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Kettlebell Workouts: Yes or No?

Dear Fun & Fit:

What do you think of kettle-bells? My niece was trying to get my 77-year-old sister to use them and I thought, “Wow, there is a ligament-wrenching waiting to happen.”
Debbie
Goleta, CA

Da, please!

Nyet, thanks!

Dear Deb (which is kind of, but not really, like “bells” spelled sideways:

We think kettlebells are wonderful. They make such a lovely noise right around the holidays. All that joyful clinging and clanging. Until the whoomp. But, hey, that’s what Santa gets for sneaking around living rooms.

Do you mean you want to exercise with them? Or you want to throw them at your niece? Not very family-friendly we’d say. As a workout, they are great – if done properly. But isn’t that the case with any tool? However, in the case of kettlebells, lots of people watch the YouTube videos with those crazy Russians, but let us point out two things: 1) they are Russian. 2) they are crazy. The Russians invented the kettlebell workout, probably using spare parts they had around the collective (kolkhoz, for those of us who went to university for Russian Studies). Then they took some of the more, erm, ahem, shall we say “extreme” routines and stuck them up for all to view.

But if you don’t want to roll around a grassy knoll tossing a 70-pound kettlebell up into the rainbows (and your spine into little pieces), there are actual SAFE routines you could start with. One caveat for you and anyone else who is thinking of tossing around a heavy, curvilinear cast-iron object (no, not a frying pan), if you want to take a class or session at your local gym, check out the instructor’s credentials and training for kettlebells. We are huge supporters of our fitness colleagues, but we have seen one or two crazy Americans whom we suspect took their training from a Russian YouTube video. Not to name names, but…

You shut your mouth.

I’m talking ’bout Shaft.

Dear Readers and kettlebell flingers: What is your opinion of kettlebells? And does the name make you want a cup of tea?

Photo credits: Photobucket

About Fun and Fit

Get practical exercise advice, your fitness questions answered, and cutting edge health edu-tainment that is accessible and doable from long time fitness experts, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA. We have taught on land, sea, and airwaves for 3 decades on 4 continents. From writing to speaking, emceeing to hosting a radio show, reviewing products to teaching classes, we believe that little steps turn into big paths. Move a little more than the day before. FitFluential Ambassadors and award-winners both online and off.

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8 Responses to Kettlebell Workouts: Yes or No?

  1. Karen January 6, 2011 at 7:45 am #

    I have never even heard of them until I went to the spa last June and they were offering a class. I was disappointed that I couldn’t take it, I love to try new workouts, but I was recovering from a shoulder injury. Now I hear about them everywhere! My mom cracks me up because she calls them kettle bAlls.

  2. Susan@Home Workouts January 6, 2011 at 8:01 am #

    HAHA, no I don’t want any tea, I want to toss them suckers around! Yes, kettlebells are spectacular. In fact, i always, always, always have 2 kettlebell exercises that show up in any routines I’m doing.

    1. Turkish get up. This is a great full body exercise that works damn near every muscle in the body. It is great for correcting muscle imbalances, which the majority of us have these days. It is tricky to learn but once you get the hang of it isn’t that difficult to do.

    2. The swing. This is awesome for our wonderful posterior! From the tip of our toes to the top of our heads, the swing builds a fantastic backend for us and can provide an amazing cardio interval workout!

    And the best part is that kettlebells are relatively inexpensive, can be stored at home without taking up too much space, and is great for a home workout! Yeah!
    Susan@Home Workouts recently posted..Cold Exposure For Fast Fat BurningMy Profile

  3. Amy January 6, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    No tea for me, and no kettle bells either. Most of my clients come to my quite de-conditioned, and kettle bells are an injury just waiting to happen for them. There are so many other options, there is no need to swing that hunk of metal around.
    Amy recently posted..SMART ResolutionsMy Profile

    • Claire January 9, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

      Wow, I am feeling like a total looser! I never even heard of a kettle bell work out!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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