Kettlebells: a swinging workout for the whole body

Mon May 4, 2009 9:34am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - They look like basketballs with handles or tea kettles without spouts.

After years of collecting dust on gym floors, the kettlebell, for centuries a staple of Russian strongmen, has emerged as the latest word in streamlined workouts.

"For people who want their training all in one, it's by far the best bang for your buck," said Kristen Gagne, a certified kettlebell instructor at the national Equinox Fitness chain.

Attendance at her Long Island, New York classes have recently doubled, she said, even before the ancient cast iron hand weights were featured on the hit weight-loss TV reality show "Biggest Loser."

"Consumers are more educated now. Rather than do an hour of aerobics, and an hour of resistance, they can get it all done in one hour with kettlebells," she said. "With this recession people need to get up and out."

Gagne's classes offer kettlebells of 10, 15 or 20 pounds.

"People in their late 60s swing next to girls in their early 20s," Gagne said, "and it appeals to men who shy away from other studio classes. Once you acquire the skill, the technique is easy."

So why not just lift plain old weights?   Continued...

<p>Instructor teaches kettlebell class at Equinox Fitness in Chicago, Illinois in this 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Eric Hiffhines/Handout</p>