Have you hit a plateau in your workout? Suddenly one day you wake up and realize your three days of strength training a week and five days of an hour of cardio are just not yielding any results. Instead of giving up, change it up! Most of us have heard the advice that in order to break through a plateau is to switch up your routine, but why not make the switch up super- effective? Sounds great, right? But how can this be done?
The kettlebell is rapidly becoming one of the hottest workout routines and for good reason. They are highly effective and they don’t take up much space. Even better, they don’t cost thousands of dollars and you can work out in the comfort of your own home. Imagine getting a rockin’ physique without having to leave the comfort of your own home! Do you think that sounds too good to be true? Keep reading if you do.
What exactly is a kettlebell? Typically, they are round lead weights with a handle on them. Imagine a ball with a handle, if you will. They come in all different sizes ranging from light to very heavy and are priced accordingly. If this seems like a glorified dumbbell to you, well, it is. You can certainly do the run-of-the-mill weight lifting routines, such as tricep raises, flys and shoulder raises with a kettlebell, and yield similar results to that of a dumbbell. But why do that when you can do so much more with an actual kettlebell routine?
What makes the kettlebell routine special is the fact that most of the exercises are repeated in a fast-paced sequence that requires the engagement of various muscle groups simultaneously. One of the main muscle groups kettlebell exercises engage is the core muscles, as these are engaged for stability while doing the exercise. High repetitions of exercises such as one-arm swings, cleans, and double-arm swings are highly effective in creating muscular endurance and stregnth. You will find that completing a sequence of these types of exercises will also give you an aerobic workout as well. We all know that aerobic exercise is our friend when it comes to fat-loss!
Kettlebell exercises are also unique due to the fact they are pretty hard to handle, especially when you first start out using them. Ensuring you use the kettlebell with proper form is vital to prevent injury. Since these exercises can seem unstable (they are, that is the beauty of them), they may feel awkward at first. The magic happens because the instability of the kettlebell engages those stabilizing muscles in a way that a dumbbell exercise cannot. Because of the nature of the kettlebell exercise, the hamstrings are engaged and the shoulders get a killer workout as well.
If you are looking at ways to add that extra umph into your workouts, kettlebells are a great way to do that. However, it is best to seek out proper instruction either by a certified Kettlebell Trainer, or by purchasing an instructional DVD to ensure proper technique. Once you’ve mastered the technique of kettlebell exercise, you will find after consistent practice that your muscles are stronger, you have more endurance and you have that coveted “cut” look that many spend hours at the gym working towards. This can all be done in the comfort of your own home. You can’t beat that!