WHOLE NEW BALL GAME

THIS LIT­TLE BALL WITH A HAN­DLE MIGHT BE THE SIN­GLE BEST PIECE OF WORK­OUT EQUIP­MENT FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NO TIME AND GET BORED EAS­ILY

Life & Style Weekend - - WELLBEING - READ MORE AT busy­mum­fit­ness.com KELLY REN­NIE Kelly is a per­sonal trainer, mother and au­thor of Busy Mum Syn­drome. She spe­cialises in on­line train­ing pro­grams for busy mums, which have earned praise from Kate Mid­dle­ton. EYE WELL­NESS

We’ve all heard of bar­bells and dumb­bells, but it’s the ket­tle­bell that prob­a­bly de­serves the award for most valu­able player. Don’t be­lieve me? Take a look at the work­out rou­tine of any of the world’s top ac­tors. More of­ten than not, the ket­tle­bell will be in­volved in some form or an­other. If peo­ple be­ing paid mil­lions and mil­lions of dol­lars to look good on screen are us­ing them of­ten, who are we to ar­gue? The ket­tle­bell can be used for a num­ber of fit­ness goals and can be made to fit a va­ri­ety of train­ing pro­to­cols. Let’s take a look at some of the ben­e­fits:

GREAT FOR HIIT

High-in­ten­sity in­ter­val train­ing (HIIT) is pop­u­lar for one rea­son — it works. When we push our­selves into bursts of in­tense ex­er­cise we get a host of ben­e­fits, in­clud­ing in­creased me­tab­o­lism and long-term fat loss. Ket­tle­bells are the per­fect com­pan­ion to HIIT be­cause they are com­pact and can be used any­where. Can’t get to the gym? Buy a set for your home and work out­side. They can be used to per­form a va­ri­ety of func­tional move­ments that will get your heart pump­ing and your mus­cles work­ing in a way they are per­haps not used to.

WHOLE-BODY TRAIN­ING

Ket­tle­bells are fan­tas­tic for all-round mus­cle build­ing be­cause they force you to use your whole body. Many of the best ket­tle­bell ex­er­cises in­cor­po­rate the en­tire body in a com­bi­na­tion of stretch­ing, con­tract­ing and sta­bil­is­ing the ex­tra load, mak­ing them ideal for peo­ple in­ter­ested in func­tional fit­ness rather than just “showy” mus­cles. An added ben­e­fit of this, of course, is that com­pound multi-joint move­ments build more lean tis­sue and burn more fat than iso­la­tion ex­er­cises, mean­ing we are get­ting more bang for our buck in all ar­eas.

“PUT­TING A SET IN YOUR CAR COULD MAKE MAIN­TAIN­ING YOUR FIT­NESS DUR­ING THE WORK­ING WEEK EAS­IER.”

RE­DUCED RISK OF PAIN AND IN­JURY

An­other ben­e­fit of be­ing forced to use whole-body com­pound ex­er­cises is that they re­quire good form and per­fect range of mo­tion. This re­quires a level of flex­i­bil­ity and joint strength that is some­times be­yond the aver­age weightlift­er. By shift­ing your fo­cus to ket­tle­bells you will nat­u­rally find your­self work­ing on ex­er­cises that en­hance your joint and lig­a­ment health. Con­se­quently, you may ex­pe­ri­ence a re­duc­tion in pain or in­flam­ma­tion.

PER­FECT FOR BUSY PEO­PLE

The world is chaotic and our cal­en­dars are busier than ever. How is it pos­si­ble to get and stay in shape when we have so many other things to do and only so many hours in a day? Per­haps the best thing about ket­tle­bells is that you can get a great work­out in a rel­a­tively short amount of time. Also, they are small and portable. Put­ting a set in your car could make main­tain­ing your fit­ness dur­ing the work­ing week eas­ier. Like­wise, put­ting a set be­neath your bed when you can’t get to the gym makes it al­most im­pos­si­ble to ex­cuse your­self from work­ing out.

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