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5 Ways Kettlebells Help Tone

Feb 10, 2010

Many top trainers and fitness experts have helped clients find some specific value and benefits in working out with kettlebells. These unique fitness tools help to work a variety of muscle groups by adding additional components to a routine that will challenge the body in various ways. Kettlebells are resistance tools; they have weight. They make the body respond to the load placed on limbs and on the torso. Kettlebells also create an imbalance that the body has to respond to. Much of the power of a kettlebell workout is in these two principles. Here are 5 ways that individuals can use kettlebells to tone muscle groups.

  1. Kettlebell Swings - For some of these classic kettlebell activities, the resistance or weight of the kettlebell works against the upper body. In others, even though the shoulders are doing the swinging, the hips are doing a lot of the work. These swing activities can firm and tone hips and similar muscle areas, as well as the upper body. Try one handed and two handed swings and see what's right for you.
  2. Cleans - This activity involves both a swing and a lift component. Cleans are another way to work and tone a number of muscle groups, including the upper body, since the traditional end position involves holding the kettlebell up against your upper arm. There are several variations of this that are popular with trainers.
  3. Deadlifts - Deadlifts are one of the simpler activities associated with any resistance tool. With kettlebells, they help tone and strengthen your core, or the muscles supporting your spine, as well as other various areas of the body.
  4. Jerks - The kettlebell jerk is another "plyometric" exercise that takes advantage of explosive movements that utilize the weight of the kettlebell. Some variants involve extending the arm while holding the kettlebell. This is another way to tone and strengthen the arms while providing more for the core and related muscle groups.
  5. Lunges - A kettlebell lunge often displaces some of the resistance onto the leg muscle areas. By extending a leg and lowering the body's center of gravity, the user is distributing the resistance for some specific gains. Lunges are a way to firm the lower body and to create a more powerful body response capacity with advanced training sets.

Using Kettlebells

Many experts recommend that users start with smaller, lighter kettlebells before advancing to others that will provide more extensive weight training. Most agree that a lighter kettlebell will still provide some good muscle work if used correctly. There is also less chance of injury when a user progresses slowly through the sizes of kettlebells available. Some suggest a woman start with an 18 lb. kettlebell, and a man with a kettlebell around 30 lb. Each individual user can try out kettlebells in a store or gym to see what feels right.

A little research could make the kettlebell a valuable part of your regular workout session. Check out the potential of these international fitness tools and see why so many are raving about them for getting muscles in good shape and keeping them active to prevent eventual atrophy.

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