Kettlebells to a toned and healthy body

December 2, 2009 4:12:51 PM PST
It's a workout technique that is centuries old, but now it's playing an integral part in getting people into shape. Kettlebells were initially just balls used for scales to weigh things, and then handles were added and the kettlebells were used for weight lifting and workouts. That was centuries ago, but now, they're back. Step into a Lorna Kleidman's class, and you'll really have to watch where you step. Participants will be swinging kettlebells. They are sort of like dumbbells, but with handles.

But unlike a dumbbell, which is centered, kettlebells allow for a variety of movements.

Much of the workout involves controlling the momentum of that swinging kettlebell. And depending on how you swing it, different body parts go to work, with the core and back almost always engaged.

Lorna picked up her first kettlebell four years ago, and two years later she started competing. She's now a two-time world champ, and she's out with a book. And her classes fill up at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan.

"Once you have the basic movements, like the swing, down, and you understand the momentum, it's a lot of fun and unlike any other routine," Lorna said.

One movement is called the Russian Twist. After all, kettlebells come got their start in Russia. Lunges prove to be more challenging then ever, and you'll need some endurance for the high pull.

You'll be sore for sure. But Lorna hopes it's a work out you come back for again and again.

And if you can't make Lorna's classes, her book has detailed instructions on how the kettlebell approach works.

For more information on the classes and the book, visit