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Tue, May 8, 2012 – by Jessica Reinhart

Ditch the Expensive Exercise Equipment: Buy a Kettlebell

Forget about all that expensive gym equipment - all you need is one tool to stay in shape: a kettlebell. No, it’s not one of those clunky bells you see adorning cows necks, and it’s not the bell that called the kids in for dinner on Little House on the Prairie. With a look that’s similar to a cannonball with a handle, the kettlebell yields a total body workout using a variety of swinging moves - within a fraction of the time of a typical trip to the gym.

Originally developed over 2,000 years ago and used in the first Olympic Games, the toning tool is making a comeback in gyms across the country and amongst A-list celebs from Jennifer Lopez to Matthew McConaughey - and it’s no secret why. "You get the equivalent of about an hour’s worth of aerobics in fifteen minutes and it is about three times as effective as Pilates", says Elite Nike fitness professional and kettlebell expert Missy Beaver. With training areas on the sets Nip Tuck and Grey’s Anatomy, Missy counts Katherine Heigle and Ellen Pompeo amongst her celebrity clientele.

Kettlebells are the perfect exercise for men and women alike. Known for producing tremendous strength, while accelerating fat loss and improving balance, coordination and flexibility, kettlebell workouts target every muscle in the body creating massive strength, but without the traditional bulky look associated with weight lifting. "Women love the workout because it produces long lean muscle. Whereas men love the kettlebell because it makes them strong without the power lifting physique", says Missy.

Unlike traditional workouts, you can expect to see the fruits of your labor quickly with the kettlebell. "Results happen FAST. After the first week you’ll feel different. After the second week you’ll look different. And, after the third week you’ll be feeling good in anything and everything you wear", says Missy.

Talk about throwing your weight around! Kettlebells are available in weights ranging from 10 – 100 pounds. Choosing the right weight for you depends on what you’re comfortable lifting. For the average woman, Missy recommends starting with an 18 pound kettlebell (26 pound if you’re uber strong!); and for the average man she recommends starting with a 36 pound kettlebell (44 pound if you’re Super Man). BUT, if you experience any back pain or were recently injured, Missy says to start with a lower weight – 14 pounds for women and 26 pounds for men.

If your gym doesn’t yet offer kettleball training on its class list, there are a number of kettlebell workout videos, including Missy’s highly anticipated training DVD: The Kettlebell Revolution with Celebrity Trainer Missy Beaver, available this December. Preorders can be made at www.MissFitLa.com.

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