Kettlebells are a type of free weight that have a bell-shaped base with a handle, and many kettlebell exercises only require one instead of two weights. With the sheer number of moves you can do with a kettlebell, your whole body can benefit. You'll work your muscles and burn calories at the same time, which is perfect if you have a limited amount of time to exercise. Half moons are a great choice for working your upper and lower body at the same time.
A half moon exercise with a kettlebell is a good way to work the muscles in your arms, legs and core at the same time. Adding this move to your routine gives your body an all-over workout, which lets you get the most out of a short workout. To do the move, hold a kettlebell by the handle or base with both hands. Bend your knees and lower your body so you can place the kettlebell outside your right foot. Gripping the kettlebell firmly, lift it up and over your head and down to the outside of your left foot in an arcing pattern.
The benefit about about the half moon exercise is that you're basically working your entire body with one move. It's not a hard exercise either. Lowering your body, then standing up repeatedly works your quadriceps, calves, hamstrings and hips. The balance required to move up and down works your abs, while the bending movement of arcing the kettlebell over your head works your obliques. Holding the kettlebell in your hands and moving your arms over your head also works your biceps, triceps, shoulders, back and chest muscles.
Many kettlebell moves are a combination of cardio and strength training. The continuous arcing movement used during kettlebell half moons elevates your heart rate and burns calories. If you're trying to lose weight, this is a move that is beneficial for dropping unwanted pounds. In addition, building lean muscle mass with a kettlebell boosts your metabolism, which helps you burn calories more efficiently. Staying at a healthy weight reduces your risk of many health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Including half moons in your workout will help give you a body you'll be proud to show off.
As with any exercise, proper safety while doing half moons with kettlebells is important for preventing an injury and getting the most out of the move. Don't overdo it. If you're new to kettlebells, start with a small pound load and work your way to heavier ones as you get stronger and build endurance. Don't push your body past its ability either. Use proper form while doing half moons. If you need help with this, take a class or talk to an instructor until you're comfortable doing the move on your own.
Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.