What's more, our kettlebell-inspired routine (you can do it with a dumbbell too), created by personal trainer and Prevention columnist Chris Freytag, is designed to produce maximum results with minimal risk of injury. And it delivered: When 2 dozen women road-tested it, they lost up to 11 pounds and 15 inches in just 3 weeks. Even better, they loved the workout! "I heard the word 'fun' used more than I ever had to describe a routine," says Freytag. "Getting in a rhythm with the swings and doing little tosses makes it less boring than just hoisting weights and gives you a little bit of that cardio high." In addition to three kettlebell workouts a week, our test panel did 20 minutes of cardio on alternate days, and half of the group also followed a healthy eating plan.
Whether you have 20 or more pounds to lose, are struggling with those last stubborn 5, or want to firm up, now you can ring up results in just 20 minutes a day!
Kettlebell: Anatomy of a Super Slimmer
Unlike a dumbbell, in which the weight is equally balanced when you hold it, a kettlebell is asymmetrical. With most grips, your hand is set away from the heaviest part of the kettle bell, so you work harder and activate more muscles.
Handle: Most common spot to hold, so you can swing the bell and pass it from hand to hand.
Horns: Alternate grip, especially if you're holding the bell upside down.
Base: The heaviest part of the bell. Gripping it here provides more stability.
PROGRAM AT A GLANCE
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
A kettlebell, or you can substitute a dumbbell. Our testers used an 8.8-pound (4 kg) kettlebell ($29.95 at spri.com) and felt that it added to the fun and novelty of the routine. You'll also need a watch or timer, as well as space to swing your arms freely on all sides, including overhead (about 4 square feet).
3 DAYS A WEEK:
Do the Kettlebell Workout on nonconsecutive days. Do the Main Moves twice through for 16 minutes total. Then stretch for 2 minutes. Go to prevention.com/kettlestretch for ideas.
3 OR 4 DAYS A WEEK:
Do 20 minutes of cardio, such as brisk walking, lap swimming, jogging, dancing, or bike riding. You should exercise at an intensity at which you're breathing hard but can still speak in short sentences. Do cardio on the same day as kettlebells for longer workouts or on alternate days for shorter workouts.
Watch portions and fill up on whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and healthy fats to maximize results. Aim for 1,600 to 1,800 calories spread evenly throughout the day. For help, go to prevention.com/portioncontrol.