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What's Up Magazine

Saved by the 'Bell

Mar 01, 2018 07:00AM ● By Brian Saucedo
By Kelsey Casselbury

Skip the weight machines, the barbells, the dumbbells, and all that other equipment and build explosive strength with just one little piece of equipment: the kettlebell (note: It’s not kettle-ball!) You’ve probably seen kettlebells in your gym—they look kind of like a squished bowling ball with a handle on it, and they come in multiple sizes. It’s worth your while to pick up one or two of them for an at-home fitness session (Perk: They won’t break the budget in the slightest!)

Kettlebells give you what’s known as a “functional” workout—that is, it works your muscles in the same way as everyday activities do, such as carrying a child, hoisting a heavy bag of groceries, or moving a piece of furniture into a new space. While there are plenty of moves you can
do to tone your body with a kettlebell, just one dynamic move will work your whole body, from your shoulders to your calves: the kettlebell swing. 

The Perfect Kettlebell Swing
Not only do kettlebell swings work your muscles, it also spikes your heart rate, making it count toward your cardio allowance, too. Just like other strength movements, it’s important to
use proper form during a kettlebell swing—without it, you’ll not only shrink the benefits of the movements, but put yourself at risk of injury, too. 
Tip: Choose a ’bell that allows you to do 10 consecutive swings without compromising your form. If it’s too easy, go up a size. Can’t get through them? Start with a lighter weight.


Place the kettlebell between your feet, which are positioned hip-width apart. Squat down, grip the handle with your palms facing toward you. 


Stand up tall, still holding the kettle bell. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and engage your core. Shift your bodyweight into your heels and push your tush back and down into a half-squat.


Using your hips, glutes, and core—not your arms—swing the kettlebell up to chest height, with your arms extended. Squeeze your glute muscles as you reach the top of the move. The momentum from your hips should be enough to get the kettlebell to the top of the movement.


As the ’bell comes back down, shift your weight back into your heels, returning to that half-squat position as the kettlebell rides back between the legs. Start the process over again by exploding through your hips and swinging the kettlebell back up. Repeat 10 to 12 times.