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Kettlebells 101

Posted on March 12 2012

Can you believe kettlebells have been around for at least 300 years? First used as Russian farming tools and counterweights, kettlebells eventually evolved into a means for strength training and competing. They even became the national sport of Russia! Who knew? So what exactly is a kettlebell? I remember seeing some college football players working with kettlebells, and I thought to myself "what the heck are they doing and how the heck are they doing that?" (well, that's the G-rated version of what I was thinking). You could tell they were using their entire body to move the kettlebell and there was a fluidity to the movement that was quite unique to anything else I had seen. Kettlebells are new territory to me, so I reached out to a master of kettlebells, Marcus Martinez of M Body Strength. Along with creating a great facility that offers challenging kettlebell bootcamp classes, Marcus also specializes in kettlebell workshops for everyone from the curious fitness enthusiast to the Secret Service. I asked him a few questions that I've had on my mind in regards to the benefits and methods behind the use of kettlebells. Let's check out all the juicy goods! Jaime Komer: Why do you love using kettle bells in your workout? Marcus Martinez: Kettlebells are such an amazing tool because they combine strength, flexibility, mobility and fat burning all into one workout. You don't need an hour-long workout with kettlebells because of how effective they are. When you combine them with circuit training, your heart rate will jump sky high. Because it puts you in so many different positions it strengthens you from every angle, which helps keep you injury free. Not to mention they're fun. JK: What do you tell someone who has never tried a kettlebell class? MM: I tell them to expect results. For the most part it's unlike anything they've ever done so that alone will deliver quick results, but with kettlebells specifically they will see an even bigger change. The carry-over effect is great, meaning they will be stronger, more flexible and have more endurance for all other activities they do. JK: Are kettlebells for everyone? What if someone has injuries? MM: Kettlebells are absolutely for everyone because every movement can be tailored to the individual. The Juice: I took my first ever kettlebell bootcamp class with Marcus and it was "insightfully" intense. As Marcus told me, the movements and exercises you do will challenge you to become more functionally fit. Each movement was purposeful, engaging and fatiguing and you learn how to move without compensating. The kettlebell bootcamp is a precise, full body workout, yet at the same time well-balanced, which I personally appreciated! And yes, you will see and feel the change in your body. M Body Strength 480 W. Lambert Rd., Unit H Brea, CA 92821

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