Leanne Shear of Uplift Studios in New York’s Flat Iron district shows how it’s done.
Uplift Studios, a women’s-only gym in Manhattan was launched three years ago with an ethos of bringing fun into fitness—without sacrificing good form—through strengthening, sculpting and high intensity training incorporating everything from boxing to kettlebells, both of which are having a fitness moment. “The great thing about kettlebells is that in just three moves you can get a total-body workout, strengthening your upper and lower body and your core, as well as getting a bonus cardio burn,” co-founder Leanne Shear explains. Here, she takes you through three moves utilizing the cast-iron weight.
1) Basic kettlebell swing: In terms of form, think deadlift not squat. Keep a flat back and while your knees are not locked into place, don’t bend them as much as they would in a squat. Working from your hips, bend forward and swing, using momentum to carry the kettlebell up to shoulder level. Using whatever weight is right for you (10-30 pounds), do two sets of 15 reps.
2) Kettlebell figure 8: With a wide-legged stance, get low into a deep squat, sinking your weight back into your heels. Do not hunch over—engage your lower abs and core and keep your chest lifted as you create figure eights with the kettle bell around your legs. Do two sets of 12-15 entire figure eight motions.
3) Kettlebell windmill: Create a wide stance with your feet and then point your left toe out to the side and your right toe forward. Raise the kettle bell high in your right hand, balancing the weighted part on your wrist. Keeping your legs straight, pop your hips back as you trace your open left hand down your thigh toward your shin. Do 15 reps on each side.