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Kettle bell workout: Top three tips for a fitter you

Kettle bells are a great tool for any training program because they challenge your bio-motor abilities

Vahdaneh Vahid

Published: Updated:

Kettle bells are a great tool for any training program because they challenge your bio-motor abilities: strength, coordination, speed, agility and flexibility. Bio-motor exercises help train your body to work as one synergistic unit, improving your human functional movement and increasing performance levels. Kettle-bell training helps improve posture and generally move better.

Most people are weary about using kettle bells as they feel it requires strength, so the mistake most make is to try to control them. This makes movements jerky, wasting unnecessary energy. To get the best performance out of using kettle bells is to imagine that you are not in a contest against it, but learning to move with the flow of the bell.

Below are three kettle-bells moves that challenge your core muscles, improve functionality, strengthen the muscles in the back of the body to help improve posture, and help you shape up better.

Kettle-bell swing

(Photo courtesy: Vahdaneh Vahid)
(Photo courtesy: Vahdaneh Vahid)

You may see this exercise performed using both hands, but that causes the shoulders and mid-back to round forward, which is bad for your posture and joints. To avoid injury, use a one-arm grip. This allows your trunk to rotate, which involves your oblique muscles and core, and also provides support for the shoulder joint.

Step 1: Stand with your feet wider than hip-distance apart

Step 2: Keep the weight on your heels. This will help you power through your glutes (butt muscles)

Step 3: Draw your navel in, contracting two inches below the belly button and pulling in as close to the spine as possible. This will help support your lower back

Step 4: Keep your shoulder blades retracted and your posture extended

Step 5: Holding the kettle bell with one hand in the center of your body

Step 6: Hinge your hips backs

Step 7: Allow your trunk to slightly rotate, passing the kettle bell through the legs

Step 8: The empty hand should swing behind, and you should keep the palm turned out

Step 9: Allow the movement to bring the kettle bell up vertically to the sky

Step 10: Follow the swing on the way down and repeat the hinge on the hips, powering from your glutes and rotating the trunk again at the bottom phase

Step 11: Keep your palm close to the groin on the inside of your thigh, and do not allow the kettle bell to fall low to the ground at the bottom phase (refer to image)

Pendulum swing lunge

(Photo courtesy: Vahdaneh Vahid)
(Photo courtesy: Vahdaneh Vahid)

Step 1: Position your feet in a lunge, knees slightly bent and hips hinged back

Step 2: Keep 90 percent of your weight on the front leg, and the remaining weight on the back leg with the heel off the ground on the back leg

Step 3: Draw your navel in, contracting two inches below the belly button and pulling in as close to the spine as possible. This will help support your lower back

Step 4: Keep your shoulder blades retracted and your posture extended

Step 5: Hold your kettle bell in the hand of the front leg by your side

Step 6: Allow for a mild swing to accrue from your arms, and a slight rotation in your trunk as you do so

Step 7: Moving with the kettle bell as it swings toward your body, hinge your hips back at the same time, allowing for a flowing movement to happen with the kettle bell

Step 8: Try not to generate any force

Step 9: If your timing is correct, you will find you will not need to apply much control to get the kettle bell to vertically swing up to the sky, and it will feel very fluid

Around the world

(Photo courtesy: Vahdaneh Vahid)
(Photo courtesy: Vahdaneh Vahid)

Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart

Step 2: Hold the kettle bell in front of you, using both hands to grip it

Step 3: Keep your shoulder blades retracted and your posture extended

Step 4: Start by gently swinging the kettle bell side to side, to allow you to get used to the weight

Step 5: Allow your body to turn to the side while you pivot your toes over with it

Step 6: Open up your entire body as you do so, and keep the kettle bell extended straight above your head, then let it fall and complete to pivot on the opposite side

Step 7: It is important to turn your hips over right at the point when the kettle bell is about to transit to the other side

Step 8: Find a relaxed rhythm and remain smooth throughout the exercise

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Fitness expert Vahdaneh Vahid can be reached on Facebook and Instagram.