By Lisa Smith – Providence, RI
The first time I picked up a kettle bell I fell in love. I became stronger, leaner and dedicated to mastering every kettle bell exercise. So in April of 2011, I decided to take it to the next level and I became certified in Hard Style Kettle Bell. The HKC certification through Dragon Door allows me to be qualified to teach the kettle bell movements’ most essential to help you reach your physical goals, the area of weight management or athletic performance.
In order for me to give you an incredible workout learning the proper form and techniques are standard. This will not only maximize your results but prevent injury. The first step is to loosen up those muscles with a dynamic warm up of squats, hip hinges, and hammer curls. While you warm up, concentrate on your breathing. Learn the habit of inhaling through your nose and exhaling out of your mouth. So often we become out of breath and winded, breathing efficiently will allow you to build your stamina and allow you to have a better workout overall.
In my classes, we always do multiple sets of kettle bell swings. According to a study by John Porcari, PhD of the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse Exercise and Health Program, in the report, published in ACE FitnessMatters. The results showed that the average participant burned about 20 calories per minute during the kettle bell workout, which equates to 400 calories during a typical 20-minute kettle bell workout.
Learning the proper way to swings will improve your strength, explosive power, coordination and general conditioning. Here is a step by step of performing a swing.
Stand above the weight with the kettle bell behind your feet. Perform the hip hinge movement and reach down slightly, bending your knees. Grab the kettle bell with both hands and swing the kettle bell back between the legs while performing the hip hinge from the warm-up. Explosively extend your hips and knees, moving the torso quickly to an upright position. Let momentum carry the weight up and forward. Follow the weight back between the legs no lower than the mid-quadriceps, or thigh range. Use the hip hinge movement to absorb the momentum of the kettle bell and the explosive hip extension to direct the momentum back up and forward. Be sure to squeeze your glutes tight when you come to the upright position, but do not over extend your back. If you feel fatigue in the shoulders and arms, you are probably using too much effort from the upper body.
Learning to master the kettle bell swing will give you a foundation for the basics of other kettle bell exercises, such as the snatch! Be sure to learn with a proper trainer of kettle bells or attend a class specializing in kettle bells!
Lisa Smith has over 8 years in the fitness industry as an AFAA certified fitness instructor, personal trainer and certified as a Kettle Bell HKC instructor.
Lisa knows the struggle of weight loss and keeping fit, having lost over 25 lbs herself, she can relate to her clients and help them succeed.
Lisa fell in love with kettle bells and has started her own company called Skinny Bell, which she uses to motivate her students in class! Lisa finds that helping others is a passion in life and she enjoys keeping her clients educated about nutrition, fitness and lifestyle.