Next time you want to work on your swing, try putting your clubs aside and swinging a kettlebell instead.
The kettlebell, the latest trend in sports fitness, is promoted as such an effective workout that studies show swinging the bell just four hours a month will transform your body, help you lose weight, and get you in shape and ready for the next golf season.
Tracy Reifkind, a sought-after personal trainer and nutrition coach, discovered this traditional Russian device, shaped like a cannonball with a handle, seven years ago and ended up losing 120 pounds by working out with it. She was so inspired that she developed the kettlebell training program, which she claims can work for anyone at any fitness level.
I gave it a try, and I must say it was fun. Just swinging it reminds me of the golf swing, only you feel the weight of the bell and thus the feel of a real swing.
This isn’t a workout necessarily targeted for golfers, but I think golfers can truly benefit by practicing this type of swing in this efficient workout program.
You’ll find Reifkind’s program, cleverly demonstrated with photos, in her new book The Swing! The program has you working with the bell using a chair and some props, but mainly it’s all about positioning your body (squat, bend, stand, etc.) and then just swinging away.
There’s the Chair Hinge Drill, the Single Swing Drill, the Air Swing Drill, and, my favorite, the Hike the Bell Swing (a sort of “through the legs chip shot” action).
Reifkind provides modifications for those of us whose bodies suffer from shoulder, back, or knee pain, so there’s little risk of pulling something out of place. There is also bonus nutritional advice, recipes, and workout charts so you can track your progress.