Working Out with Kettle Bells

A kettle bell is a traditional Russian weight made from cast iron that kind of looks like a cannonball with a handle! They might look funny, but kettle bells can yield serious results. They help tone and strengthen muscles while burning fat, and they’re also great for cardio routines and working out your core. Just keep safety in mind: Start out slow with a light weight, until you learn how to use it properly. This means keeping your head aligned with your body, your shoulders back, chest forward and elbows and wrists straight. And don’t drop it on your foot!

Here are some basic routines to kick off your kettle bell workout:

Double Arm Swing
Start out with your feet flat on the ground and your knees slightly bent. Holding the kettle bell with both hands in front of you, squat and swing it down in between your legs. Then pop it forward to shoulder height or higher for more momentum. For a more intense workout, use one arm at a time or shift from side to side with each swing.

Russian Twist
Sit on the floor with your legs slightly spread and your feet touching the ground. Hold the kettle bell with both hands at chest height and then twist while swinging the weight from side to side. Take it up a notch by lifting both legs up off the ground and twisting them in the opposite direction as your upper body.

Woodchopper Lunge
Hold the kettle bell with both hands on one side up by your shoulder. Lunge to the side while swinging the kettle bell down and across your body in a chopping motion.

For videos on the above routines and other info, check out