The Only Piece of Equipment you Need
Kettlebells are so versatile, they make it easy to get a full-body workout in with one piece of equipment. Compared to most fitness equipment kettlebells are low cost and they don't take up a ton of space. They are great to have on hand for the days you can't make it to the gym or you are on a road trip (toss that kettlebell in the truck). They make it impossible to make excuses not to get a workout in.
What makes kettlebells so great?
So, with that said what makes a kettlebell so great? The design of the kettlebell forces you to concentrate on your form and improve your weaknesses. Since the handle is about six to eight inches from the center of gravity it makes it much harder to control than a dumbbell. Almost any movement you do will need you to keep stricter form and your body will have to activate more muscles. If you consider an overhead press. The kettlebell rests on your arm, which pulls it backward. You have to tighten up and engage more muscles to prevent this, as you press above your head. Making those shoulders even stronger! This offset loading turns every kettlebell movement into a core exercise as well.
Since you can't really do isolation exercises with a kettlebell most movements will engage nearly your whole body at once. So with this one piece of equipment you can now strength train, improve core strength, and balance, and hit some cardio all at once. An American Council on Exercise study put a group of 30 people with some strength-training experience on an eight-week kettlebell training program. To the predictable strength gains, participants increased their aerobic capacity by 13.8%, improved dynamic balance, and showed a remarkable increase in core strength by a whopping 70%!
If you don't already own a kettlebell and want to get one now, beginners should start between 8kg (female) and 16kg (male) would be good. I use a 16kg and 24kg, that combination is perfect for getting a solid workout. Check out Facebook Marketplace for used kettlebells, it's a great place to start. If there is only one piece of equipment you ever buy for your "at-home" gym it should be a kettlebell. Not only can you get a quick workout done at home, but you can also get a great workout done anywhere. You will build muscle, increase your endurance, and get your cardio in.
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