Kettlebells are one of my favourite pieces of exercise equipment. Mostly because they’re so versatile and if you use them properly, they give you a kick-ass workout.
However, while I’ve often done my own kettlebell workouts and I’ve done many short workouts at Cape Crossfit with the kettlebells, I had never been to a kettlebell class. Which is why I was so excited when Laura Munro of Glow Pilates, invited me along to one of her kettlebell classes.
If you don’t know what kettlebells are, read my article on it here.
The class began with a nice long warm-up of rowing, skipping, bear crawls and squats and step-ups. Doesn’t sound like much but trust me, after a few rounds we were all sweaty and plenty warmed up.
Then the kettlebells came out. I felt like a kid at Christmas, the not-so-secret exercise nerd in me was bubbling with excitement.
I picked a 20kg kettlebell for the ladder swings. Sounds like fun already huh? What it means is that you start with 3 two-arm swings, then your partner does 3, then you do 6, then 9, then 12, then 15… then you count back down. May not look like much on paper but if you do it right it’s quite a good workout.
Then we moved onto goblet squats with the kettlebells. This involves holding the kettlebell with both hands at your chest and then lowering down into a deep squat. The weight of the kettlebell is perfect for getting you nice and deep in the squat and making those leg, hip and bum muscles work. We did ladders with these too and by the end my hip flexors were twitching their distaste.
After that we switched over to lighter kettlebells for some push-presses, which involves holding a light kettlebell in each hand at your shoulders and then dipping down slightly and pushing them straight up overhead as you stand up. Also quite a taxing workout.
However, Laura was not done with us yet. And as she headed back to the board to show us the finishing workout I was reminded again what an awesome workout kettlebells can give you. I was pretty much soaked with sweat and could feel every muscle in my body had been woken up and was feeling the effects of the previous exercises.
The workout we finished with, finished me. It wasn’t hard, but it was tough, if that makes sense.
It consisted of 5 rounds of:
20 kettlebell swings
30 seconds of air squats
Come the end of the second round my hip flexors were screaming at me, those squats were deadly! And by the end of the last round I collapsed on the floor. A sweaty, heaving, totally fried version of the person that walked into the studio an hour before. But I was happy. Those feel-good exercise hormones were coursing through me like fireworks, and as I washed them down with Laura’s complimentary freshly-juiced carrot and lime drink all I could think of was “I HAVE to do that again…”