CHOs do Kettlebells

One of our favorite perks of living in NYC is the wealth of access to new (okay – trendy) fitness classes. We’ve done our fair share of yoga (namaste), dabbled in some CrossFit, cycled with the SoulCyclers — you get the point. Well, last week, our pals at Greatist invited us to join them for their latest KettleX “Gractivity” (pun, intended). Truth be told, we didn’t quite know exactly what we were in for when we so readily agreed. But we’ll tell ya this much: we’ll be avoiding the stairs all week. And we’re TOTALLY okay with it.

Rewind a few days, when a couple of us CHOs hopped on the train to a small studio uptown to join the Greatist crew and the remarkable, Lorna Kleidman, World Kettlebell Champion. We mingled with the our new friends, grabbed our sweatbands, picked out our Kettlebells and got into gear. We knew all about Lorna’s history with kettlebells (being fans, of course) so it was time to learn the drill. We started with a warm-up that included jumping jacks and stretching. That’s when we knew. We were in for it.

Lorna began the class by asking the crew what words we had heard used to describe “kettlebells”. We were the first to yell: “TERRIFYING! IMPOSSIBLE!” Lorna was quick to teach us that it was  neither terrifying nor impossible. It was actually a tremendous amount of fun. Challenging, sweaty, fun. Needless to say, the class ROCKED. Lorna was amazing and our Greatist pals showed us a thing or two about what it takes to be a kettlebell champ. We learned a variety of Lorna’s favorite movements and within about fifteen minutes of squatting and planking, we were groovin’.

Photos by Jordan Shakeshaft / Greatist.com

Photos by Jordan Shakeshaft / Greatist.com

Intrigued? We understand. Here are a few moves, as described by Lorna on the Greatist blog:

1. Double Arm Swing

Hold the kettlebell handle with straight arms, knees soft and butt out. Swing the kettlebell back through your legs, connecting your wrists to your inner, upper thighs. Generate a forward swing up to chest level with a forceful hip drive (rather than a squat), maintaining a straight spine throughout the movement. Exhale as the kettlebell rises and connect your wrists to your inner thighs as the kettlebell descends. Complete 20 reps.

2. Lateral Lunge, Open Arm

Begin with kettlebell in the right “home position,” with the body of the bell resting between your arm bones, hand relaxed at your chest. Step your left leg to alateral lunge, keeping the right leg straight and sending the butt back behind you (while the spine stays long). Using the floor, push your left leg down and away to stand up, as you bring the bell back to “home.” Complete 10 reps on each side.

3. Zip & Change

Hold the right corner of the bell in your right hand, arm straight, spine tall, and shoulders back. Powerfully extend legs straight while zipping the bell in front of your body to chest height, taking the left corner with your left hand and lowering back down again with left arm straight. For more intensity, perform the movements without pauses. Alternate for a total of 10 reps on each side.

4. Backward Step, Pass

Hold the right corner of the bell in your right hand. Step your right leg back, bending both knees and pass the bell under right leg to your left hand. Stand. Repeat on left side, stepping back with left leg. Alternate for a total of 10 reps on each side.

5. Plank Row, Pass

Start in a plank position with straight spine, and abs tight. Row the bell to your waistline with your right hand. Place the bell down and switch to your lefthand, or continue on one side before switching. You can also turn to side plank and row the bell up just under your chest, elbow to ceiling. Complete 10 reps per side.

6. Kneeling Hinge 

Kneeling on a mat, keep your hips engaged, in line with your trunk. Hold the bell in yourright hand and gently swing it forward, then lean back, letting it touch the floor at your outer edge of your foot. Reach the opposite arm forward to counterbalance the bell. Try to lean straight back without hinging your hips or rotating your trunk toward the kettlebell. Swing in front again. Perform 10reps on each side.

Alright, we know you needed proof. So check it out: we did it! Thanks to our friends at Greatist for inviting us along for the fun. And a special thanks to Lorna. We can only dream of having your skills; but as promised in the studio – we’ll be back for more.