Kettlebell Juggling For Fat Loss

“FAT LOSS? Come on! What’s the deal?”

I’m sure there’s more than one of you saying that to the title. But before you click back to more pressing matters like dodging clowns for car insurance or voting whether Brittany or her sister are prettier, let me run this by you.

I recently finished ETK and I’m kind of stuck with what to do next for my kettlebell program. So while I was surfing around a few kettlebell sites for ideas, I came across kettlebell juggling as an alternative to one’s regular workout. While this wasn’t the first time I heard about juggling kettlebells, I hadn’t really thought of it as a workout.

With boredom my motivator, I figured it couldn’t hurt to try something different and I didn’t think I’d practice for more than 20 minutes today anyway. So I packed up my 16 kg kettlebell and headed off to my son’s football practice. Might as well make good use of the 2.5 hours at the football field.

I went to a spot by in the shade by the school and did a quick 10 minute warm-up.

After grabbing a quick drink of water, I checked the time (4:15) and started with what I thought would be some easy one-handed flips. HA! Easy my eye! Basically, you just swing the kettlebell up, release the handle, let it flip, and catch the handle again before passing it down and back between you legs. Simple.

Well after dropping the kettlebell several times on the right side, followed by dropping it several times more on the left, I decided to try a different tack. First I consulted my vast and superior memory of all things kettlebell, and remembered this neat drill called a hand-to-hand clean. It’s similar to a swing/flip, but instead of flipping the kettlebell, you catch the bell on the ball side. If you do it right, the bell will simply glide smoothly into the palm of your anxiously awaiting hand. You then give it a gentle shove away, catch the handle and drop it back between your legs, ready for the next rep.

My first attempt went a little wide and I dropped it (good thing I was outdoors). My second attempt came closer, however the bell slid off my hand, hit the ground and flopped onto the toes of my left foot. *%$#!

Water break!

O.K. Time to focus. This can’t be that hard. After finding the rythm and “taming the arc” of the kettlebell, I did five reps right, hit a transfer to my left and did five reps left. That was fun!

So much fun that I immediately transferred the bell back to my right hand and hit 10 reps before changing back and getting 10 reps on the left side.

Now I’ve got it. That swing/flip should be simple.

And so my odyssey began. I hit 2 reps. Then 5 reps. Switch to the left. One rep, then…dropped. Trying to keep things even from right to left, I decided that I would try to do the same reps on the left as I did on my right. AND, to keep trying on the left until I hit the target number.

I’m pretty sure I did several hundred swing/flips (attempts) on the left side. To put it bluntly, my left side sucks. I ended up doing 25 straight reps on the right side, once I got the hang of doing a high pull before the flip. But I could not get my left hand to cooperate. I’d go several reps before the bell/my hand/my wrist would turn ever so slightly and send the whole shebang tumbling all catty-wampus through the air and down to the ground with a thud.

Again, unless you’re very comfortable doing these, do them outdoors. If you search on youtube, you’ll see some kettlebell jugglers practicing indoors. But really, don’t do that until you get good. And if it’s your first day, you won’t be good. Sorry to dash your hopes and dreams of kettlebell juggling on America’s Got Talent.

After a couple more water breaks, I happened to look at my cell phone and saw that almost 45 minutes had gone by. So much for practicing for 20 minutes! I was sweating like I’d just done a prolonged swing workout. Right about then I noticed an old filament type lightbulb glowing about 6 inches above my head. Ah-ha! It really was a swing workout! Or a swing/high-pull workout.

In my quest for figuring out that damn swing/flip, I’d actually done at least a couple hundred swings attempting to perfect my technique. Now how’d that happen? Kettlebell juggling isn’t real exercise, it’s just messing around, right?

Nope. If you happen to be sick of swings, or just can’t muster up the motivation for that 500 rep snatch workout, try juggling. It’s a great change of pace and it will get your heart rate up. That burns calories. And that helps you burn fat. So there it is. Kettlebell juggling for fat loss.


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