Exercise at home Fitness

Kettlebell exercises you can perform at home

This easy-to-store general fitness training equipment works differently from a dumbbell

Kettlebells have their roots in Russia and have existed in some form or the other, since the early 1700s. Usually made of cast iron, they look like a ball with a handle. They come in all weight variations and serve different weights can be used for different exercises. All exercises, including Olympic lifts can be done using kettlebells. They also serve as a good substitute for a dumbbell. Because as the weight distribution is different, hence the muscles are differently challenged when using a kettlebell.

Most exercises are very dynamic in nature and involve whole-body movement.

Start with a low weight until you master the form and the technique of holding the kettlebell. The exercises are many and unlimited combinations can be executed to make the workouts more interesting and challenging. The warm-up and cool-down guidelines remain the same as for any other workout. Apparel should allow for free movement of the limbs and shoes are a choice. Many athletes prefer to stay barefeet. Others, especially those with poor biomechanics, prefer supportive shoes. You’ll sweat a great deal, so focus on staying hydrated.

The duration of each session depends on the programming. If it’s a high-intensity interval training programme, then just 10 to 20 minutes twice or thrice a week is adequate. A traditional programme like regular strength training would require 40 minutes or a little more. Kettlebells can also be combined with a cardio workout.

These exercises will elevate the heart rate:

Goblet squats

Hold the kettlebell upside down, the base of the ball facing your chin. Follow the regular squat guidelines, flexing your hips up to 90 degrees. The more advanced athlete can hold two kettlebells close to the chest as shown, or do a full squat. This is far safer and easier for those who find the barbell squat difficult.

Push press

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Take one kettlebell in your right hand, swing it down, and as in the earlier exercise bring it to your shoulder. Then push press the kettlebell into an overhead shoulder press. Bring it back to the shoulder, swing and repeat. The more advanced athlete can execute a double arm push press. Use the body’s momentum to move the weight.

Farmers’ walk

Kettlebell exercises you can perform at home

The kettlebells need to be relatively heavy for this exercise. Hold one kettlebell in each hand and walk for at least three to five minutes, maintaining correct posture, gait and speed. This is a great way to train for real life. The same exercise can be changed to a lunge walk for the more advanced athlete.

Kettlebell swings

Kettlebell exercises you can perform at home

Stand with feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Grip a relatively heavy kettlebell with both hands and swing it between the legs as you squat and swing it up to the chest level as you come up to standing position. Use momentum and repeat 15 to 20 times. An advanced athlete can execute a single-arm swing or a double-arm swing with overhead lift.

Deadlift

Kettlebell exercises you can perform at home

Use one or two kettlebells for a heavy weight. Place the kettlebells on the floor, between the feet. With feet less than shoulder-width apart, hinge from the hip and grip the kettlebells. The hip pushes back and the knees stay over ankles. Keep the neck in neutral position and don’t crane your neck to look up. Thrust the hip forward, tighten the glutes as you come back to a standing position. This is an excellent exercise for all the lower body muscles, including the lower back.

Nisha Varma is an ACSM-certified exercise physiologist. A monthly column with exercises for a home workout

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 1:27:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fitness/kettlebell-exercises-you-can-perform-at-home/article30725227.ece

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