Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Why you should incorporate kettle bells into your life.



Face it, you are an athlete, and that means a tight schedule to get your workouts in everyday. The kettle bell builds on the essential muscles needed for all areas of triathlon while being a fast, easy workout that you can do inside your own home.

What does it work?

Kettle bells are key in working out your core, flexibility, and cardiovascular system. Kettle bells help build lean muscle while providing a quick and easy strength workout into your busy schedule. Since kettle bells work out your core and flexibility, this means that they are an essential tool to preventing injuries. Think about it, if you have better core strength and flexibility, that means you also have better posture on your bike and balance on your run, preventing you from falling over and improving your speed.

The Best Workouts for Triathletes

Please Note: Focus on proper form. Do not skip proper form because you will injure yourself.

The Swing

Stand with feet shoulder width apart and have the kettle bell in-between your legs. Grab the kettle bell while bending your knees. Don’t worry if the kettle bell swings in-between your legs. While snapping your hips forward, raise the kettle bell to chest level with your arms straight. Swing the kettle bell down in-between your legs and up to your chest for one minute.

Under one leg out the other

Start ready to do a lunge with the kettle bell in your right hand. When you lunge, switch the kettle bell into your left hand, passing the bell underneath your legs. Stand back up and repeat.

Wood chop or Ditch Digger

Start in a standing position with your knees spread a bit farther than shoulder length apart. You should be in a comfortable standing position. The kettle bell should be positioned next to one ankle. With both hands, pick up the kettle bell. Lift the kettle bell with both hands, not using the handle, up to the opposite shoulder. For example, if you start with the kettle bell at your right foot, you would lift cross your body to your left shoulder. After you lift up across your body, slowly lower the weight back to the starting area and repeat. Do this exercise on both sides of the body for an even workout.

picture courtesy of mensjournal.com


Windmill

This exercise works your core and endurance. Start in the same position as the wood chop, but holding the kettle bell in your right arm, which should be raised above your head. Make sure you have a good grip on the kettle bell handle so it doesn’t come crashing down on your head. The goal is to have your left hand touch your toes. Slowly go down making sure your body is straight. Turn your left foot about 45 degrees as your left hand aims to touch your toes. Your body should look only bent at the hip and your chest should stay facing outwards. The kettle bell will be directly above your head and will make a straight vertical line with the left hand.  Slowly rise back up and switch sides to even out your workout.

Half Moon

Besides being a Janis Joplin song, it’s also a great kettle bell workout. Start feet shoulder width apart and go into a squat position with the kettle bell in both of your hands. While you are squatting, have the kettle bell on the outside of your left leg. When you are standing back up raise the kettle bell with both hands in a giant half circle over your head towards your right leg. When the kettle bell reaches your zenith, or just above your head, squat again and move the kettle bell to the right leg. It should be an up down squat motion with the kettle bell looking like you are trying to show it off above your head in a game show.

The Results

These simple and quick kettle bell exercises will strengthen your core, which helps your posture. It helps your range of motion especially in the hip area, which will benefit you on your runs and it helps get your blood pumping efficiently throughout the rest of your body, which means better circulation. Kettle bells are a win-win situation as long as you have proper form.

Consider a kettle bell the next time you want a whole body workout without spending hours trying to get one. Plus, you can easily store a kettle bell as a doorstopper.


Ding Dong, Happy Kettle Bell Training!

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