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Kettlebell Workouts Growing In Popularity

March 8, 2012, 6:08 PM by Hailey Higgins

Kettlebell Workouts Growing In Popularity
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Kettlebells have sat in gyms for decades.  But now they're becoming a hot new workout trend. Users swear by the strange shaped weights because they claim they work.

They're described as a cannonball with a handle. And for the past five months, Julie Haagenson's used one under the direction of personal trainer Corey Howard.

"My legs are stronger. My arms are stronger. My back is stronger. I have no more back pain that I had before. I went through an injury with my back last summer and went through physical therapy and then came here and it totally changed everything," Haagenson said.

So far, she's lost 15 pounds and gained strength. Kettlebells are becoming increasingly popular because, when used effectively, they work. You can burn up to 600 calories in just half an hour.

"This is less time for me but I have gotten more results than I've ever gotten in the 20 year's I've done aerobics," Haagenson said.

Corey Howard's trained exclusively with kettlebells for the past three years. He's one of only three trainers in the state with an elite Russian Kettlebell Certification.

"It is probably the most athletic, effective way to strength train, rehab and do cardio conditioning all in one," Howard said.

One of the reasons why the kettlebell is so effective is because it allows you to do more than a traditional free weight.

"You compare it to a bench press, where you are laying flat on your back and pressing weights in one plane of movement, as opposed to a Turkish Getup or swing where you are strengthening everything while you are moving at the same time," Howard said.

And while he's thrilled to see the kettlebell grow in popularity, Howard says a lot of people are using it inappropriately. But for Haagenson, she says she is getting the best workout of her life.

"I was afraid to do it. That is the only regret I have is that I didn't start before I did," Haagenson said.

Working out with a kettlebell does not come without risk. It can have a higher injury risk than free weights, because of its unique shape.

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