As a former personal trainer, I’ve seen so many workout trends come and go. But one tool that’s been around since the 1800's could be your new best friend if you want to get in shape in 2016. I’m talking about the kettle bell.
A kettle bell looks something like a cannonball with a handle. Most fitness enthusiasts trace its use back to Russia in the 1700s when such bells were used as counterweights for farm equipment. Another theory places their origins in the Scottish Highlands, where handles were put on curling stones in the winter for easier grip. Either way, fast-forward to the 21st century and you'll find kettle bells of all sizes and colors in gyms everywhere!
What sets kettle bells apart from, say, traditional dumbbells, is that its center of gravity extends beyond the grip. This instability requires your body to fire more muscles to stabilize the weight while you perform full-body, ballistic, and swinging movements. The more muscles used in a movement, the more functional it is.
Another thing I love about kettle bells is that with even just one exercise (e.g. the swing), you can get a killer workout because it engages all the muscles of the body while simultaneously bringing your heart rate way up. Strength and endurance are challenged at the same time but your workout remains short and sweet.
As regular readers of this blog know, posture is extremely important for our bodies to perform optimally. At Oak Point, after our patients complete their postural correction program, we encourage them to add the kettle bell to their workout routine to help maintain excellent posture and health. We do so because the kettle bell activates the extensor muscles such as the glutes, back, and quads -- all of which keep us in an upright healthy posture.
Here is a workout I love:
- 16 sets
- 25 seconds: double arm kettle bell swing
- 45 seconds: active rest
For more information on kettle bells and our PostureFIT programs, feel free to contact us and schedule a complimentary consultation.
Written by Dimitri Boules LAc, LMT, CPE, CPT