Getting in on the kettlebell craze

The weights add more oomph to your workout, but you'll have to mind some safety rules if you use them.


Exercises photos by Michael Carroll

Move over, dumbbells; kettlebells are cool again. The little weights with handles have been used by athletes around the world for centuries and gained popularity as the staples of 19th-century strongmen. Today, kettlebells have made it to the mainstream as the featured tools in exercise classes and gyms, with home versions of kettlebells available on the shelves of every big-box store.

What's the attraction? "Kettlebells work multiple muscle groups at one time, so you get a lot of bang for your buck with each exercise," says Nancy Capparelli, a senior physical therapist at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

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