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"Russian Kettlebells" — Caviar They Are Not

Don't try this without an instructor and training

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Julie Coder, Karen Smith and Lasaun Taylor right to left, instructors at Dynamic Solutions, prepare to demonstrate the proper use of "Kettlebells" during the exercise center's grand opening.

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Julie Coder, Karen Smith and Lasaun Taylor right to left, instructors at Dynamic Solutions, demonstrate the proper use of Russian "Kettlebells" during the exercise center's grand opening.

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Darius Gilbert, co-owner, Dynamic Solutions, puts on a weight lifting demonstration using Russian "Kettlebells" during the grand opening.

Russians don’t use simple dumbbells when they exercise. They prefer "Kettlebells." And, that takes some serious getting used to.

That was the point being made last Saturday at the grand opening of Dynamic Solutions, a new health and fitness center, at 6328 H Richmond Highway, in the Krispy Korner Shopping Center. The star of the opening was what some have described as "a cannonball with a handle."

"It's an intimidating piece of equipment, but for a growing number of people, this is all they need to get a whole body workout. This is much more dynamic. It involves all the body's muscles," said Christina Smith, co-owner, Dynamic Solutions, along with Darius Gilbert.

Used in Russia since the 1700's, kettlebells are believed to have originated as weights in the local markets and evolved as people started throwing them around for amusement. Kettlebells have become popular among certain fitness groups including the U.S. military, police and fire departments, sports teams, and martial arts enthusiasts, according to Smith.

"My clients used to be mostly serious athletes who came after all the buzz the Russian athletes got in the 80's training with kettlebells. Then it became popular with the military because they noticed dramatic changes in their power and stamina," Gilbert said. "Now I see more and more women and weekend warriors because they've heard that they can get a better workout in a shorter time. People don't have two hours to spend in a gym doing cardio and weights. They don't expect a quick fix, but they do want to see results."

That was evident from the crowd that poured into the basement center last Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. More than 70 potential customers had visited the demonstration opening before noon, according to Smith, a certified holistic life style coach and metabolic advisor. The latter teaches people how to control their diet according to their genetic makeup.

Three Dynamic Solutions instructors joined Gilbert, who is Russian Kettlebell certified, in demonstrating the proper use of the strange looking weights, that actually do resemble a cannonball with a handle, for the audience inside the health center.

Unlike traditional dumbbells and weight machines, kettelbells are markedly different. The weight is not evenly distributed. The user's body has to act as a counter balance.

Kettlebell exercise involves lifting, swinging, pressing and pulling this uneven weight. In one demonstration Gilbert pressed an 88 pound kettlebell above his head with one arm. "I normally work with 55 pound kettlebells," he acknowledged after he lowered it to the floor.

Each movement requires not only work from the target muscle, but also from stabilizing muscles to counter the momentum and gravity. The result is a more efficient, effective total body workout, according to Smith.

The kettlebell is ideal for anyone trying to burn fat quickly, increase flexibility, mobility and agility, build muscle strength, boost energy levels, reduce stress and tension in the body, and get results fast for optimum wellness, according to Gilbert.

Dynamic Solutions is part of a new trend by fitness studios to help clients obtain overall health and wellness, Smith explained. "We do it by combining the old with the new," she said.

Russian Kettlebells, yoga and QiCong, a meditation exercise similar to Tai Chi, are offered along with modern services such as life style coaching, and other services at Dynamic Solutions. Additional information can be found at www.kettlebellstronginva.com.