Kettlebells tested

How do you burn 1,200 calories in one hour? Kettlebells. Peter Sullivan, trainer, explains the moves Discuss this article

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It’s difficult to imagine how just an hour of exercise can burn 1,200 calories. Yet personal trainer Peter Sullivan promises kettlebell training, with a bit of practice and tuition, can do just that for you.

‘You’re using your whole body to do a movement, which is not only going to burn more calories, but boost your metabolism. It’s a sport that very much incorporates cardiovascular exercise, as well as flexibility training,’ he says.

Though a relatively recent fad, kettlebells are not a new exercise concept. Some claim the bell-shaped weights were used as a training method by Roman gladiators, though more likely they were first used in 18th century Russia (the Russian word, girya, first appeared in the Russian dictionary in 1704). Today, celebrities Geri Halliwell and Penelope Cruze attribute their killer bodies to kettlebells. Time Out asked Sullivan, who teaches kettlebells at the Emirates Golf Club and in one-on-one training sessions, to show us a few moves guaranteed to make us sculpted.

Basic swing: Place the kettlebell between your feet. Push your bottom back and bend your knees, keeping your back flat. Look straight ahead and swing the kettlebell back between your legs, then explosively push your hips forward and swing the kettlebell straight out in front of you. End the swing at shoulder height and tighten your body as you breathe out. Relax your body as the bell swings back down between your legs.

Single hand clean: Place the kettlebell between your feet. Bend down to grab the weight by pushing your bottom back and bending your knees, making sure to look forward to avoid injury. Swing the kettlebell back and forcefully drive your hips forward, using momentum to lift the kettlebell to shoulder height. Open your hand and push though the loop on the kettlebell to stop the weight from banging on your wrist.

Double kettlebell military press: Place two kettlebells between your feet. Bend down to grab the kettlebells by pushing your bottom back and bending your knees. Swing the kettlebells back and drive your hips forward, using momentum to lift the weights. Keeping your midsection tight, push the kettlebells over your head. Using your back muscle slowly lower the weights back down to your shoulders for another lift.

Single-hand Snatch: Place the kettlebell between your feet. Look straight ahead and bend your knees, pushing your bottom back. Swing the kettlebell back between your legs to load the start position, then explosively push your hips forward to lift the weight above your head. When the weight is at shoulder height, push your hand through the loop. Hold the kettlebell above your head then bring it down so it is touching your shoulder, then bring it down by your side and repeat.

Kettlebell Renegade row: Hold two kettlebells slightly less then shoulder width apart and get into a press-up position. Push one kettlebell into the ground and pull the other into your side. Hold the kettlebell in the position for a few seconds, then slowly lower it back down to the ground. Repeat on the other side.
Beginner kettlebell classes are taught at Emirates Golf Club, Dhs300 for four lessons. Contact Peter Sullivan at 050 378 7367 or visit for more information.

By Daisy Carrington
Time Out Dubai,

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