While there’s no easy way to shed excess pounds in a matter of days, POPSUGAR says that kettlebell exercises pack quite a punch. According to the American Council on Exercise, a 20-minute long kettlebell exercise can burn as much as 400 calories per day, which is close to the 500-calorie daily target fitness experts say must be achieved to drop one pound every week. Here’s a fine example of a kettlebell exercise:
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than hips-width distance apart.
- Place a light- to medium-weight kettlebell in your left hand, come into a half squat, and swing the kettlebell in between your legs. Be sure to keep the back flat, engaging the abs, with your weight back in the heels. Stabilize your shoulders by sliding your shoulder blades down your back and toward your spine.
- Thrust your hips forward, squeezing your glutes to swing the kettlebell forward so your arms are parallel with the floor as you stand up. Grab the kettlebell with the right hand, squat down, and swing the kettlebell between your legs again.
- Quickly swing the kettlebell forward, coming to a stand. Remember, the movement comes from your pelvis, not your arms.
The entire routine may seem simple enough, yet people are still advised to be take extra care when performing kettlebell exercises. For instance, adopting the wrong spinal posture or progression of movement in a kettlebell swing will place unwanted strain on the back, potentially causing serious injuries.
For these reasons, it is best to work with experienced personal trainers who can advise clients on maintaining proper form and developing a solid fitness plan that maximizes the benefits involved in these exercises. A place like 34 Degrees North, for instance, provides top-notch personal training in Santa Monica, California and employs fitness coaches who can create specific kettlebell workouts that address individual fitness needs.
Aside from the sheer amount of calories they can burn, kettlebell exercises strengthen the posterior chain and core muscles (i.e. the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back) as well. They also help define the upper back and shoulder muscles, especially if the kettlebell is regularly swung overhead.
At any rate, the most important thing is for people to be motivated to start exercising in the first place. Burning 400 calories a day sounds like a tall order, but an experienced Santa Monica personal trainer can help clients maximize the gains from every workout and monitor their fitness progress at every step of the way.
(Source: The Total-Body Kettlebell Move You Need to Try, POPSUGAR, October 27, 2014)