How Kettlebells Changed My At-Home Workout Routine
Photo Credit: Paul Biryukov/Shutterstock
Though I typically attend Pilates classes as my preferred form of exercise, I’m still going strong with at-home workouts. I’m slowly adding equipment to my makeshift at-home gym, and the latest addition is a pair of kettlebells. I didn’t realize how much I would end up loving this addition to my workout routine.
Adding weights to your workout routine can make a huge difference in your progress. For example, you can easily do exercises like squats and lunges just with bodyweight (and these are still very challenging!). If you add some additional weight with dumbbells or kettlebells, you can maximize the benefits of strength training and challenge yourself even further.
The kettlebell isn’t usually someone’s first choice of equipment when it comes to strength training. You might think of dumbbells, barbells, and weight machines before you think of kettlebells. While each form of equipment has its own benefits, the kettlebell is definitely underestimated.
I landed on the kettlebell when I couldn’t find any dumbbells or weighted barbells in my area, but I knew I wanted to incorporate some strength training into my at-home workout routine. Kettlebells were easily available, so I thought, why not?
Getting a new piece of workout equipment is like getting a new outfit — it makes you feel excited to use it right away. I immediately went home and started looking up the benefits of kettlebells and various kettlebell exercises.
Like dumbbells and weighted barbells, kettlebells are one way to incorporate strength training into your routine. Lifting weights and performing weighted exercises can help you accomplish a variety of fitness goals, especially if those goals include increased strength and mobility.
How to Use a Kettlebell
1. Start with a lower amount of weight. New kettlebell users always ask, “How much weight should I use?” I started with a 10-pound kettlebell and quickly graduated to a 15-pound one. Since I normally do Pilates and walking for exercise, I needed to start on the lower end to build up my strength. If you are more advanced and experienced with strength training, you might need a higher amount of weight to feel challenged.
2. Practice proper form and safety tips. With any exercise, proper form and safety is a must when using kettlebells. Some people are prone to soreness in the lower back when using a kettlebell. To avoid this, stretch before and after your workout, and work on your form to prevent injury.
3. Incorporate kettlebell exercises. Popular kettlebell exercises include kettlebell swings, kettlebell thrusters, kettlebell goblet squats, and more. You can perform a variety of exercises that work the total body or focus on specific muscle groups.
If you’re new to using kettlebells to exercise, start slow and work your way up. Go at a pace that’s comfortable for you while also challenging yourself. You can incorporate the kettlebell a couple times per week or as frequently as you’d like. You can also mix up your workout routine (like I do), so you never get bored and always feel motivated to work out.