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Published on April 24, 2018

workout with kettlebells

#TryItTuesday: Kettlebell Workout Cuts Through Exercise Excuses

Have you ever let your size or ability stop you from participating in physical activity or joining an exercise class? I have.

This Try-It Tuesday was a great example. I procrastinated for over a month before I finally talked myself into showing up.

With butterflies in my stomach, I stepped onto the gym floor. An older gentleman, who was there for the 6:15 a.m. kettlebell class, must have sensed my nervousness as he quickly walked over to greet my daughter and me.

Sheepishly, I shared that we were there for the kettlebell workout. His kindness put me at ease, and I so appreciated his assistance in helping me look for the lightest kettlebell.

When I learned that Avera McKennan Fitness Center offered a kettlebell class, I knew I wanted to try it. The particular class I participated in was a 15-minute class. The one I attended was perfect for beginners as well as more advanced lifters. During our workout, we completed a series of exercises and repeated them three times. My favorite exercises were the bent over rows and swings.

Fears and Excuses

Even though I was excited to try a kettlebell class, my fears kept stopping me.

I was afraid that the kettlebells would be too heavy, or that I wasn’t in good enough condition. I worried I’d be the most of out-of-shape (or largest) person in the class.

In reality, I was probably the one in class who was most deconditioned and had a few extra pounds on me, but I learned a great life lesson from this experience. The only person that any of my excuses bothered was me!

It was also interesting that after I stepped onto the gym floor, I stopped feeling odd or uncomfortable. There’s something special that happens when you are in a class full of strangers. Even though our reasons may differ, we all were there to experience the synchrony of movement, and to hear the silent cheer of "Great job for taking care of YOU!"

Understanding the Equipment

Kettlebells come in various weights and look like cast-iron cannonballs. They are used in exercises such as lunges, lifts and shoulder presses.

Kettlebell workouts offer a lot of flexibility. You can participate in a group class or do workouts on your own. If you choose to do kettlebell workouts on your own, you can adapt the workout to include your favorite exercises. These workouts offer flexibility, strength training, and an aerobic workout all at the same time. Here's a quick look at the basics on this workout:

  • Intensity Level: High
  • Body Areas It Targets: Core, arms, legs, glutes and back
  • Flexibility: Yes
  • Aerobic: Yes
  • Strength: Yes
  • Sport: No
  • Low-Impact: No
  • Good for beginners: Yes, if you use a lighter kettlebell or take a beginner’s class.
  • Outdoors: Weather permitting
  • At home: Yes
  • Equipment required: Yes, if you choose to do your kettlebell workouts at home. You will need kettlebells of various weight ranges. There are some great kettlebell workouts on DVD or online.

Please, don’t let your fears stop you from trying something new. If I had listened to my fears, I would have missed the opportunity to discover a new physical activity that I love.

Live Better. Live Balanced. Avera.

Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

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