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Swinging the kettlebells

March 10, 2012
By Cindy Votruba , Marshall Independent

During my life I've tried different kinds of exercise classes. In college, I took karate for a quarter. I?remember the knuckle pushups we all had to do if we didn't execute a move properly. Then there's been yoga, kickboxing, cardio classes and of course, Zumba.

For a while now I've noticed the description of a kettlebells class in the Marshall Area YMCA booklet. On Facebook a couple of my friends mentioned doing a class or two. So I?thought "why not give it a try?" I?need to build up my arm strength as well as all-over body strength and it sounded intriguing. So I?paid a little extra to give it a shot.

Introduction to kettlebells classes started this past week. I?decided to take the 11:30 a.m. to noon class on Tuesdays and Friday as that fit into my schedule a little better (now I?have to remember to go to class). The first day we learned a few basic techniques. There are safety tips to go along with the exercise as correct body positioning is extremely important. Otherwise you can hurt your back and shoulder.

A kettlebell is a cast iron weight - looks just like a cannonball with a handle. It's used to do ballistic exercises that combine cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training. During the first class, I watched everyone else's technique. I'm the type that tends to look at the person next to me or in front of me to make sure I'm doing whatever it is we're supposed to be doing correctly. Everyone else seemed to catch on quickly. I was still hung up on remembering how to keep my body positioned while swinging a kettlebell.

There are just a few folks in the afternoon class - which is OK. I?was worried I didn't have the squat position down (which I?didn't at first). Then I?worried about how to position my back and shoulders. I'm hoping that I'll get into the "swing"?of things in the next couple of weeks and not screw up my back in the process. Or accidentally let go of a kettlebell and send it flying.

I started out with a 10-pound weight for my first day. It was OK and yes, like one of the instructors said, you'll feel the effect a day later. Well, ?I felt it a couple hours later, but I'm still learning.

In the weeks to come, we're supposed to move onto heavier kettlebells...eek...hope I'm up for that.

In a little further investigation (well in watching a YouTube video), I?saw other exercises one can do with a kettlebell. All I?can say is the woman in the video I watched is in good shape. As for me, I'm hoping for the best and to not drop the kettlebell.



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