There's an interesting piece of exercise equipment capturing the attention of those of us who are not work-out enthusiast but still want to get the best bang for our work-out buck. It's called the Kettlebell and it looks like a cast iron cannonball with a handle. It has been used in Russia for hundreds of years and is now making the rounds in the U.S.

Unlike a dumbbell, the kettlebell has two parts of unequal weight. It has a light handle with a heavier ball that you can swing like a pendulum. Kettlebell exercise combines cardiovascular activity with strength training and you burn more calories.

A study conducted in the early 1980s, found kettlebell training was more effective than traditional training. Two groups of college students were studied over several years. One group used the standard military regimen. The second group worked-out with only kettlebells. Both groups were tested using the same military exercises and the kettlebell group scored higher in every test, including those that were not purely strength based.

Another study conducted by St. Cloud State University in Minnesota reported that people who did a 14 to 22 minute kettlebell workout expended as many calories as if they had run a 10 to 12 minute mile or exercised on a stair stepper.

This way of exercising has become so popular that kettlebell-only gyms have opened-up across the U.S and the kettlebells are a favorite item with fitness trainers who use cross training methods. One of the reasons for the boost could be that it gets back to basic training using the entire body.

Some of the newer kettlebells have adjustable weights and are rubber coated to protect flooring. Weights range from 2 lbs to over 100 lbs.

To maximize your workout, get personal instruction from a trainer who has experience teaching kettlebell exercises. You can also purchase a DVD; beginners may find the following DVDs helpful: Gin Miller's Calorie Burner Workout with Kettlebells (; 10 Minute Solution: Kettlebell Ultimate Fat Burner (; Kettlebells the Iron Core Way, with Sarah Lurie ( You can also find instructional DVDs and kettlebells at sporting-goods stores or visit

If you're looking for a workout to increase flexibility, strengthen the body, and workout the heart all in one, then you may want to try kettlebells.

Kettlebell Group (18205)


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