You know my thoughts on kettlebells. They’re SUCH an amazing workout tool, but with all the swinging and swaying and hip thrusting, well, it just makes me nervous if you don’t have a good coach or an expert showing you how to do it and not tweak your back or your shoulders. So when I got invited to a local KettleWorX class debut at Midtown Athletic Club in Overland Park, Kan., I was excited to give it a go. Or a swing.
I was super curious to see how a kettlebell workout would translate to a group ex class that was choreographed to fun tunes. And thankfully, Laura Wilson, director of programing for KettleWorX answered all of my questions before I tried the class. (Special thanks to Tessa for the camera work on this one!)
After talking with Laura, I was pumped to get moving. I knew that with my stress fracture in my foot (almost fully healed!), I’d have to modify many of the moves, but I was okay with that — and knew that Laura would be providing low-impact versions of the exercises.
After a pretty intense yet quick warm-up with lots of squats timed to fun music, we got into the meat of the KettleWorX. Basically, for each song you do a short circuit or back-to-back move, again and again. Then, once the song changes, you get a (very) short break, and then on to the next mini circuit. From kettlebell swings to squats to tactical lunges and overhead presses, it’s a full-body workout that gets your heart rate up — and fast. And, again, I wasn’t doing full jumps or burpees! Just look at the height this instructor is getting. DANG.
After about half an hour of this, we took it to the mat for some abs. Again, not easy — sit-ups with the kettlebell and planks never are.
And I think this photo of my bud Tessa pretty much says it all. (Happy to be done!)
After class, we posed for a sweaty post-workout photo. I ran into my former boss Pam of Club Industry magazine there! (Was good to see ya, Pam!)
Overall, the class was pretty good. Even though it was very much a high-intensity workout, there were lots of modifications, and it was fun to see kettlebell moves timed to the music — it definitely helped take the “scary” factor out of this kind of workout. I do wish there had been more personal attention to form in the class, but we were all using pretty lightweight kettlebells. At times the pacing also felt very, very fast. Particularly for tactical lunges, it was darn near impossible to keep up. So I think some songs could be slowed down a bit for better form and precision. (I just ended up going at my own slower pace.)
But, what I really like about the whole KettleWorX concept is that it demystifies the kettlebell in many ways and makes it more accessible. It’s bringing a new form of fun strength training to a wider audience. Sure, the form most people use isn’t perfect, and you’d get better results from heavier kettlebells, but anything that’s fun and gets more people to lift weights — and is an effective workout in a short amount of time? Well, I can’t hate on that! And I’d totally do it again — hopefully this time with a fully healed foot to jump and burpee on!
Have you ever tried a kettlebell workout or class? Do you want to try KettleWorX, too? —Jenn