When do you ever really feel your core? Lately, I’ve been feeling it a lot. I recently took up kettlebells. This one little piece of equipment completely kicks my ass. As you can see, it’s 26 pounds. There are a variety of things you can do with it. But the beauty of it is that you don’t have to do much to see/feel a difference.
I started doing kettlebells because I was feeling like I had lost muscle strength over the last few years. My massage therapist recommended kettlebells and there just happens to be a class every Tuesday and Thursday morning at that location. I was only able to go to four classes in June. But I signed up for all of July. I have another teacher friend that is doing it. We basically figured that if we signed up for the month we’d actually do it.
The first time I did kettlebells I was so sore that I could hardly move. I haven’t been that sore since I hiked the Inca trail! (~30 miles and 6000 steps over the course of 4 days). I was so sore that I had to put my hands on the toilet seat and lower myself down. Sorry for that visual, but you have no idea how much of a workout you’re going to get.
The main thing that you do are swings. You are in a squatting position and you hold the bell with both hands and swing it between your legs. You stand on the upswing and tighten your butt. On the downswing, you bend your knees and then do it all over again. You keep doing it until you’re fatigued. It doesn’t take long.
There’s also a lift where you start with the bell on the ground and do sort of a “clean and jerk” up to your shoulder. After you get it into that position, you use your other hand for stability and squat down all the way. Then as you stand you bring the bell up so your arm is extended over your head. We do this several times. Last week I accidentally bonked myself in the cheek on the way up. At least it was with my hand and not the bell! You can also do curls with it (when you hold it with both hands).
Another thing we’ve done to work our core is to be in a push up position. Your back is parallel with the ground, so there’s a slight bend at your waist. (It’s different from plank position in yoga.) Pick up your right hand and bring it to your waist without shifting your weight. Then do it with the left. It’s amazing how much this works your core.
It’s not like we do a gazillion reps of any of this. Just a little goes a long way. And the beauty of it, is once you learn the different things to do, you can easily do them on your own. Have I done that yet? Not exactly. I’ve done some swings at home, but that’s about it. But I do have the knowledge. And that’s a start.