The name makes it sound like a cow’s necklace, but the kettlebell can give you a fast, full-body workout

WHY THE KETTLEBELL?

There’s a reason this old Russian weight is showing up in gyms: it’s user-friendly and doesn’t require as much wrist, shoulder or upper-back flexibility as barbells and dumbbells do. And you can swing from one move to the next without stopping, making workouts more intense in less time. You can also speed up your metabolism and burn more kilojoules while adding more total muscle.

WATCH YOURSELF

Kettlebell lifts require a lot of movement, so it’s important to maintain good form in order to avoid injury and maximise muscle. If possible, do the lifts in front of a mirror. The key points to monitor: for overhead presses and Olympic lifts, your elbows should always remain close to your body. And on all lifts, keep your shoulders tucked down and back by squeezing them together.

FIND YOUR FOOTING

Keep your weight on your heels during almost all kettlebell exercises. Doing this recruits the muscles in your glutes and hamstrings, resulting in more strength, power and muscle gains.

THE HANDLE

The awkward positioning builds coordination, much the way holding a baseball bat does.

THE BELL

On overhead lifts, don’t let the bell flip over and smack your wrist. Instead, when the weight is at eye level and upside down, quickly, punch upwards to make the bell rotate around without slamming into your wrist.