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DVD Review: Ultimate Kettlebell Workouts for Beginners with Paul Katami

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Ultimate Kettlebell Workouts for Beginners DVD
Acacia
This DVD offers a good introduction to kettlebells for beginners, while still providing enough challenge for more experienced users. Supply your own kettlebell.

Ultimate Kettlebell Workouts for Beginners: Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Includes tutorial on using kettlebells (that can also be used as a workout)
  • Instruction is friendly and helpful
  • Demonstrations are clear and easy to follow
  • Approachable workouts for kettlebell beginners
  • Workout does not require a lot of space

Cons:

  • No guidance on what size kettlebell to use

Review: Ultimate Kettlebell Workouts for Beginners

This DVD gave me the perfect opportunity to try kettlebells for the first time. Since it is made for beginners, it starts with a tutorial that demonstrates several basic kettlebell moves. The instructor, Paul Katami, is certified by the American Council on Exercise and other fitness groups. He makes sure to explain proper form very clearly, since it's easy to be injured if you use a kettlebell incorrectly. He also discusses modifications you can use if you have trouble with the movements he's recommending.

The DVD includes 3 workouts, each about 25 minutes long. The first is the tutorial, which you can also use as a complete workout, since it covers all the major muscle groups. The second workout puts the basic moves together into drills and combinations. They are easy to follow thanks to Katami's cueing and the demonstrations from him and his two students. The third workout focuses on building core strength. I found this one to be the most challenging.

Before doing this DVD, I had the mistaken impression that a kettlebell workout would mostly focus on upper-body strength (since you have to use your arms to move the bell). That's actually not so at all! Katami incorporates lots of squats and lunges into these routines. And they are not just to make sure you get a full-body experience. Instead, Katami teaches you how to use the power in your lower body to help you swing the kettlebell. This way, muscles do the work instead of momentum. Since I get most of my strength training via yoga (body weight resistance), I definitely could feel these workouts the next day ... and the day after that. They really give you a challenging, all-over workout in a short time.

If I could change one thing about this DVD, I would add some discussion of what size kettlebell to choose. The DVD doesn't come with a bell, which makes sense because everyone's needs will be different. But some basic guidelines about where to start would help. I used a 10-pound kettlebell. It provided the right amount of challenge for me for the first two workouts, but I struggled to complete the core exercises with it. And during one of the workouts, Katami and his two student models are shown with two sizes of kettlebells in front of them. But they only use one and never mention when or why you should switch to a heavier or lighter bell.

Extras: The DVD contains excerpts from two other Acacia DVDs. One is 7 minutes of strength training from Strong Body, Fit Body with Erin O'Brien. The other is 10 minutes of a yoga/strength-training hybrid called Exhale: Core Fusion Power Sculpt. There is also a brief intro section (I love that this is a separate chapter, so you don't have to watch it every time you do the video), a text biography of Paul Katami, and a few trailers from other videos.

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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