If you’re looking for a new way to trim down and tone up, the SteelBell is a challenging tool to freshen up your workout — and you can do it right from the comfort of your own home.
The SteelBell is great for high intensity, full body workouts. I love the diversity it allows; it offers the benefits of a kettle bell, a slam ball and a medicine ball all in one. An added benefit of the SteelBell is how it recruits stabilizer muscles with each move as your body reacts to the shifting weight of the bell. Check out these 5 calorie-burning moves that will kick your body into high gear and make you feel like a woman of steel.
The Move: SteelBell Burpees
What it works: Core, glutes, hamstrings, quads, chest, triceps and shoulders
How to do it: Begin standing with your feet shoulder-width apart while gripping the SteelBell with a hand on each side, holding it at your chest. To perform the burpee, squat down while holding the SteelBell at chest level. Place the SteelBell down in-front of you, hands still on its sides while you thrust back into a push-up position. Perform one narrow grip push-up. Jump your feet back to a squat position. Maintaining a flat back, return to standing, still holding the SteelBell to press the Bell up over head and then returning it to chest level. Repeat for 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions.
Safety tips: When returning to standing from your squat, make sure that your chest is lifted and your hips down and back to avoid any rounding of the spine. If you aren’t ready for push-ups yet, simply transition from the thrust directly back into the squat position. Keep the core engaged as your press the SteelBell overhead.
The Move: SteelBell Swing to Catch
What it works: Hamstrings, glutes, core and biceps
How to do it: This move is similar to a kettle bell swing. Begin standing with feet shoulder- width apart, gripping the SteelBell with a hand on either side. On an inhale, hip hinge back allowing the SteelBell to swing threw your legs behind you, as if you’re going to toss the SteelBell through your legs. Make sure to bend at the hips, working the glutes and hamstrings while keeping your knees relaxed and allowing them to bend slightly. On an exhale, drive your heels into the ground and extend the hips as if thrusting them to swing the SteelBell forward. Use the momentum of the swing to toss the SteelBell up and catch it at your chest. Repeat for 2 to 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions.
Safety tips: Keep the chest lifted as you hinge at the hips, being sure to keep an extended spine and flat back while maintaining a strong core. As your return through your swing, drive through your heels to create momentum. If you’re not comfortable with the catch, simply maintain your grip on the SteelBell throughout the exercise.
The Move: Single Leg Romanian Dead Lifts
What it works: Hamstrings, glutes, calves and core
How to do it: Begin standing with feet hip-width apart, holding the SteelBell at your chest with arms crossed over it. Shift your weight to your right leg, pressing your big toe down to help you balance. Hinge back at your hips to do a single leg deadlift. Your right knee is slightly bent as your left leg comes back behind you and your chest comes forward. Drive your right heel into the ground and extend your hips and right leg to come back to standing. Repeat 10 repetitions on your right side before switching legs. Perform 2-3 sets.
Safety tips: Focus on maintaining your weight over the big toe and inner arch of your standing leg. As you lift your back leg keep both hips square to the ground. Maintain a flat back and avoid rounding through the spine.
The Move: Lunge Series with SteelBell
What it works: Glutes, hamstrings, quads, adductors, abductors and obliques
How to do it: Begin standing with feet hip-width apart and the SteelBell on your right shoulder.
Start with a forward lunge. Step forward into a lunge with your left leg. Your weight is on the front leg as you hinge your hips back and bend the knee to a 90 degree angle. You’re on the ball of your back foot, with a bent back knee, hips hinged back and chest pitched forwards to counter balance. As you exhale press your front foot forward and down to send your body upwards and back to standing.
Begin your lateral lunge by stepping your left foot out to the side while maintaining hips and shoulders square to your front. Hinge at the hips and right knee to sit back into a lateral lunge. Your right leg is straight and your left leg takes your weight as if in a single leg squat. To return to your start position, press away from the floor with your left foot and extend the hip and knee to come back to standing.
Finish your lunge series with a reverse lunge. Begin facing forward and step back with your right leg, hinging at the hips and shifting your weight onto your left leg, left knee bent at 90 degrees and back heel lifted with a bent back knee. Press your left foot into the ground to extend the left leg and propel your body back to your start position.
Repeat the entire rotation 5 times before switching legs and moving the SteelBell to your left shoulder. Complete 2-3 sets.
Safety tips: Avoid hiking your shoulder up toward your ear by depressing your scapular and keeping a stable upper body.
The Move: Crunches Holding SteelBell
What it works: Abdominals, triceps and shoulders
How to do it: Begin laying on your back with knees bent and feet flat on ground. Hold the SteelBell with your arms extended straight up over your chest. As you exhale, contract your abdominals as if pulling your ribs towards your hips to lift your chest off the ground into a crunch while maintaining extended arms. As you exhale slowly lower back onto your mat. Complete 2-3 sets of 15 repetitions.
Safety tips: Keep your shoulder blades retracted to avoid protracting your scapular. Keep your chin slightly tucked to protect your neck. Pull your abdominals in and together as your complete the crunch.
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Jennifer Lutz is a certified personal trainer and yoga instructor. She’s a regular contributor to KnowMore.tv, writing fitness-related posts geared toward helping women live healthier, happier lives. She also writes a monthly column that focuses on a different piece of fitness equipment and shows you how to safely do 3 to 5 moves that will get you the results you want. She trains private clients around New York City and at Equinox Fitness and has recently returned to school to get her doctorate in physical therapy from Columbia University. Follow her on Twitter at @JLutzFitness.