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Kettlebells offer ways to switch up your workout

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Many of you are trying new exercise formats in the new year.

For a new challenge with weight lifting, trainers recommend incorporating kettlebells to your workout routine.

Exercisers who strengthen their muscles can attest to the improvements in balance, stability and weight control.

"I really like some strength training. I really concentrate on the whole body," said Patricia McIntosh, an avid exerciser in Missoula.

Still, many training facilities have a hard time convincing everybody to get into the weight room.

"Some strictly like to do cardio and walking," said Women's Club certified trainer Bonnie Dotz.

They say that's why innovations, like using kettlebells are important. Trainers say they are a good option for people intimidated by other methods.

"It changes up your program, where you are not on the machines. Women, I think, feel more empowered and stronger when they can dabble in the free weight aspect. They are easy to hold onto," said Dotz.

Kettlebells are versatile and engage the whole body.

Trainers say the weight isn't distributed equally in kettlebell movements.

Stabilizer muscles work harder to keep joints in line. This makes traditional weight lifting exercises more challenging.

"You can devise a whole workout with kettlebells," said Dotz.

For people like McIntosh, that is a great option. She plans to keep weight training in her routine for a long time to come.

"There seems to be no limit to age as to when you can put on muscle. That is my plan," said McIntosh.

Along with building strength, kettlebell workouts also burn a lot of calories.

Some reports indicate 20 minutes with the kettlebells can burn 300 calories. Some trainers say the expenditure can double itself when you factor in the continued burn from building more muscle.

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