If you ask David Beares, complex new-age exercise machinery is not required to get a good workout. His class at a Columbia gym is taking workouts old school, and by that we mean Old World Russia — circa 1700.
Kettlebells, the cast-iron cannonball-shaped weights that once served as counterweights on farm equipment, have found a new following in the gym.
The weights have long been popular as a fitness tool in Russia, where they’re featured in strength and endurance competitions and used in training for the Russian Olympic team and special forces.
The kettlebell’s signature “swing, clean and snatch” movement technique is gaining momentum at Beares’ class at Coreworks Fitness Studio in Columbia, where he leases space. He introduced his kettlebell workout regimen in February.
Beares says his Gym In One Hand kettlebell class develops the entire body, including muscles, joints and cardio.
“It’s efficient and effective,” says Beares. “This program using this one tool has it all ... strength training, builds lean muscle, firms the body, and burns calories and fat.”
With kettlebell weights ranging from 10 pounds to 100 pounds, Beares’ classes accommodate participants of all ages and abilities from teens to seniors. The younger crowd benefits in strength and agility, while the older group may increase bone density and reduce signs of osteoporosis, he says.
The off-center weight of the kettlebell forces the participant to use core and back muscles to remain balanced and stabilize the kettlebell throughout its motion during the exercises.
Coreworks Fitness Studio, 9160 Rumsey Road, Suite B4, Columbia. 1-888-838-9226 or www.39minuteworkout.com.