If you want to tap into the heart rate revving, muscle-building power of kettle bell workouts, the single-arm kettle bell swing is the best place to start.
Demonstrated here by David Schenk, co-founder of Cross Train L.A. in Hollywood, it's a great low-impact way to burn fat and work multiple muscle groups at once.
What it does
The swing develops your hamstrings, glutes and quadriceps, as well as your back and arms.
What to do
From a standing position with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, pick up your kettle bell with one hand from the floor, grasping it with your knuckles pointing forward.
Swing the kettle bell between your legs and then up to mid-torso, keeping your spine neutral (i.e., not arched or hunched over). Inhale as you swing the kettle bell up, locking your knees as you stand. Exhale as you lower the weight, bending your knees to bring it between your legs. Your eyes follow the weight, and your goal is to move your hips with it as you flow back and forth like a pendulum.
If one arm proves too difficult, you can try it with both hands swinging the kettle bell between your legs.
Start with 20 to 30 swings on each arm, eventually working up to 21/2 minutes on each side. A good kettle bell weight for most women to start with is 8 to 12 pounds. Men can try 15 to 25 pounds, depending on their fitness level, Schenk says.