of kettlebells, but you really should take a step back there, Tex. While there is no doubt this is the start of a fitness revolution, you still should take the time to meet at least once with a certified kettlebell trainer. Yes, they do have certifications, and if the trainer you are going to see says otherwise, I suggest you find another trainer, because the most important thing, like with any exercise, is to have the proper foundations and form understood. Kettlebells are a marvel, but you don't want to get hurt using them.
    This is only really a basic primer scratching the surface of how to use kettlebells and what their benefit is. There are resources all over the internet, at cross-training gyms, and any run-of-the-mill fitness gym usually now incorporate a kettlebell program. Go check it out, try for yourself, and once you see the amazing results, you are going to be hooked.
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