When racing off to the gym is not an option and you still want to get in your strength work or your cardio workout, why not try a Kettlebell workout at home?
In fact, using the Kettlebell will do both . . . strength and cardiovascular work.
The kettlebell is a large cast iron ball shaped weight with a single handle. Originally used for measurements by Russian farmers, it has since been incorporated into cardiovascular and fitness programs because it has some unique benefits.
The kettlebell can be used at home or at the gym. It is unique in that it can build both strength and endurance during one fitness program. And, unlike other weighted exercises like dumbbells, kettlebell exercises will involve a large number of repetitions using several muscle groups simultaneously. This combination makes the exercises similar to high intensity interval training with lower weights and higher repetitions.
Because of the unique way that the exercises are performed and the high number of repetitions, the athlete should start out slowly and increase the number of reps gradually in order to reduce the potential for injury and to build endurance.
The most popular of the kettlebell exercises is the swing. Done correctly it can target the shoulders, back, hips, glutes and legs. It is important to watch your form through this exercise so you don’t injury your lower back.
Stand up straight with your feet slightly farther than should width apart. Hold the kettlebell in both hands with the palms facing down and the arms in front of the body. Bend from the hips with the knees slightly bent, but not into the squat position. Using your hips to engage the motion, bring the hips forward and the arms up only to shoulder height. Keep the core and glutes engaged and return to the original position. Do this continuously for 12 to 15 repetitions.
The kettlebell row will work your upper back, arms and shoulders. Place two bells on the floor in front of you and bend at the knees slightly so you reduce the pressure on the joint. Bend over and grab both bells, one in each hand, and pull them up to your stomach while bent over. Keep your elbows close to the body and your back straight. Repeat this motion 12-15 times and then rest.
The windmill is perfect for the shoulders, back, obliques, abs and hips. Stand with the kettleball handle in your right hand and both hands by your side. Keep your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Swing the kettlebell up to your shoulder and then press into the air above your head, palm facing forward and the bell resting on your forarm. Next point your opposite toe outward and, bending at the waist, keep your arm straight in the air and reach down to touch your toe. Return to the upright position with the bell still above your head. return the bell to your side and repeat 5 to 6 times on one side then switch and repeat 5 to 6 times on the other.
Using these kettlebell exercises at home you can continue to workout without a gym and reap the rewards of hard work.
Fitness Magazine: Kettlebell Workout for Beginners
Greatist: 22 Kick-Ass Kettlebell Exercises
womens Health: Total Body Toning with Kettlebells