Switching virtual yoga for kettlebells: Starting something new after lockdown

Date: 8 July 2021   Author: Energise Me

With lockdowns and restrictions forcing us to adapt to new ways of being active, Youth Project Manager Emma came out of lockdown keen to try a new activity to keep things interesting. She shares how she has found trying Kettlebells.


Trying new ways of being active

Having learned quite late in life that the best way for me to be active is to try new things, the last year or so has been a bit tough. I’ve done lots of online yoga, trying different styles and teachers to keep it interesting. I tried Tai Chi in my living room. Taught myself how to do a few keepy-uppies. And like most of us, I’ve been on a LOT of walks!


Starting Kettlebells

As the world has started, cautiously, opening up again, I was keen to try a new activity. A friend convinced me to join her at a kettlebells class – which was outdoors, so I felt safe. I’ve never done any sort of weight training before, so I was a bit nervous.  The trainers – Tim and Karlene from Onfirefitness – couldn’t have been more welcoming. They were kind, patient, and from the very beginning championed my achievements.

When you start a new activity, having an instructor or coach who makes you feel at ease, and sees you as an individual is so important. Tim regularly encourages us to “make good choices!” He tells us to listen to our bodies, to know our limits, and to only push ourselves as far as we are willing and able to go. We’re always reminded that each of us is different. One person might be stronger, another more flexible. But we’re all doing our best!

It’s refreshing to see changes and improvements so quickly.

Noticing progress

Since starting Kettlebells – about 8 weeks ago – I have already noticed a difference in my ability. Squats, which, let’s face it are always a challenge, and no one really likes, are easier. I can go deeper, I can do more, and my form is more consistent. I started off using an 8kg bell, yet only a few weeks in was able to deadlift 48kg. It’s refreshing to see changes and improvements so quickly.

I’ve struggled with lower back problems for years – caused by damage to my stomach muscles during pregnancy – and was worried that lifting and swinging the bells would aggravate this. However, Tim and Karlene put such an emphasis on form, and on getting the technique right, that I’ve had no trouble at all with my lower back. Of course, I would encourage people to talk to their doctors or physios before weight training, especially with back pain!


Activities coming together

I’ve practiced yoga on and off for about ten years, and have really found this helpful in Kettlebells – there are surprising similarities! Working with your breath to add power or stability to a movement, keeping a straight back when hinging or folding forwards. Both can be quite tough on the wrists, though, so I’m careful not to overdo it.

As more and more activities become available, I know I’ll want to look for that excitement of trying new things, but I plan to stick with the Kettlebells, too.

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