My First [Fitness] Love: The Kettlebell

Before the kids, the gym, and the ring, one of the first gifts my husband gave me was a kettlebell. Might be an awkward gift for some, but it became one of my first loves in my fitness journey. I was never much of a weight lifter, and I had the same fear as most women: that I would get bulky and super muscular if I lifted anything more than 10 pounds. Contrary to popular belief, and I also mentioned this in a past post (The Deadlift: The Queen of Exercises) lifting weights is really beneficial for women.

Kettlebells are originally from Russia and were developed in the 1700’s. Small and portable, these “cannonballs (but please don’t call them kettleballs) with a handle” have been gaining popularity in the United States over the past few decades. Before I discovered CrossFit with my husband in 2007, I solely used kettlebells for my strength and cardio training. While I don’t use them as often as I used to, I really look forward to the times they are integrated into one of our CrossFit workouts. If you are looking for a great way to gain strength and boost your cardio, check out some reasons to bring kettlebell training into your fitness regimen!

  • Convenience of Use – Like I mentioned above, kettlebells are small and portable. You can use them in the convenience of your own home and don’t have to hit the gym for a workout. They’re also convenient enough to bring for an outdoor workout or on a road trip if you are traveling (done that a couple times).
  • Great for Beginners – One of the most basic techniques is the kettlebell swing. This is one of the easiest kettlebell techniques to master.
  • Time Saver – If you’re short on time, you can try Tabata Workouts (High Intensity Interval Training – Work as hard as you can for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, repeat this 7 times). A lot of people tell me they want to lose weight first then tone up. Believe me, you can do both of these things at the same time. If you practice good form with high intensity (with any type of weights), you can have a great cardio and strength workout in 1/4 of the time.
  • Versatile – You can do any technique with a kettlebell that you would with a barbell or dumbell: squats, deadlifts, cleans, snatches, etc. These are a bit more advanced techniques and I would recommend learning these from a trainer. Once you add them to your repertoire, kettlebell workouts become more and more fun.

If you are interested in learning more about kettlebell training (where to buy one, where to go to learn, online resources, etc), shoot me a comment and I’ll be happy to direct you! If you have already been using them and love them as much as I do, I encourage you share to this post with a friend! Since summer’s here, there’s no better time to hit the beach and have a kettlebell party (done that too!) :] Happy Training!

Posted in CrossFit, Fitness, Health

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About StrongholdMom

Raquel Cusi is a wife, mother of 4, and owns The Stronghold CrossFit & Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with her husband, Mike, and brother Ray. She loves to blog about Marriage, Parenting, Health, Fitness, Christian living and her love for Disney. She's also an aspiring crunchy mom who loves organic and natural products, breastfeeding and babywearing.