Health & Fitness

Shape up with kettle bell exercises

They help increase one’s flexibility, improve grip, as well as tone the back, glutes, core and shoulders. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG 

Kettle bells are better than working out with dumbbells.

They help increase one’s flexibility, improve grip, as well as tone the back, glutes, core and shoulders while sparing the joints which makes it an easier exercise of transitioning from a sedentary lifestyle into regular workouts.

Kettlebells are also perfect for weight loss training.

Kevin Omollo, a personal trainer and floor manager at Shani Active Gym and Studios in Westlands, Nairobi says using kettle bells raises the heart rate helping someone burn calories faster.

Kevin who trained as an engineer and works on call over the weekends in milling plants, also teaches boxing, kickboxing and weights.

You can use the kettle bells at home but if you want to get past the swing and squat into more thorough exercises, look for a personal trainer.

Kevin who has been in the fitness industry for 15 years says ensure that you use them correctly to avoid injury.

Before you do kettle bell workout, go out for a brisk walk or a brief jog to warm up your muscles and stretch to avoid injury.

Do three sets of 10 when starting out then gradually add the rounds.

When choosing a kettle bell, pick one with a weight that feels comfortable for you.

Grab a kettle bell by the handle with your arms stretched out in front of you, if you feel a little resistance, go for that one. Don’t pick the light ones, they won’t help much.

The Twists
You can do a twist seated at a 45 degree angle for maximum impact on the abs and obliques, or do it standing.

Rotate your torso from left to right, twisting the waist while rotating the body. Fun isn’t it?

With kettle bells held outwards, tuck your arms against your body and ensure your back is not strained but flat as you bend. It not only works the arms, shoulders, and the gluts, but also quads muscles infront of the thigh.

Stand with legs apart and shoulder wide for proper balance. Bend your knees slightly, with your arms loosely holding onto the kettle bell, swing your arms backward between your knees and use your hips to thrust them in an upward motion. This workout tones the shoulders, back, hips, glutes and legs. For those with back pains, it helps ease the pain with time.

Deadlift squats
For starters, you need to know how to do a proper squat, keep the right posture and a weight you are comfortable with as personal trainer Kevin suggests. Aside from the shoulders, it works on the lower back and legs.

Kettle bell press core work out
This is a compound workout targeting multiple muscles. It works the core, the chest and arms while strengthening the back.
Additionally, you can do a push up, a plank or a floor press.

All you need is a kettle bell of the correct weight and your body to start working out right in the comfort of your home.