It's time to rev up your workout with some kettlebells. More versatile than dumbbells, using kettlebells to strength train increases your caloric burn. We had celeb trainer — she introduced Jessica Alba to CrossFit — Yumi Lee teach us four effective exercises using the kettlebell. Watch the video for a quick tutorial, then try these moves in your next workout.
Are you all about saving time, getting more bang for your buck, and blasting calories? Go for sweat-dripping, fast-paced cardio sessions. If you've only got 20 minutes, then opt for one of these intense strategies instead of your normal workout.
Instead of: zoning out on the treadmill
Go for: intervals
Not only do high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts help you burn more calories in a shorter amount of time, but also, mixing up your pace helps you become a better, faster runner. If it's calorie burn you're after, then take note: going at your max for even just a little bit can help you burn a substantial amount of calories in the same amount of time, no matter what your running level. Alternating a steady 10-minute mile (6 mph) pace on the treadmill with five 60-second intervals at 7.5 minutes per mile (8 mph), for example, will burn 16 more calories in 20 minutes for a 130-pound person than just running at a steady 10-minute-mile pace — 196 vs. 180 calories. Mix up your pace and timing as much as you want; just make sure you are pushing it for those intervals.
Instead of: your regular circuit workout
Go for: Tabata
Tabata is a form of HIIT you can do with almost any circuit workout. It consists of four-minute blocks of intense exercises (eight rounds at 20-second intervals followed by 10 seconds of rest), and while it can make you feel ready to quit, the payoff is worth it. At 13.5 calories burned per minute, you'll blast through 270 calories in just 20 minutes. Try one of our Tabata workouts here.
Instead of: heading for the dumbbell rack
Go for: kettlebells
Need even more of a burn? A recent study by the American Council on Exercise found that the average person burns a whopping 400 calories in just 20 minutes when using the kettlebell. While it takes a little time to learn how to use kettlebells safely, swinging the weights around can save you a lot of time in the gym. Get going with these kettlebell exercises.
There's a reason why so many people love kettlebell training — after all, who doesn't want a total-body resistance and cardio workout that only takes half an hour? And even more surprising, an American Council on Exercise (ACE) study recently found that the average person can burn 400 calories in just 20 minutes with a kettlebell. That's an amazing 20 calories a minute, or the equivalent of running a six-minute mile!
What makes the workout so effective, especially when compared with traditional weights like barbells or dumbbells? "You're moving in different planes of movement," says Laura Wilson, director of programming for KettleWorX. "Instead of just going up and down, you're going to move side to side and in and out, so it's much more functional. It's like you move in real life; kettlebells simulate that movement, unlike a dumbbell."
As a result, Laura says, you end up using more of your stabilizer muscles than traditional weight training, which translates into an increased calorie burn and a killer workout for your core. All this makes kettlebell training not only great for weight loss but also for improving fitness level; an ACE study found that eight weeks of kettlebell training two times a week improved aerobic capacity by almost 14 percent and abdominal strength by 70 percent in the participants. "You're recruiting so many more muscles than you would with traditional training," Laura explains.
If you're ready to jump on the kettlebell train, don't just grab a weight and start swinging. Proper form is essential for ensuring you stay injury-free when performing kettlebell exercises. Start with light kettlebells and visit a certified kettlebell trainer (check your gym to see if classes are offered) to learn the right way to train — then check out all of our kettlebell exercises here!
Get ready, because this five-move kettlebell workout will torch tons of calories. The workout, created by KettleWorx director of programming Laura Wilson, features basic kettlebell moves that should be in anyone's strength-training repertoire.
When learning these exercises, it's important to start with a light weight first — Laura recommends a five- or 10-pound kettlebell. You can increase the amount of repetitions as you become stronger, but first focus on your form and only increase the weight after you can do 20 reps of these moves correctly with a lighter weight. Once you've hit 20 reps, increase the weight but bring your repetitions back down to 10 until you've acclimated to the heavier weight. "It's about pacing yourself and listening to your body; it will tell you what's right," Laura says.
Repeat the following five-move circuit three times in order to work your entire body and keep your heart rate up. Click through to see Laura in action and learn how to do the workout!
Like using kettlebells? Then check out these kettlebell workouts that Karena and Katrina from Tone It Up posted in their Tone It Up group in the FitSugar Community.
Hey FitSugar community! It's Karena and Katrina from Tone It Up.
Here's a fun routine to do with the kettlebells that tones the inner thighs, lifts the booty, strengthens the core, and tones the waistline and entire upper body! Have you ever tried it? Now's the time; here's a printable routine to bring to the gym.
There's more! Check out Tone It Up's kettlebell workout videos (and a printout for a beginner's kettlebell routine) after the break.
Going through the same workout routine can be boring, which is why new products and methods keep people motivated to get fit. However, with so many options, it's hard to anticipate which technique or method will stick around and influence gym workouts nationwide. Now's your chance to vote on the workout equipment you think is a fad versus the ones that you are convinced are here to stay.
There is a reason I follow celebrity trainers who tweet: it's often the best place to find the latest breaking news in their lives. And, it's often uncensored, honest, and timely. If you follow trainer Jillian Michaels on Twitter, then I'm sure you've been glued to all her recent developments:
- She's having a baby! Jillian is taking the next year off to focus on becoming a "mommy." The trainer is looking to adopt — not one, but two children! — and she's currently in a home study process with an adoption agency. While she says that it "doesn't matter to me" if they're boys or girls, she is planning to adopt from Africa. This decision has nothing to do with the Women's Health article from earlier this year, which quoted the trainer as saying she, "can't handle doing that [pregnancy] to my body." Jillian told the Los Angeles Times that she was misquoted and that she can't have children because of medical issues.
- Season 11 of The Biggest Loser will be her last. We've got one more season to see Jillian whip individuals into shape, since next year's season will be her last. FitSugar favorite Bob Harper will stay on the show, and will be joined by two new trainers. NBC is keeping the new trainers' identity a secret, but we do know from Jillian that one is definitely a female. Contestants on season 11 will have the option of working out with Jillian and Bob or the newbies.
- She slams her kettlebell critics for good. Jillian has taken a lot of flak for her kettlebell techniques, which reached a climax in a controversial LA Times op-ed piece calling her a fraud. Via Twitter, Jillian's bud Bob Harper tweeted: "we're officially kettlebell certified. Tell all those A$$&$@"@ to suck it." Both Bob and Jillian worked with "kettlebell master" Paul Katami, who is affiliated with the Kettlebell Concepts certification program.
There's some serious mudslinging going on in the fitness world: earlier this week, the Los Angeles Times printed an op-ed piece on trainer Jillian Michaels. Author James S. Fell, a certified trainer and health author, slams Jillian, calling her "an actress playing the role of fitness trainer on TV" with "regular displays of poor technique and unsafe training practices."
James's opinion is stirred, in part, from Jillian's latest fitness DVD: Shred-It With Weights Kettlebell Workout. In the op-ed piece, James also speaks to a kettlebell expert who calls her technique "appalling" and unsafe. This isn't the first slam against Jillian's kettlebell DVD; if you search "Jillian Michaels kettlebell" on Google, the first page is awash from trainers calling her kettlebell technique improper. (Personally, I haven't seen the video.)
Jillian is not taking the Los Angeles Times piece lightly. The trainer told Us Weekly that she'll be going forward with legal action: "They didn't do any of their homework. They flat-out [lied]. It's defamation, it's libel, it's full-on." As for her credentials, Jillian responded by saying, "I currently own two certifications, one of which doesn't expire. I developed my own continuing education program for trainers, with sports medicine doctors. I've been a trainer since I was 17 years old for 19 years." Jillian's fans are in her corner, offering more than 1,000 comments of support via her Facebook.
I can't believe that it's already October — where did the year go? No doubt about it, October spells Fall: cooler temps, Halloween, and squash aplenty mean that Winter is around the corner. But before we welcome in snowy skies, Kris Kringle, and chestnuts, let's celebrate October with some choice gear. Keep reading for products to warm you up, keep you buff, and shine the light on.
Carrie Underwood has always come across as a fit and healthy gal — even before making it big. She works hard with trainer Tony Greco and maintains a really healthy diet — she even resists the temptation to dine out! Keeping all of this in mind, it's no wonder that Women's Health would choose Carrie as its October cover model. She's celebrating life as a newlywed while prepping for her new tour yet somehow manages to look amazing through it all! Here are the highlights:
- Why she loves working out: "There's just something sexy about feeling strong."
- On keeping fit while on tour: "A lot of stuff happens in the afternoon, so I can get up and have a workout, which makes me feel awesome for the rest of my day."
- On using kettlebells: "They don't take up much space and work out a lot of different muscles."
- On maintaining healthy diet: "Once you get into a routine of eating healthy, it hurts twice as much when you fall off the wagon, but it's nice to have a few bites of something you like . . . If I’m on the road, I'll get oatmeal. There are low-sugar kinds that are easy to fix. At home, I'll have an English muffin with some I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! spray — my favorite!"
- Her food vices: "I'm not a sweets person, but I love pasta and pizza — oh, buddy!"
- Her food rules: "Figure out a way to take foods I like and make them healthy . . . I try to stay away from carb-y things at dinner."