Tracey Reifkind was overweight, out of shape and desperate for a solution when she discovered the kettlebell—the trendy cannonball-like weight with an attached handle. She not only used it, and a sensible diet, to lose 120 pounds, but she discovered a whole new career as a personal trainer and kettlebell evangelist-of-sorts. Now, she’s sharing the benefits of the bell and how-to advice on using it to trim and tone your body in her new book, The Swing! Lose the Fat and Get Fit with This Revolutionary Kettlebell Program.
Want to get into the swing of things? Get started reaping the cardio and strength benefits of kettlebells with these basic moves.
The Air Swing
This move teaches you the fundamental “swing” move without using the bell to ensure you use proper form. Even though there’s no weight lifting involved, you’re still toning your core, upper and lower body.
1. Stand about six inches in front of a sturdy chair, feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart, with your kettlebell about 6 inches in front of you. Keeping your back straight, squat as if you were going to sit in the chair and touch the handle of the bell.
2. Push your hands back and reach for the chair as if you were hiking a football. You should feel the outsides of your palms touching the uppermost part of your inner thighs.
3. Stand up straight, contracting your quads, glutes and abs, while swinging your arms out in front of you to no higher than hip level.
4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 for a total of 10 swings.
Hike the Bell
Get the feel of the weight and fine-tune your form with this practice move.
1. Stand about six inches in front of the kettlebell with your feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart, and squat as if you were going to sit in a chair, gripping the handle with both hands.
2. Without standing up, hike the kettlebell back and up behind you; then let it swing forward and back to the starting position. Repeat 4 to 5 times.
This move helped Tracy Reifkind transform her body and lose 120 pounds.
1. Stand about six inches in front of the kettlebell with your feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart. Squat as if you were going to sit in a chair, gripping the handle with both hands. Hike the bell back and up behind you.
2. Stand up and swing your arms out in front of you no higher than hip level, contracting your quads, glutes and abs. Repeat 8 to 10 times, ending by bending your knees and placing the bell gently on the ground.