Kettlebells Allow You To Swing Your Balls
Everyone's doing it! The new form of fitness training involves kettlebells and you'll have everyone from buff okes to grandmas next to you in class
Few things are as manly as swinging around a giant iron ball. And who better than the Russians to formalise it into an official sport and strength training discipline? Essentially a cannonball with a handle, the kettlebell was originally a counterbalance in farming equipment, until burly Russian peasants tried to outdo their comrades in lifting them.
The first certified kettlebell trainers started in SA in 2002 and it's steadily growing. Attempting to cultivate chest hairs, I joined a kettlebell training class in Paulshof. Kettlebells differ from dumbbells in that they involve dynamic, ballistic movements and strict technique. Kettlebells build true strength, utilising stabilizer and main muscle groups alike rather than isolating muscles for cosmetic developments. They involve movement of the whole body to build strength, power and endurance - the 3 pillars of kettlebell training. So, while you won't be looking like a brick sh#%house, you'll probably be able to bench a guy that does.
The class was tough, but everyone proceeded at their own pace. I was surprised at the variety of people; buff okes, slender ladies, and middle-aged balis all sweating together. Trent Murgatroyd, who runs the classes, recommends it to literally anyone, having trained people from a girl of 4 to his grandma of 90. The kettlebells range from 8 to over 40 kg and anyone's welcome. Wherever you go, make sure your instructor is certified through the IKFF (International Kettlebell & Fitness Federation) and not youtube. It may be amongst the most injury-free sports, but only if done properly.
So, if you're tired of buckling under the weight of your mom's couch whenever you help her move, find your nearest kettlebell instructor and start swinging your balls.
A word of warning though; don't think you're getting the same training at gym. Mainstream gyms have incorporated kettlebells due to growing popularity but haven't staffed official instructors.
More info on classes and kettlebells can be found at www.kettlebells.za.net
by Dennis bAsterd Aijent Dvornak