Certified holistic health coach, Ling Wong, shares with us the reason why dieting can actually be harmful to our health. Learn why we are ditching diets for good and have focused on creating healthy habits instead.
Written by Joe Vennare
Kettlebell training promotes the development of lean muscle and strength while revving up the metabolism. For anyone looking to develop lean and tone muscle, while torching away stubborn body fat, kettlebell training is the ideal exercise solution.
Kettlebell training fits into the busiest of lifestyles. By training multiple muscle groups at the same time, kettlebell training provides more significant benefits than traditional exercise programs in a fraction of the time. Exercises like the kettlebell swing engage the entire body, increasing the heart rate and teaching the body to work as one unit, instead of isolated muscles. Training with kettlebells, it is possible to reshape your body with three 20 minute workouts each week.
Unlike typical strength training programs and stationary exercise machines that are designed to increase muscular size. Interval and circuit based kettlebell workouts create lean and tone muscles, while burning up to 20 calories per minute. This type of exercise improves overall fitness levels and reflects the demands we put on our bodies during everyday activities.
Training the Core
There is no need to do “floor work” when using a kettlebell. With a focus on functional exercises that engage the core with every fat burning repetition, you can reveal your 6-pack without doing a single “crunch”. It is the hips and core, not the arms or upper body that are used to move the kettlebell. Using the larger muscles of the lower body, including the quads, glutes, hamstrings and core, you are able to move more weight and burn more calories.
Using the large muscles of the lower body and entire core strengthens and defines the abdominals, while increasing the metabolism allowing the body to burn stubborn belly fat.
When done correctly, kettlebell training is suitable for individuals of all ages and fitness levels. Instead of jumping into an “elite” form of kettlebell training that focuses on the amount of weight lifted or the number of repetitions completed for time, use a kettlebell for functional movements, completed with proper form, to safely improve strength and cardiovascular performance.
Start your training with the kettlebell swing. Keep in mind the legs and hips, not the arms or upper body are used to propel the kettlebell through the swing. Power is created by driving through the heels, using the large muscles of the lower body including the quads, glutes, hamstrings and core.
Begin in a standing position with feet shoulder width apart, chest up, shoulders back and down, core flexed, back arched (not rounded) with a slight knee bend, and weight distributed to the heels of your feet.
- Grip the kettlebell with both hands over top of the handle.
- Sink into a squat with the weight between the legs. Keep the torso upright, the abs braced and the arms loose. At the bottom of the movement shift your weight back onto your heels.
- Standing up from the squatted position, use your hips to propel the weight to hip level.
- Engaging the hips and core, swing the weight up higher until you reach shoulder level. Focus on using your hips and legs to move the weight, rather than your arms.
When you begin kettlebell training, it is a good idea to practice kettlebell swings in addition to your normal workouts. Then, when you are comfortable with the movements begin to increase weight and attempt more difficult kettlebell exercise routine [link kettlebell exercise routine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YhzbDVj6P0&feature=relmfu].
When you have perfected the swing form, try this workout.
2 rounds, 30 seconds each
Body Weight Squat
Arm Circles (forward /backward, large/small)
Alternate Lunge (each leg)
20x Kettlebell Swing
20x Dumbbell Plank Row
20x Dumbbell Squat and Press
Rest @ 30 sec max.
What motivates us to exercise?… when the want becomes greater than the dread. Our expert guest blogger shares with us how to strengthen the mind, reinforcing our resolve for a successful exercise routine.
Today’s strength training exercise comes to us from our Premium Guest Blogger, Lando. He shares a sequence of exercises that will strengthen our arms and shoulders, beautifying our upper body for swimsuit season!
Put your head and shoulders on a bosu or if you don’t have a bosu you could elevate your head and shoulders on some sturdy pillows. Have a heavy hand weight next to you for use in this exercise. Elevate your butt and hips similiar to a bridge position in yoga. Place the hand weight on your abs – you might have to lightly hold it so it will not roll off . Keep your weight in the heels of your feet and raise your butt – with the weight on your abs – up and down. Do at least three sets of 8.
Swimsuit Ready Challenge
This exercise is part of our Swimsuit Ready Challenge (April 2-30, 2012). Do this exercise and comment below “I did this!” to be entered to win our $100 and $50 giveaways. You may enter up to one time per day through April 30th.
Also – be sure to share this on Facebook, Pinterest and other sites to let your friends cheer you on or – better yet – join in on the challenge so they can hang out on the beach with you this summer! read more →
Today’s guest bloggers share their experiences to show you how kickboxing can help you burn calories and reclaim your body after a pregnancy, weight gain or even injury. See what they have to say about just how many calories you can burn and why kickboxing is such an effective exercise: (more…) read more →
There’s something different here at Pretty Hard Work – something missing in fact…
If you visit other websites that talk about exercise and eating right – you probably see a lot of information about “weight loss”. That’s what’s missing here – and I intended to keep it that way.
Strong Is the New Skinny
You’ve seen the posters and pictures on Pinterest saying “Strong is the New Skinny”. And – we really believe that here at Pretty Hard Work.
Gone are the days of keeping your calorie count under a certain level each day. Gone is dreaded weigh-in each morning naked, after you pee and before you have even a drop of water – just to see the lowest number possible on the scale.
Thankfully, we’re seeing better results by doing really hard work at the gym and simply making better choices when it’s time to eat.
Oh Yeah – Back To My Weight Gain
As I teased in the title… I’ve actually gained 4 lbs. I don’t weigh myself a lot – but I did check in just before Thanksgiving. I wanted a benchmark to be sure that I wasn’t sabotaging myself by overindulging through the holidays.
I completely forgot about it until last week when I realized that I was cinching my belt a little more to avoid mooning everyone – and adjusting my bra straps to get to a snug fit.
“Huh,” I thought, “I should see how much I weigh, I bet I’ve lost weight.”
Nope. I gained. About 4 pounds.
Putting It To the Jeans and Swimsuit Test
I thought this was in line with the whole “fit is the new skinny” thing, but I wanted to be sure.
So, I went shopping.
I grabbed jeans and swimsuits in a size smaller than I would’ve normally gone for – and I prepared to be disappointed.
But I wasn’t. Pretty much everything fit. (Yay!)
How I Gained 4 Pounds
Since the holidays, I’ve made two changes that I believe have contributed to this awesome weight gain.
First, I incorporated another day of yoga into my weekly routine. This extra day of focus on my muscles feels great and is producing results fast.
Second, I got a new kickboxing instructor at the gym.
Okay, this one isn’t really a change I made so much as something that happened that has had a positive impact!
This new instructor is a mad man – he is like a relentless drill sargeant – and I love it!
We’re working on loads of articles this month that focus on Yoga and Kickboxing so that you can see the same kinds of results that I have.
Be sure to sign up for our daily email alerts (over on the right) and/or “Like” us on Facebook so that you see all of the great advice we’ll be dishing out!
As a busy mom and business owner, I’m often tempted to grab a few cups of coffee and pull an all-nighters to get caught up. But, now that I’ve added a challenging fitness routine to my week – I know sleep is crucial in keeping me healthy and my fitness goals on track.
But, how much sleep do we really need? Does it change when we are active?
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