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We love kettlebells: the combination of strength training and cardio that goes into a workout with them is hard to beat. And we love it when a fitness expert is able to create something truly unique with them too. Lorna Kleidman, three-time world kettlebell champion, has done just that with her new class, KettleX.
KettleX, offered at The Fitness Cell Collective on New York City's Upper East Side, is designed to help you shed fat and burn muscle fast, with easy-to-follow cues and fluid, dance-like movements that work the whole body. Kleidman designed this at-home version for Self readers: Try it for 25 minutes a day, four days a week, and you'll see results within weeks.
KettleX at Home
Use a 15- or 20-pound kettlebell for the following routine. Perform all six movements below as a circuit three to four times, with 30 seconds rest between each exercise. Or, perform three movements at a time, three to four times with 30 seconds of rest between, and then switch to the second group of three.
Double-Arm Swing With Jump
Do 12 to 15 reps. Works the legs, shoulders, and abs.
With knees soft and butt out, swing bell back through your legs, connecting wrists to inner, upper thighs (see left photo above). Use a forceful hip drive to generate the forward swing to chest level. As the bell rises, use your hip and leg drive to jump up, beating legs together on the upswing (right photo), opening on the downswing. Exhale as the bell rises.
Keep reading for the rest of the kettlebell workout.
Do 12 reps. Works the legs and abs.
Bring bell to your right "home" position so it is centered between your arm bones, hand relaxed. Layer your left hand on top of your right. Begin in a squat position (top). Powerfully extend your legs while pushing the bell to your left home position with your right arm (middle). Squat immediately to absorb the bell land in your left home (bottom).
Lateral Lunge and Pass
Do 10 reps on each side. Works the legs, back, arms and abs.
Begin with bell to right home position (top). Step left leg to a lateral lunge while simultaneously opening your arm and passing the bell behind left leg to your left hand (middle). Pass the kettlebell back to your right hand (bottom) while pushing your left leg down and away to stand up. Return bell to right home position.
Zip and Change
Do eight to 10 reps each side. Works the legs, back, arms, and abs.
Hold bell in left hand, left leg behind right and bell pointing to right foot (top). Step or jump left leg to left and zip the bell to chest level, elbows high, taking with both hands (middle). Release left hand, step right leg behind left, pointing bell to left foot (bottom). You may step or jump the legs with this movement.
Plank Row and Pass
Do eight to 10 reps each side. Works shoulders and increases trunk stability.
Start in side plank position, on right arm, bell in left hand (top). Row by pulling elbow to ceiling. Place bell down and switch to other side or continue on one side before switching. Keep legs together throughout the movement. For more of a challenge, lift your top leg as you row (bottom).
Do 12 reps on each side. Works quads and abs.
Start in kneeling position with hips engaged, in line with your trunk. Gently swing the bell forward (top), then lean back, letting it touch the floor at your outer toe (bottom). Try to lean straight back without rotating your trunk toward the bell. Swing in front again.