Welcome to flaming kettlebells!

Picture of kettlebellsKettlebells have been around as long as people have wanted to build up their strength, endurance and fitness.  Russian strong men have been using them as a core part of building themselves us and the results have been seen for centuries – famous circus strongmen have taken their lead.

What are they?

They are balls of metal / heavy ball with a handle and are a great all body workout.

Even the simple (and often first learnt exercise) kettlebell swing works most of your body as well as improving cardio fitness and physical endurance.  If you are unused to it, after a kettlebell swinging session your body will know it’s been used for exercise!

Why use kettlebells?

As mentioned before, they are a great all body workout.  Weights such as dumbbells are great but require high reps and only work a small amount of muscles.  Kettlebells engage the whole body at once.  In 2010, it was tested and a 20 minute session of kettlebell snatches was examines and found to have burnt over 20 kcalories per minute which is the equivalent of running with a 6 minute mile pace!

Who can use them?

It has to be said that not everyone can just jump into training with a kettlebell.  If you have back problems, weak knees, weak core then you should possibly look elsewhere and I’d certainly recommend a checkup and advice from someone in the medical profession before starting.

But if you’re fit and healthy and looking for a challenge then take a look at some of the exercises you can do and give it a go!

Kettlebells don’t take up much room to store and you can get away with one or two but the range of muscles you can use with these crafty exercise tools is amazing.  I bought an 18kg ‘bell online seeing them being used online and checking out a video of what to do did a session of two handed kettlebell swings.  I thought I was pretty strong and fit and did 5 sets.  First set 30 swings, then the others 20 with 30 secs rest between each set.  At the end, my Garmin watch recorded my heart rate at 157 bpm (I normally go running and a moderate / fast session for me is between 145 and 150) and I certainly knew I had done a workout.  Two days after…my shoulders were sore, as were my thighs, core and sides.

Go and give kettlebells a chance.  I love them.