Kettlebells, a cannonball-like weight with a handle, are an efficient way to blast calories and torch fat. Kettlebells are different from dumbbells because they require you to engage your entire body due to the unbalanced weight of the kettlebell. Using kettlebells helps to build overall cardiovascular endurance, as well as tone and strengthen almost every muscle in the body.
To perform a kettlebell swing, stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart with a kettlebell between your feet. Squat down and grab the handle of the kettlebell with one hand. Pull the kettlebell off the floor as you squat slightly and swing the bell back between your legs. Extend your legs and stand up, using your momentum to swing the kettlbell through your legs and up until your arm is extended straight out in front of you. Swing the kettlebell back between your legs and try to increase your height each time, until the bell is at head level when you swing it. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions.
To perform a snatch, begin in the same starting position as the swing. Squat slightly and pull the kettlebell off of the floor and upward. As it begins to pass the knees, jump up and extend the body, pulling the kettlebell upward. Land softly on your feet with your knees slightly bent. Catch the kettlebell above your shoulder with your arm fully extended and stand up so that your legs are straight. Reverse the movement back to the start. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions.
Hold two kettlebells in front of your shoulders, one in each arm and tucked tight to the body. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Hinge at the hips as you squat down, keeping your weight back on your heels. Lower until your legs are parallel to the floor. Stand up and straighten your legs and back. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions.
Holding a kettlebell in your left hand, raise it overhead. Your feet should be wide apart, with your left arm extended straight overhead and your right arm fully extended out to the side. Keeping your legs straight, bend from the hips and reach your right hand toward your left foot, keeping the kettlebell raised directly overhead. Rise back up and repeat. Switch sides. Perform 10 windmills on each side for three sets.
Kaitlin Condon is a holistic health coach and certified physical fitness/wellness specialist. She is a contributing health writer for the teen magazine "Miabella," as well as several online publications.