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The Best Indoor Workout You’re Not Doing

Posted December 19, 2012 in Advice Column, Downtown

DSCN7347aaaIs anyone baffled as to why it is December and still 60 degrees outside? This is Iowa!

I’ll admit — last winter was great. But does anyone else want some snow? I’m hopeful that we will at least get a few snowfalls this year. Unfortunately, that means that the temperatures have to be below 32, and I’ll probably have to take my workouts indoors. I’m not sure about you, but I strongly despise the treadmill. There is just something about running outside, with the scenery, and wind against your face, that makes outdoor running refreshing, while indoor running is boring, sweaty and bland.

So how do we get that cardio-high while indoors? Try incorporating kettlebells. Swings, curls, Turkish get-ups — every move you do with a kettlebell challenges your muscles, and you’ll be sweating just as much as a hard-core cardio session. In fact, studies have shown that people who performed a 20-minute kettlebell workout burned almost 300 calories. And when you factor in the muscle- sculpting impact and increased metabolism after your workout is long over, the total calorie expenditure could increase by up to 50 percent vs. a moderate workout.

The kettlebell originated in Russia in the 1700s when the Soviet army began using them as part of their physical training and conditioning programs. It is a cast-iron weight shaped like a ball with a handle, making its weight be distributed unevenly.  The center of mass is extended beyond the hand, unlike dumbbells, forcing your muscles to act in an unfamiliar way. Because of this, kettlebell exercises build strength and endurance, especially in the lower back, legs and shoulders. Additionally, because the weight is unstable, your stabilizer muscles (such as your core) also have to work harder.

A kettlebell workout is generally performed in a circuit-style, where you do a series of exercises for one to two minutes each before moving to the next exercise. Or try alternating swings and cleans with weight movements, such as one-armed rows, pull-ups, squats, or lunges with a twist.

Check out websites like, or (yes, ladies, you can do these workouts, too!) for great exercise and workout ideas to start incorporating kettlebells this winter and build a strong base as well as avoid the extra holiday pounds

Have a healthy day!

Information provided by Julia Steggerda, Fitness World 24 – Downtown, 418 Sixth Ave., Suite 110, 288-1111.

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