Why You Should Use a Kettlebell
Everyone seems to be looking for the magic bullet of fitness. People want a fast, simple workout that will help them burn fat and/or build muscle. Though there isn’t any specific exercise or piece of equipment you can do to guarantee overall fitness, there are some options that will give you a great workout in less time than running on a treadmill or doing crunches. My personal favorite piece of equipment, and one that I’ve been seeing fantastic gains with lately, is the kettlebell or girya in Russian. A kettlebell user, or girevik, has two main kettlebell exercises he can use when beginning his kettlebell training: the swing and the Turkish get-up.
If you want to develop your core muscles, especially your legs, the kettlebell swing is for you. There are two important things to remember when performing the swing: keep your back straight (not necessarily vertical) and tense your abs. Both of these will protect your back from potential injury. To perform a swing, place your feet a little over shoulder width apart and hold the kettlebell in both hands between your legs. Perform a squatting motion, letting the kettlebell swing back, then forcefully straighten your legs and thrust your hips forward, propelling the kettlebell to chest or eye level. It’s important to note that your arms will do no pulling during this exercise; they’re just there to hold the kettlebell.
The Turkish Get-Up
For the Turkish get-up, you need to lie down on your back with your kettlebell beside you. Grab the kettlebell with both hands and hold it above your chest then, making sure you have a firm grip, remove one hand and extend the other arm above you until your elbow is fully extended. Next, roll your upper body toward the arm not holding the kettlebell. From there, you need to get into a sitting position, then into a fully standing position. After this, slowly lay back down, making sure you keep your abs tensed and your back straight the entire time. When you’ve completed one, switch arms and do it again.
By combining these exercises into a workout routine, a beginning girevik can develop the skills and strength required to progress to the next level of kettlebell training.