“ Manufacturer: Eco Wellness / Type: Kettlebell „
The kettlebell is the most recent addition the equipment we use in my gym class. The kettlebell is very similar to the dumbbell and apparently used to be used by the Russian army for strength training. However, I was more interested in getting a better balance and posture and also keeping toned. I've really been enjoying using them so thought it would be a good idea to get one I can use at home as well and bought the 2.5kg kettlebell by Eco Wellness from eBay for £15.
Kettlebells are compact little weights named after the old-fashioned kettles they resemble and look a bit like cannonballs with handles. The Eco Wellness ones come in two sizes; 2.5kg or 5kg and are comprised of smooth plastic in a pleasant pale green colour which makes it look more gentle and less formidable than the shiny black ones you can buy. The small size makes them easy to store and they are flat underneath so can be placed on the floor without rolling around. The weight has a decent-sized handle which easily allows room to get a good, comfortable hold with both hands although the plastic can be a bit slippery. The underside of the handle has a series of grooves to improve the grip and stop it from slipping. They also come with a booklet with some basic exercises and instructions on how to use them safely, although I admit I've never tried any of these as I tend to stick to routines I've been shown at the gym.
I try to use mine 5 days a week for roughly 20 minutes doing repetitions of different exercises I've been shown in my gym sessions to work out as many muscles as possible. A lot of people claim kettlebells are better than normal dumbbells as they use more of the muscles anyway but I've no idea whether this is true. I can say that I've noticed my arms and even my legs have been starting to look more toned and shaped than before since I've been using them and I think my strength has also improved in the last few months.
Overall, these are good weights that I'll continue to use around the house. They don't cost much and I've seen some definite benefits to using them so I'd recommend.
One of the more recent new fitness sessions at my gym is based around the use of kettle bells, a piece of equipment that was not really in favour for many years yet now it seems to be making a comeback and this is now one of the most popular classes in the gym and was what prompted the other half and myself to buy a couple to also use in the home, we purchased a pair of kettles the 2.5kg and the 5kg, neither really are heavy enough for my hubby to use although he does use the 5kg occasionally however I do get a decent amount of use our of the pair. The pair cost £18.
The first thing I noticed about these is that the grip is a little bigger than the ones in the gym and not as comfortable either and I find that it is best to wear exercise gloves when using these as you get a better grip and they are more comfortable to use. There is a ridging effect on the underside of the grip but the fact that these are made from a smooth plastic menas that this alone is not enough grip in my opinion. When I use it I tend to replicate the exercises we have done in class, at first these can feel a bit strange and unwieldy to use however it did not take long for me to get the technique right while under supervision in a class. These do come with instruction and suggested exercises however I think the detail is somewhat lacking in these instructions and with these a bad technique could do you more harm than good.
The weight in these is well distributed and while I have not checked that the weight is accurate they feel no different to the ones at the gym in weight terms. With these you get what you pay for, they do not look the most stylish, the sleek matt balck ones in the gym look loads better than these pale greenish colour that is a bit insipid however as a functional cheap kettle for use in the home to do some extra exercise they are fine. Whether or not the claims that you burn more calories and use more muscles with a kettle compared with a hand weight I cannot say but they do give you more variety when exercising and that variety helps keep things interesting.
If they improved the grip then there would be little to really complain about however when working with weights grip is all important alongside technique so for me these get three stars.
I first decided to get a kettle bell about two years ago when I was sitting in a park in London. A group of incredibly fit looking women seemed to come along from nowhere with their even fitter looking instructor and started exercising in a circle with these kettle bells - I remember thinking how fun it looked and decided to get myself one.
It was only actually this January that I got round to purchasing a kettle bell - it was a spur of the moment thing, I saw it in ASDA, and with it just having gone New Year I was in that whole fitness mode that I normally start and then give up on within the first two weeks of every new year. The eco wellness kettle bell comes in two sizes - 2.5kg and 5kg. I got the smaller of the two having not used one before.
The idea of the kettle bell is that it is a weight you can use to work out, but it works differently to a normal hand weight due to the positioning of the handle. Apparently using one will work more muscles than a normal weight and a lot of people swear that they burn calories faster too, although I am not going to claim to know all the technical spiel about them, as when it comes to fitness I find a lot of people argue about what's best.
This particular kettle bell comes with a leaflet included which gives some ideas for different exercises, but unfortunately that has been lost now. I am not sure what the eco part of the brand name is about, whether this was made from recycled materials or suchlike and unfortunately I can't find any info on this online.
The actual kettle bell itself is comfortable to hold, however the handle is quite chunky and my small hands do seem to lose grip over time. Although the plastic on the underside of the handle is slightly mottled to aid grip, I do find that if my hands start to sweat, the kettle bell sort of twists in my hands and I do sometimes worry it is going to fly out of my grip and through the window!
When it comes to using this, I think the most popular 'move' is the kettle bell swing, whereby you stand with your feet apart and squat, swinging the kettle bell up in front of you. I actually find this move much easier with the weight of the kettle bell, ironically and I can do many more repetitions without getting tired, so this is great for toning the legs and bum as well as the arms.
I have also found youtube to be a great resource for exercise ideas and there are several workout videos on there for when you find you would like some variation in your exercise routine. I have noticed a fair few of the workouts use two kettle bells (for example lunges) so am considering buying a second one.
The 2.5kg kettle bell costs £8 from ASDA and can also be purchased online from direct.asda.com. The 5kg one retails at £11.
Overall I am pleased with this kettle bell, the only thing I would change is to perhaps make the handle slightly narrower and maybe have the textured part all the way around the handle instead of just on the underside. I think the 2.5kg size has been perfect for me as it is helping me to get toned without being so heavy I find it overly challenging, so I would definitely recommend this.
I love going to the gym, I'll admit it here and now, I'm a bit of a gym addict, it gives me the excuse of being able to work out and enjoy food so what's there to not like? Plus you get to see some pretty hot girls working out in clothing which leaves little to the imagination, but I digress. One of my favourites after the obligatory cardio-vascular sessions on the bike and treadmill is the weights section of the gym. However, time seems to play tricks on you when your in the gym, so when your flying along on your bike or pretending to be Steve Redgrave on the rowers then time seems to fly past but when pumping the iron I often think I've been exercising for longer than I have. So to keep things fresh and interesting I tend as many people do to use the gym equipment to do sets and exercise different muscles, the most effective way of doing this is to use different pieces of equipment.
Recently I've been using the kettlebells, kettlebells are relatively small squat little pieces of heavy equipment which are shaped like a kettle hence the name, they have a large circular handle and are designed to be picked up by both hands and used to principally exercise the upper body and thighs. They come in a variety of weights, colours but the essential is a handle with a grip which allows for the user to pick up the bell with confidence and without the possibility of slipping. The EcoWellness kettle bell doesn't have a grooved or graduated grip like some and is a bit of a plain colour but the shape allows for the user to be able to pick up the weight and place it down on a flat surface with ease. The principle way I use the weight is to try and keep my feet together and extend down, pick up the weight and then from around my thighs height up to my chin I extend up and down principally exercising my arms and chest muscles. I'd say that the 2.5Kg bell is good for warming up and for warming down because it gives the muscles a tweak rather than an extended workout.
So when using the equipment at the gym, instead of ignoring those odd shaped bell shaped weights in the corner why not use them to either warm up with a light weight or if using a heavier bell then do a 10-20 minute exercise plan of which there are hundreds to choose from.