For this week’s Saturday Morning Drill we’re diving into something a bit different. We’re switching things up and confusing those muscles by incorporating a kettlebell.
Kettlebells are a handle-style weight typically made of cast-iron that ranges in weight between 5-105 pounds. They can be found at most major retailers for a reasonably low price, usually between $10-$15. In addition to being affordable and easy to store, they’re also the perfect tool for strength, flexibility and ballistic training, and can also incorporated into cardiovascular activity as well.
Among its many benefits, kettlebell training can aid with core stability, balance, coordination, blood circulation, muscle tone and fat loss, and can also help increase energy levels, improve sleep and boost self esteem. Sign us up!
It’s pretty common for females to be intimidated by weight training, but kettlebells are a great option for performing exercises comfortably in your very own home. They’re also great for switching things up and confusing your muscles. Your body can easily get used to a particular exercise if you perform it on a consistent basis. When this happens your workout isn’t as beneficial as it was the first few times you performed it, leaving you with less-than-desirable results.
NOTE: Please be sure to carefully follow the instructions for this routine. Performing a kettlebell exercise incorrectly can cause injury. If you’re unsure about how to perform an exercise correctly, do not attempt it before asking a personal trainer at your local gym in order to avoid risk of injury.
Working out can really bite sometimes. Am I right? It’s repetitive, boring, and takes forever, or at least it feels like it does. However, tight jeans and a climbing scale bite, too. Is there a remedy? Is there a happy place where working out doesn’t irritate AND you aren’t resigned to a life in your “fat jeans?” It’s possible, if you’re willing to go off the grid a bit and find some activities that might not look like exercise at first. There are plenty of non-traditional fitness routines that might just be where your happy place resides.
Pole dancing, roller derby, and Capoeira are really just the tip of the alternative workout iceberg. There are lots of ways to stay fit without having to just run on a machine that goes nowhere. Active living can be rewritten; it no longer has to stay in the gym. Find your happy place, do something you love, enjoy your workout, and get in those skinny jeans!
By Pamela Hernandez
When we say weight loss what we really mean is fat loss. We want to workout and eat, in most cases, to get lean and carve lovely muscular curves. Many try to slog it out on the treadmill or elliptical trainer for hours on end to burn fat. I believe there are much more efficient, and entertaining, ways to burn calories and create a lean physique.
Ready to break out of your cardio machine routine? Try one of my favorite (and highly effective) fat burning workouts.
Squats: Weight training will always top my list of fat burners. Your resting metabolism can stay elevated for up to 48 hours after strength training, meaning more calories burned while you sleep or sit at your desk. Squats are at the top of my list because they use all of the big muscles of the legs and there are endless variations to keep you from getting bored. My favorite is the overhead squat, engaging muscles from top to bottom.
Boxing: I have no desire to hit someone but when I want to work up a sweat I love hitting the bag or putting on my Tae-Bo video. Your core and legs (remember big muscles burn more calories) provide power to your punches while increasing your heart rate more quickly than the treadmill. If you really want to sculpt tank top ready shoulders and arms, trying shadow boxing with weighted gloves or light dumbbells in hand.
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Kettlebell workouts seem to be all the rage these days. And because it’s an exercise known for being tough, gritty and somewhat complicated, I’ve been interested in trying it for the last few years (glutton for punishment, I am). But it wasn’t until I reviewed a few kettlebell workout DVDs that I gave them a go. And what a go it was.
Working with kettlebells is intense and some of the movements are downright dangerous and can result in injury if you do them improperly. And because many of the moves—especially the compound ones—are extremely challenging and advanced, it’s likely that when you get tired (and you will get tired), your form will suffer. And bad form isn’t good.
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I am a big fan of mixing it up when I exercise. I am easily bored, almost certainly A.D.D., and need to have a different routine in order to keep myself engaged and present. I try to work out three mornings a week with a Crossfit instructor. Recently, my instructor introduced me to the concept of Tabata.
The Tabata Protocol has been said to be simply the best supra-aerobic cardio workout ever created. Izumi Tabata researched the concept of a quicker more intense workout vs. a traditional 60 minute aerobic workout. The 4 minute exercise group had to bike at 90 RPMs at 170% of VO2max. That’s a very high speed and level of intensity. At the end of the 6 week study, the 4 minute exercise group had improved both their aerobic and anaerobic markers of fitness. The 60 minute group improved their aerobic fitness (not as much as the 4 minute group) and saw no change in their anaerobic fitness.
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