So you’ve been to the weight area of the gym one or two times and you might still be feeling a bit out of place. Ready to take your workout to the next level so that you can feel like total badass at the gym? Enter: kettlebell weights. AKA, your new best friend.
What’s a kettlebell? I’m not ready for this!
Oh yes you freaking are! A kettlebell is a piece of exercise equipment that looks like a big metal ball with a handle. You’ve more than likely seen one or two of these laying around at your small gym. Or, if you go to a big gym there might be a rack of various sizes.
You can use a kettlebell for all sorts of exercises that burn fat and build muscle. In reality, you can do a lot of the same things with kettlebell weights that you can do with dumbbells (press, squat, curl, etc.). But, many beginners find that kettlebell workouts make them feel like they’ve become more advanced with their workouts. (Hello! HUGE ego boost!)
Kettlebell workouts are high intensity but still manageable for beginners. Most movements are very simple and highly efficient. For example: a kettlebell swing will require you to swing the kettlebell straight in front of you at eye level and then back down again between your legs in a slight squat position. Lushious Lifts is a great blog with an awesome visual of this. With the swing, you’ll work your legs, core and arms; all with a burst of cardio.
How to replace your dumbbells with kettlebell weights
The great thing about kettlebell weights are their versatility. You can get a great leg workout in just as easily as you can master an arm workout with this piece of equipment. Try using a kettlebell for squats. Hold the kettlebell at your chest with both hands while you do Goblet Squats.
Or, hold the kettlebell handle in your hand with the ball directed toward the ceiling for a shoulder press minus the dumbbells. By holding the weight in this position, you will have to stabilize and tighten your muscles more to prevent the bell from moving around while you press.
How heavy should I go?
That really depends on your strength and fitness level. A good rule of thumb is that big muscle groups will require heavier weights. Arm exercises will require lighter weights, kettlebell swings will use medium weights and for squats you’ll use heavier weights.
No kettlebell? No problem!
You can actually use dumbbells and kettlebells interchangeably if you happen to be somewhere without them. If you’re doing that kettlebell swing with a dumbbell, set the dumbbell on its side, grab the weighted side that’s close to you and start your swingin’!
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