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

In-Your-Face Fitness

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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