The Kettle Bell: Your Ticket to Fitness

by Stephanie Flores on January 25, 2016 in Lifestyle, Wellness,
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“To Be is to Do” ­— Socrates

To be fit, we must do fitness. It’s winter again, and it’s not too late to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Now’s the time to accomplish some of your fitness goals that you may have set for this year. With the right goals and some planning you can come out a winner just in time for warmer weather.

The first step to being successful is choosing your goals and purpose. When deciding you need to be sure that they are specific to you, measurable, can be attained in a reasonable time frame, and promote progressive habits over your lifetime. The following are key points to choosing, planning, and getting motivated towards your goals.

Goal Planning

This is necessary to getting and staying motivated in achieving your goals. Write down two or three things that you want to achieve. Next to each write why that goal is important to you and what it would mean. I see people come in on a regular basis with goals of “getting in shape and losing 20 pounds”, the problem with that is those are too vague. I usually ask them what does in shape mean to them, or why 20 pounds. The answer then is usually a variety of reasons, but mostly emotionally driven by how they or others perceive them. One of the emotions many clients experience while embarking on a fitness journey is lack of self confidence. Most people who are not confident in themselves depend excessively on the approval of others in order to feel good about themselves. Other traits and characteristics are that they don’t expect to be successful, they put themselves down, discount or ignore compliments, are afraid to challenge themselves and accomplish their goals.

Confidence. The truth is you have got to believe in yourself. I have the opportunity to change lives daily, and I have more faith in my clients than they have in themselves. The mind is a powerful thing and it can hold you back or allow you to achieve. You have to change your mindset to know that YOU CAN change, perform, and improve. You have to focus on the process of trying, practicing, recovering, doing your best, and not giving up. So when you feel like quitting, remember why you started.

Support System

Choosing a healthy support system such as a trainer, nutritionist, dietician, buddy, or team will help give you direction, accountability, emotional support, and provide camaraderie. Enlisting the assistance of a professional will guide you in making sure the proper approach is taken towards your specific goals and body. You will want to make sure that your friends and family are on board for moral support. Be sure to let them know this is something you have chosen to do for your health and that you will still be able to make time to spend time with them. You need to have a coach, your person, who believes in you more than you do and reminds you to be confident in yourself.

Tracking System

Use metrics to motivate, educate, and create awareness. Keep track using measurables such as photos, calories, weight, inches, body fat percentage, or performance. Also using a journal to take note of how you feel during the the initial process, weekly, and in the completion of a particular goal will give you some perspective moving forward. The idea is over a given time period to create healthy habits and awareness, so that it becomes second nature.

Reward System

Having a positive reward system can be motivating too. Celebrate your progress with things that will further your fitness endeavors like new shoes, outfits, equipment, meal plans, training sessions, or vacations. In my experience I have seen many individuals fall to rewarding themselves with poor food choices or binging. This type of reward system usually leads to self-­sabotage and usually becomes a bigger setback.

Once you have done this you will feel more inspired and motivated to achieve your goals. Remember you didn’t change overnight and it won’t come off overnight either. It’s not enough to want the change, or to purchase a program, but for there to be progress you have to be willing to try and experience the falls along the way. It’s not always an easy feat, there will be days that seem easier than others, really hard days, and some great days too. What matters is that you live another day to do. It’s like brushing your teeth, you just do it! Need a jumpstart? Try this short routine to get you moving!

Complete each exercise for 45 seconds and rest for 15 seconds. After doing all six rest 60 seconds and repeat for five rounds.

Kettle Bell Deadlifts

Stand with feet shoulder-­width apart in a tall posture and with neutral spine. Place the kettlebell directly at the midpoint between your heels. Hinge at the hips and maintain a neutral spine as the hips shift backward and the torso lowers toward the ground. As you lower the torso, reach your hands to the kettlebell, gripping it to engage core. Extend hips as you stand upright, and reverse motion towards the floor. Repeat.

Kettle Bell Figure 8

Place one kettlebell between your legs and take a wider than shoulder width stance. Bend over by pushing your butt out and keeping your back flat. Pick up a kettlebell and pass it to your other hand between your legs. The receiving hand should reach from behind the legs. Go back and forth for repetitions.

Kettle Bell Russian Twist

Sit down with the legs bent and feet flat on the floor, about hip­-distance apart. Hold the kettlebell with both hands at the chest, and then lean back to a 45 degree angle. Rotate the torso from left to right by twisting at the waist taking the kettlebell across the body.

Kettle Bell Up/Down to High Pull

Place a kettlebell on the ground 6” in front of your feet. Position your feet in a wide stance, squat down and place hands on floor, jump legs back into a plank position, then jump back to standing position, and grasp the kettlebell with two hands. Next extend your hips and knees, simultaneously pulling the kettlebell to your shoulders, raising your elbows as you do so. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position.

Kettle Bell Spider Drags

Start in an elbow plank position, with the bell just behind your right elbow. Step one hand in at a time to press up into full push up position. Reach your right hand under, grab the bell, and drag it to the other side. Lower back down into modified plank one arm at a time. That’s one rep.

Kettle Bell Front Squats

Stand up straight, holding the kettlebell in front of the chest with both hands, keeping the elbows close to the body. Start squatting by driving the heels into the ground and pushing the hips back until the thighs are parallel to the ground or just below. Return to standing.