Lifting weights is tough for some, but swinging them around your body and lifting them above your head for 30 minutes straight is another matter.
For five days per week and twice a day except for Friday, fitness fanatics and ordinary people alike meet to lift kettlebells in Emmarentia.
They are the Marks Park Kettlebells and Super Core group. Fitness is their game and their strength comes through pain.
“Kettlebells is a different kind of weight training that uses round steel and iron weights with handles to work almost all the muscles in the body,” said Barry Geldenhuys, a certified level two instructor with the International Kettlebells and Fitness Federation Africa.
He said kettlebells were invented in Russia in the early 1700s, when farmers used to use a pood to weigh grain against, and then lift them to improve muscle strength.
It is a unit of weight, equal to 40 funt (Russian pounds) and equivalent to 16.4 kg. Nowadays kettlebells vary from 6kg to usually not more than 32kg.
“You get two types of lifts – the ballistic lifts are your swings, snatches, cleans, jerks and presses and your grinds are your strict presses, Turkish get-ups and half get-ups.”
The movements of kettlebells are designed to build your active muscles, rather than your ‘showy’ muscles, according to Geldenhuys, which means people who lift kettlebells may not appear very strong and fit, but they are.
Stuart Dunsmore said after he developed back problems, he took up kettlebells and improved his posture and core strength. “I can now pick up anything,” he said,
David O’Reilly said he liked kettlebells because it allowed him to evaluate his strength and fitness in all areas, and if he could not do one of the movements, he did not have to.
Amanda Esterhuysen said, “As you grow a little older it is important to keep your arms and legs strong, which kettlebells does for me.”
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