You may have seen a kettlebell or two lying around your gym – they're weights with handles and resemble a basketball with a suitcase handle. People use kettlebells to really amp up their workout and build muscle.
These weights were invented in Russia and used by strongmen for decades. But how are kettlebells different from your typical dumbbell? Kettlebells offer individuals a wider range of motion than they would get from a standard dumbbell. They also work the whole body at one time without putting unnecessary strain on your joints. According to Jason C. Brown, owner of Kettlebell Athletics in Philadelphia, a kettlebell's center of gravity shifts throughout the exercise, rather than giving you that lopsided feel of a dumbbell. Users can flow easily from one exercise to the other without putting the weight down, making their workout more effective. And unlike a dumbbell, you only use one kettlebell, not two.
With these popular weights being available in a variety of sizes, they are accommodating to any fitness level. Try out this ultimate kettlebell workout from Men's and Women's Health magazines to burn calories and fat and build muscle. But keep in mind that you should complete each exercise back-to-back without resting. Once you're done with the circuit, rest for one to two minutes, then repeat for about two or three circuits.
Leg raise swing
Grab your kettlebell of choice with both hands, starting in a half squat. Hold the weight between your knees, keeping your arms straight and chest up. Swing the weight overhead, arms straight and as you do so, raise your right leg straight out to one side. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. Do 15 reps.
Lateral lunge with bicep curl
Holding the weight in your right hand, step to the left and lower into a side lunge. Raise the weight up to your left shoulder and reverse the move to return to standing. Do 12 to 15 reps on each side.
Kettlebell single-arm snatch
Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart with a kettlebell in your right hand. Let the weight swing between your legs, and in one fluid motion, pull it forward and up. Once it reaches heart level, flip it behind your forearm and punch it overhead. It may take some practice, but once you train your body to do it all in one move, it's very effective.
Single-arm shoulder press
Stand with the weight just outside your shoulder, palm facing forward. Push the kettlebell straight overhead, then slowly lower it back down to the original position. Make sure to keep your elbow close to your side to maintain proper form.
Finish off your workout with a protein shake using Naturade Total Soy protein powder to help build muscle.