Kettlebell Safety Tips

Kettlebell workouts are pretty awesome. They engage multiple muscle groups and burn a lot of calories. But in order to make the most of your workouts, there are some key safety tips to keep in mind.

Choose the right kettlebell
The first step to using kettlebells safely is picking the right one, and there are a few things to keep in mind are you start browsing. Firstly, you need to pick the right weight for you. To do so, we recommend going to your local fitness store so that you can get a feel for each weight and get the advice of a sales associate. As a rule of thumb, men tend to go too heavy and women tend to go too light. Remember: you want to push yourself, but not hurt yourself!

You’ll also want to get a kettlebell that is the right size for you. The handle should be wide enough so that you can grip it with both hands without having them overlap.

The worst thing that can happen in buying the wrong kettlebell is that you’ll hurt yourself. The second worst thing is that your kettlebell goes flying across the room during a swing and hurts someone else. To avoid this kind of catastrophe, buy a kettlebell that is molded from one continuous piece of material. Some kettlebells are two pieces: the ball and the handle. Steer clear of those ones. You don’t want your kettlebell to break apart mid-workout!

Make sure your back is in the right position
During a kettlebell workout, your hips, not your back, should absorb the force of the kettlebell. To do so, your back should be in a neutral spine position. Dummies.com has the following tips for getting into the neutral spine position so that you protect your precious back:

1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your arms down at your sides; focus your eye gaze on a point about six feet in front of you on the floor to keep your neck and head position neutral.

2. Reach your hips back as if you’re reaching back for a chair, and let your arms follow your hips back.

3. If you’re in the right position, you look like you’re getting ready to take a vertical leap in the air.

4. Look in the mirror; if you achieved neutral spine, you have a nice, natural S curve in your spine (in other words, your back isn’t rounded).

Learn proper breathing
Proper breath work is essential for using a kettlebell safely. As I said above, it’s important to minimize the amount of force that you exert on your spine. To protect your spine, you need to use your breath to tighten your abdominal muscles, a technique called abdominal bracing. To master this technique, take some time to practice breathing in and out with your hands on your abdomen. Get a sense of how you can tighten your abdominals as you breathe out. This might be a little different from what you’re used to doing, but you’ll get the hang of it quickly!

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Swim Spa Workout: Top 4 Ways to Train in the Water

A swim spa is ideal for swimming but did you know that it is an ultimate training machine? Here are the top 4 ways to train and condition in a swim spa.

1. RESISTANCE TRAINING
The best upper and lower body workouts include resistance training. But there are only so many hours in a day and only so much time to spend in the gym. A home swim spa can make all the difference if you want to achieve a well-rounded training program. Just hop in the water any time of the day to accomplish your weight training goals with water power.

Swim spas with a powerful current can give you the same results as working out with weights – a lower current equals less weight or crank up the speed for intense resistance. The benefit of training in water is that it supports muscles during exercise and diminishes joint stress. That means using water instead of weights will keep you at peak performance levels without risking injury or putting excess pressure on your joints. A win-win all around. Plus, if you’re healing from an injury, you can still workout in water (with your doctor’s approval) and stay conditioned while you heal. That’s what elite athletes do to stay game-ready as they recover.

2. CORE EXERCISES
Everyone wants a toned mid-section but tight abs take work. Hard core ab exercises can be achieved by working out against a swim spa current. Look for a swim spa where the current spans the full width of the pool. Then hold onto the side, ramp up the water power and do crunches or pikes against the current. Another option is to use a medicine ball or kickboard for added resistance against the power of the water. With these exercises, you will target your core and round out your exercise and strength training regimen.

3. RUNNING
The advantage of running in the water is that you fire up the same muscles you would use on land, but the weightless quality of water eliminates gravity-induced pounding on joints. The intensity of running in the water increases exponentially the faster you go. In other words, the harder you work, the greater the resistance, and the better the results! You will achieve the same cardio workout as you would on land with better outcomes. Looking for the different ways to run in the water.

4. SWIMMING
Every week there seems to be another fitness craze. But one exercise that never goes out of style is swimming. Whether you are a recreational swimmer, elite athlete, or triathlon competitor, you can swim your way to peak performance levels. There are so many great benefits you get from swimming. It is a low impact exercise yet it builds endurance, muscle strength, cardiovascular fitness, and can help reduce stress. Some studies have shown that it can help lower blood pressure, bad cholesterol, and control blood sugar levels. Swimming in a swim spa adds extra benefits. You can program a customized swimming experience to suit individual preferences, monitor your progress, and swim whenever you like in the comfort of your own home.

Water workouts add a powerful dimension to any exercise plan. With these four simple training techniques, you’ll crush your fitness goals.

Now think about how much easier it would be if you owned your own swim spa. A home fitness pool can be installed outside, inside, in a basement, on a deck, or many other locations to create the perfect home gym. Once it’s up and running, you can exercise for as long as you’d like whenever you want.

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