Milwaukee Edition

Body Sculpt with Kettlebells

Workouts Burn Fat and Tone Muscle

wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock.com

Kettlebell training promotes fat loss, toning of major muscle groups and greater functional strength, while requiring less time than its dumbbell counterpart.
 

“Kettlebells can replace almost all other exercise equipment in providing an all-in-one workout, combining strength and cardio benefits,” explains Shelly Bumpus, an Athletics and Fitness Association of America-certified personal trainer and owner of the Studio Women’s Fitness Center, in Scott, Louisiana. Bumpus often uses kettlebells in strength and conditioning exercise classes to afford a balanced full-body workout that’s fun and engaging.

“Consistent kettlebell training imitates and strengthens movements we use to function in daily life,” explains Athena Concannon, an American College of Sports Medicine-certified personal trainer and healthy lifestyle blogger at AchieveWithAthena.com, in Boston. For example, actions like lifting grocery bags and standing up from a sitting position become easier. She notes that the growing popularity of different kinds of functional training in the past decade has bolstered recognition of kettlebell benefits as people seek ways to move away from assisted weight machines toward natural body movements.

Kettlebells now show up in circuit training, CrossFit and both functional fitness and step classes. People see results because, “It takes multiple small and large muscle groups to redirect movement while maintaining control with a kettlebell, requiring more muscle recruitment than with a traditional dumbbell; it’s because its shape provides unbalanced weight resistance that strengthens a multitude of different muscles,” explains Julie Joffrion, owner of All-Inclusive Health, in New Orleans.

A kettlebell’s configuration requires exercisers to pay close attention to maintaining a neutral spinal posture and avoid locking knees and wrists to avoid pain or injury. By starting with a smaller weight and focusing on form first, exercisers build a foundation that allows them to more fully enjoy the benefits.

Momentum training with kettlebells also compares favorably to traditional dumbbells or weighted bars. “The distinctive shape and weight distribution allows for a variety of exercises and grip positions that are not as comfortable and effective or even possible with a dumbbell,” says Joffrion.

Although kettlebells have been popular with Russian athletes since the 1700s, they are a relatively new addition to U.S. fitness clubs. “I first learned about kettlebell fitness in 2005 when some gyms were purchasing them. However, because trainers didn’t yet know how to use or instruct on proper movement of the bells, they sat dormant for awhile. I started using them and fell in love. After a few months, I knew this would be something I’d stick with for a long time,” recalls Lorna Kleidman, an accomplished kettlebell champion who has earned gold awards in 17 national and international competitions.

Now the founder of KettleX, a business focused on making kettlebell fitness available to everyone through DVDs, private sessions, online coaching and seminars, Kleidman says, “The beauty is that the bells keep you strong and looking great, no matter what your age or fitness experience. I’ve rarely met a person that didn’t get hooked after working out with the appropriate bells, be it a child or an 80-year-young client.

“They are excellent for power, cardiovascular enhancement, endurance and physical symmetry, which is important for the health of the tissues and joints. At the same time, they create a healthful-looking physique, including toned arms, flat abs and a round, lifted butt,” she adds.

Participants completing 20 minutes of a high-intensity kettlebell workout burned an average of 20 calories per minute in a study sponsored by the American Council of Exercise. The researchers compared this level to running a six-minute mile and credited the more intensive calorie burn as a result of challenging the total body, which quickly raises the heart rate when performed with speed. The study concluded that kettlebell training is especially beneficial for those that want to fit in a time-efficient, total body workout.

Proponents go a step further, claiming that kettlebells can deliver increased benefits in half the time of traditional workouts. Bumpus advises, “If you’re solely interested in building strength and muscle power, stick with free weights, but if you’re looking for a way to burn fat while increasing muscular and cardiovascular endurance, kettlebells are a valuable option to incorporate into your training.”


Taylor Geiger is a freelance writer in Phoenix, Arizona. Connect at TaylorGeiger.wordpress.com.


This article appears in the January 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Cedarburg Garden Walk Showcases Stunning Landscapes

The 10th annual Cedarburg Garden Walk, sponsored by the Cedarburg Woman’s Club, takes place this year from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 14 and 15.

Childhood is a Verb! Promotes Natural Childhood for Children

The book comes in two versions: the whole book, with black-and-white illustrations; and a condensed version with color illustrations and a short summary of the full content.

New Solar and Electric Vehicle Charging and Training Facility in Wisconsin

The lab is designed to charge electric vehicles and provide hands-on training at MREA’s headquarters in Custer, Wisconsin.

Be Reiki Expands Services in New Location

Healing arts practitioner Rhiana Tehan, of Be Reiki, has opened a new, larger energy healing facility located at 3082 Main Street, in East Troy.

Letter from Publisher

Wisconsinites are fortunate to have an abundance of local, organically grown choices. In its 2017 organic agriculture status report, the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems reported that, nationally, Wisconsin is second only to California in the overall number of organic farms and in the number of farms adding organic acres.

New Berlin Chiropractor 
Offers a Comprehensive 
Approach to Wellness

Dr. Eliesha Evans, of Evans Chiropractic & Pain Relief Laser Clinic, has a steadfast determination to help her patients get well.

Warming Planet Will Worsen Sleep

Rising temperatures could cause six additional nights of poor sleep per 100 people by 2050 and 14 by 2099, say scientists.

Exercise Benefits Cancer Survivors

Breast cancer survivors that regularly perform moderate-to-vigorous physical activity show improved attention, memory and multitasking abilities.

Eating Apples and Tomatoes Repairs Lungs

Fresh tomatoes and fruit, especially apples, help heal damaged lungs of ex-smokers and can slow the natural decline of lung function that typically occurs after age 30.

Steam Baths Ease Allergies

Thais with hay fever that soaked in half-hour steam baths three times a week reported fewer symptoms such as sneezing, nasal itching and congestion.

Bee Venom Is Powerful Lyme Disease Remedy

Bee venom reduces the Lyme disease bacterium more effectively than antibiotics, reports the Lyme Disease Research Group, in Connecticut.

Walking Speed May Predict Dementia

Seniors whose walking slowed by as little as 0.1 percent a year were 47 percent more likely to decline cognitively.

Add your comment: