Friday, January 18, 2013

Kettlebells: weightlifting I can handle



I'm the proud new owner of cannonballs with handles!

I've been hankering to find short, powerful workouts that make me feel and look good, and I think I've found a winner: kettlebells.

I've known for a while that I needed to start lifting weights, but even the thought makes me cringe. Even though I try to be an open-mined girl, the words "weight lifting" conjure images of bulked-up, leering, sweaty guys who are trying to strike up a conversation with my ta-tas.

Call it prejudice. I'm more into smart and funny.

In my foray into the world of paleo/primal living, I'm hearing that lifting heavy things is essential. The theory is that if we are to reconnect to our genetic potential, which is not staring at a screen and pushing buttons, we need to do full-body exercise. If early people had to push, pull and drag big things to get by each day, then maybe we should, too.

Add in my discovery that lifting weights helps release hormones that combat fatigue and depression with a side effect of ripped arms, and I knew what I had to do.

I'm taking the leap out of my comfort zone because I'm seeing people use these simple weights to create flowing, effective workouts in small spaces. I don't need a fancy machine, huge rack of weights or a special room. I can step into my strong self in 15 minutes at home while I'm watching Homeland.

That's the logic, at least. The feelings part of this experiment is that I've always seen myself as physically weak and inferior, and doing these workouts is rewiring my image of myself. I can feel the strength in my shoulders and back as I lift this blob of steel. Energy pulses through me as my body moves in graceful motions.

I don't have to doubt myself. I'm doing it.

After just three weeks of using these, I can see the difference in my legs, backside and arms. Pretty decent returns for a minimal investment!

I'm starting my kettlebell adventure with some YouTube videos, and I'm hoping to connect with some kettlebell lovers locally to get some additional tips and share the love.

My favorite kettlebell videos so far:
fundamentals with technique tips
basic 6-stage circuit
quick 12-minute workout

Cavetats, ipso factos, and clarifications: Am I saying that you should run out and get kettlebells? Nope. People vary, and this working for me right now. Always do what feels best for you.

4 comments:

  1. I've been off my regular weight lifting routine for about a year and boy does it show! I can't say enough about the benefits of weight lifting though. I've always been on the musclely side since I was a kid but once I started lifting weights I never bulked up just got very toned and strong. Now that I've finally had my knee surgery I'm hoping that I can soon begin rehab and get back into shape. At the moment I feel like a limp noodle and miss that confident feeling of strength.

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    1. She Rides -- I've always been on the non-muscle-y side and considered weak, so I just get PE flashbacks when I think of weight lifting. Sooo glad I'm getting over that and getting into feeling strong.

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