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In-Your-Face Fitness

Kettlebells work for Daniel Baldwin, but are they right for you?

The actor swears by the Russian training tools, but they may not be the best thing for nonathletes.

April 18, 2011|By James S. Fell, Special to the Los Angeles Times

Pasternak also warns that good technique is especially important because there's a greater risk of injury. Slow-speed lifting of traditional weights involves easy-to-control movements, but with kettlebells you're swinging and bending and lifting the weight quite rapidly. Truthfully, there were a couple of times I worried I might bonk myself in the head and wind up spending my days on the couch giggling through reruns of "I Didn't Know I Had 19 Kids and Counting" on cable TV.

Pasternak sees kettlebells as best suited to conditioning competitive athletes. "For 99.9% of the population, dumbbells are a more effective tool than kettlebells," he said.

I can certainly see Harley's point and agree they're not for everyone; a solid training base from weightlifting should be established first. If you wish to take your physical performance to a higher level, however, careful kettlebell training from a qualified instructor can be valuable.

Just be prepared to field questions about your bruises.

Fell is certified strength and conditioning specialist in Calgary, Canada.

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