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Getting to grips with kettlebells

Updated: Aug 31, 2021

I’m definitely a fan of kettlebells! Since I tried them first in 2019, I can totally see the benefits of using them for strength training as part of my weekly fitness routine. Read on to find out more:

What is a kettlebell?

They are a weight with a large handle for lifting, often covered in a rubbery vinyl coating for comfort and to protect your floor! Kettlebells come in difference weights and sizes from about 2 to 40kg.

They originated in Russia where they were used in the military but there is also mention of them used in ancient Highland Games in Scotland. Kettlebells have become a staple piece of gym equipment over the past couple of decades and I’m not surprised, there are so many different exercises to do with a kettlebell that work many muscle groups at once.

What weight kettlebell should I use?

A female beginner should start with a 3 to 8kg weight. You might find that you prefer to use a lighter or heavier weight for certain exercises.

I don’t want to look like a bodybuilder!

A lot of women shy away from using weights as we don’t want to look “too muscley”. Of course, if that’s the body type you’re going for, you can follow a programme that will achieve it, but strength training with weights is an essential part of an exercise routine. Using a light kettlebell will condition and tone muscles without adding the bulk.

Can I burn fat with kettlebells?

Using kettlebells can target a huge number of muscles and the more muscles we focus on, the more energy is needed, which burns more fat. Most kettlebell exercises target the big muscle groups around our hips, bottom, tummy and legs which increases our metabolic rate and burns fat.

Is there a special technique for kettlebells?

It’s really important to learn the correct way to use kettlebells. A workout takes a bit of concentration which creates another level of challenge which is great. The kettlebell exercises we do at Gemma Pearce Fitness mostly involve controlled movements with some fun swinging movements too.

Is there an alternative to a kettlebell?

The type of exercises we do with a kettlebell are different to those for individual handweights but if you have a 3kg+ handweight, that can work for starters. I’ve also seen people use a steam iron or a butternut squash! If you can put your weighted item into a strong bag, that can work too!

If you’d like to have a go at a kettlebell workout or if you’re a fan already and miss our regular classes, you can access our kettlebell class videos in a few different ways:

- Live on Facebook on Tuesday 16th February – book here for Kettlebeats

- All our previous kettlebell classes are available to do “on demand” on our Fitness membership with unlimited classes to repeat as many times as you like! More info here.

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Hi Gemma - just loving the Mixed HIT class and going to try out Kettlebell fusion tomorrow! Claire H .

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