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The Amazing 37-Minute Workout

  • Sarah Kehoe

    Introducing Kettlebells

    We've all seen odd-looking workout equipment (foam rollers, countless ab devices...). But kettlebells you've gotta try, even if they do look like iron granny purses. A 20-minute workout with them is worth about an hour on the treadmill!

    "Kettlebells sculpt every part of your body — fast," says Michele Olson, PhD, an exercise physiologist at Auburn University Montgomery in Alabama. Most moves involve swinging the kettlebell up or across the body. All of the weight is below the handle, so your core has to work hard to counteract the momentum. The result? You'll lose inches and be stronger and leaner than ever.

    Get a feel for using kettlebells — and burn about 400 calories — as you sculpt your entire body with this 40-minute routine.

    What you'll need: A set of 10- to 15-pound dumbbells (or kettlebells, from 10 to 45 pounds, $30 to $90; find them at gofit.net) and a mat. Or start with a lighter weight and then move up as soon as you're ready.

    How it works: Do this workout as a circuit, moving from one set of exercises to the next with minimal rest. Complete the circuit four or five times. Do the workout two or three days a week.

     
  • Jay Sullivan

    Two-Arm Swing A

    Targets: Shoulders, arms, chest, back, abs, glutes, legs

    • Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-distance apart, knees soft and toes pointed out slightly.
    • Hold the kettlebell or ends of the dumbbell horizontally in both hands, arms extended at shoulder height and abs engaged.
  • Jay Sullivan

    Two-Arm Swing B

    Targets: Shoulders, arms, chest, back, abs, glutes, legs

    • Squat down, bringing weight between legs and keeping body weight in heels; continue to look forward.
    • Stand up quickly, pushing through your heels and into your glutes and core and using the momentum from your legs to propel the weight to chest level.
    • Repeat, lowering weight between legs.
    • Do 15 reps.
     
  • Jay Sullivan

    Clean and Press A

    Targets: Shoulders, arms, chest, back, abs, glutes, legs

    • Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-distance apart, knees soft and toes pointed out slightly, holding dumbbell or kettlebell in right hand with left hand reaching out to left side.
    • Squat, bringing weight between legs.
  • Jay Sullivan

    Clean and Press B

    Targets: Shoulders, arms, chest, back, abs, glutes, legs

    • Thrust up through the hips, using momentum to bring weight to shoulder height; keep elbow close to body and wrist straight.
    • Holding weight here, do a half squat, then press dumbbell overhead as you stand up, driving the movement through your heels.
    • Lower back to start and repeat.
    • Do 12 to 15 reps; switch sides and repeat.
     
  • Jay Sullivan

    Straight-Leg Russian Twist

    Targets: Abs, obliques

    • Lie faceup on mat with legs extended, holding dumbbell or kettlebell over hips in both hands with arms straight.
    • Roll up through spine, bringing head, neck and shoulders off the mat and keeping arms extended.
    • Twist torso to right, bringing weight to right side, then twist to left.
    • Repeat, doing 1 to 15 reps per side.
    • Lower to start.
  • Jay Sullivan

    Double-Lift Push-Up

    Targets: Shoulders, chest, upper back, core

    • Begin in a full push-up position, legs extended behind you, abs tight and head in line with spine.
    • Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell against the mat under each hand, palms under shoulders.
    • Keeping core tight, do a push-up; then pull right elbow toward ceiling, bringing weight next to ribs while keeping left arm straight.
    • Hold for 1 count and lower; repeat on other side.
    • Do 12 to 15 reps per side.
     
  • Jay Sullivan

    Single-Leg Glute Lift

    Targets: Back, core, abs, glutes, legs

    • Stand with feet together, arms at sides, holding dumbbell or kettlebell in your right hand.
    • Lift your right leg about 2 feet behind you, bringing left arm out to the side to help you counterbalance.
    • Hinge forward at the hips, bringing the weight toward the floor and lifting right leg 90 degrees, so it's parallel to the floor.
    • Return to start, squeezing through your glutes and hamstrings to stand up.
    • Do 12 to 15 reps; switch sides and repeat.
  • Jay Sullivan

    Windmill

    Targets: Shoulders, back, obliques, glutes, legs

    • Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-distance apart, knees soft and toes pointed out slightly, holding dumbbell or kettlebell in left hand with right arm extended.
    • Turn right foot out about 90 degrees and extend left arm directly above shoulder, keeping elbow straight (if you're using a kettlebell, keep the weight over your forearm).
    • Bend from waist to right side, bringing right hand toward floor while keeping left arm straight and weight over shoulder; keep left leg straight, right knee slightly bent.
    • Look up toward weight and hold for 1 count, then return to start and repeat.
    • Do 12 to 15 reps per side.

    Originally published in FITNESS magazine, July 2008.

     

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