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5 reasons everyone should use kettlebells

One of the best things about Kettlebells is their design. Because they are not balanced or shaped like dumbbells the entire body is required to work in unison for every movement.

Perry O'Hearn demonstrates a kettlebell exercise.
Perry O'Hearn demonstrates a kettlebell exercise.Read moreCourtesy of KTL (custom credit)

It seems that these days everybody is trying to figure out the secret to get in shape, lose weight, and gain muscle. Kettlebells may just be the answer everyone is searching for. Here are 5 reasons Kettlebells can help you achieve all your fitness goals, in record time!

Easy to learn. Don’t believe everything you see on social media. Do a simple #kettlebellworkout search on Instagram and you will come across complicated and intimidating videos of fitness influencers performing intense moves, but Kettlebells are in fact less intimidating than you might think. The foundation of Kettlebell training is performing controlled, strength-based movements. When you work with a coach, who specializes in Kettlebells, you will learn the basics before progressing to more complicated movements. In other words, you’ll be taught how to walk before you’re asked to run.

Increase strength and cardio. Getting in shape can be intimidating and it’s hard to know where to spend your time – should you focus on getting stronger or increasing your cardio? With Kettlebells, you don’t have to worry about choosing one over the other. Kettlebell training will allow you to not only build strength but also improve your cardiovascular system. Best of both worlds!

Efficient. One of the best things about Kettlebells is their design. Because they are not balanced or shaped like dumbbells the entire body is required to work in unison for every movement. The design also helps with unique movements like Kettlebell Swings which allow you to burn a massive amount of calories in a shorter amount of time. Another Win-Win.

Minimal equipment required. What some people find challenging about keeping a fitness routine is having access to the right equipment. What happens if the gym is closed, the weather sucks, or you’re out of town? If you need a ton of equipment to get the job done, you also have a built-in excuse to not work out. But if all you need is just one kettlebell and a space big enough for you to stretch out your arms – then you can easily stay active and on track.

Learn a skill. Most people don’t realize this, but it is common for workouts to simply be designed to make you sweaty, sore, and tired… that’s it. The problem with that is there is no purpose behind the workout and all you will ever learn is how to get sweaty, sore and tired. Kettlebell training is designed to help you develop an actual skill. Will you get sweaty, sore and tired? Yes! But the real benefit is you’ll develop core strength, cardio, body awareness, and power, among other skills. And on top of that, you’ll be achieving your goals in the most efficient and safest way possible.

Think of your workouts as a road trip. You are at Point A and want to get to Point B. Do you want to drive recklessly without any sense of direction or control? Nope.

Kettlebell training acts as the roadmap and GPS to help guide you along your fitness journey.

For people new to kettlebells, the rack hold is my favorite exercise to recommend for beginners.

It will challenge your arms, shoulders, back, and especially your core. The best part is you don’t have to do anything other than standstill.

  1. Bring the kettlebell to shoulder height and allow it to rest in the crease between your forearm and bicep. Your forearm should be completely vertical, wrist should remain straight, and your arms should be tight to your ribs.

  2. Brace your core like you’re about to be punched in the stomach. Don’t lean back or allow your lower back to arch.

  3. Hold for 30 seconds. Overtime, try to work your way up one minute without losing your form. Once you get to one minute, increase the weight and go back to doing 30-second holds.

Perry O’Hearn is the owner of Philly Phitness, a Philadelphia personal training studio, and is opening KTL, a kettlebell training studio in Philadelphia, on Dec. 13.