So, last week my Motivation Monday goal was to shadowbox for weight loss as an add-on to my Pilates routine. I am sorry to say I didn’t follow through with this, but I am happy to report that it is because I went ahead and skipped the amp-up of shadowboxing and started my Kettlebell swing routine up again one weekday evening while Amanda and I were hammering out goals on Facebook. I got up, pulled out my bell, did a cycle of swings and repeated as desired.
It felt incredible.
If you have never used a Kettlebell, you should definitely take a class — you will be so surprised at the way even a simple seeming movement like the Kettlebell swing can leave your back, arms, core, and thighs simultaneously begging you for mercy and a repeat performance the next day (don’t give in, by the way, your muscles need rest!) while torching fat and building lean body mass. I really love the bell for the power it helps me tune into. If you view the Kettlebell swing in motion, you may think it is a straight arm and upper back motion and lift, but the power that generates the swing actually comes your hips. Between the activation of your larger muscles coupled with the accelerated heart rate the effort of wielding a kettlebell causes, it really feels like a great run or cycle on the elliptical by the time you are done. I highly recommend it!
When I first started working out with Kettlebells a few years ago, Amy Bento had just released her Absolute Beginners Kettlebell program and her first Kettlebell DVD through her own company, NRG Fitness, followed shortly after. Both of these DVDs are incredibly awesome, but for right now, I am just running through the swings based on the weight loss and toning story of Tracy Reifkind who has written a book and starred in a DVD about the swing. I don’t intend to continue along with this until I reach my health and fitness goals, but I am going to keep working with my 10 lb bell until I can progress to the 15 again and then go through my Bento DVDs with the 15.
…which brings me to a larger piece of advice
If you decide to start using a kettlebell, shop with care and make sure you pick a bell that will allow you to do a full complement of moves (preview a few professional kettlebell instructions on YouTube to get an idea of the basics). My 10-lb bell doesn’t have a wide enough through-portion at its handle for it to be easily maneuvered with two handed moves or when the bell is transitioned from one hand to the other mid-swing. I also highly recommend taking a class with an instructor if at all possible in order to receive direct feedback on form. When DVDs are your only option, pick a DVD from a certified kettlebell instructor, try to work out in front of a mirror and pay special attention to form cues on the DVD. Listen to the full instructions for each move and watch a demonstration before trying it for the first time.