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Otherwise known as the ‘portable home gym’, kettlebells are the most space efficient and affordable way to add that elusive element of variety to your weight training.
With Soviet credentials and a reputation for fast results, the kettlebell is one of the most compact and efficient tools to improve functional strength and endurance.
Although many standard weight lifting movements can be performed with kettlebells (like overhead presses and weighted squats and lunges), the real magic behind these little bells is when the specialist kettlebell movements are performed – namely: the kettlebell swing, clean and press and snatch.
These movements are highly technical. They can be learnt at home with the correct guidance but done incorrectly can easily cause injury so it’s important to seek out an appropriately qualified kettlebell instructor or at least a highly regarded instructional DVD.
It can be tricky choosing a starting weight for your kettlebell training. As a general rule, women start with an 8kg bell and men with a 16kg bell. If your budget only allows you to purchase one kettlebell then this is probably the weight to start with – and you can always buy heavier as your strength gradually improves.
Ideally, having a few different weights will help you to vary your training and also enable you to use different weights for different exercises (some can be done with heavier or lighter weights). For women, a trio of: 8kg, 12kg and 16kg will usually be enough to set you on the right path – and for guys: 16kg, 20kg and 24kg.