Kettlebells – Shooting a Cannon from a Canoe: Road to Fitness, Chapter 12

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Have you guys heard the metaphor “you can’t shoot a cannon-ball from a canoe” used to describe the importance of core training? I hadn’t, until Kelly and I visited Condition Kettlebell Gym in Inman Park. The owner and instructor, Delaine Ross, used this expression when describing why those of us with cores of JELL-O might have a tough time with our form while slinging the kbells (which actually look like cannonballs with a handle) around our bodies. Without a strong core your body isn’t able to stabilize itself during a workout.   
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This was our first kettlebell class, and it was much more challenging than we anticipated. Luckily, Delaine’s intro class was more of a lesson in form and function – and less of a hardcore workout. We were taught that kettlebells are all about creating, and then immediately controlling, momentum we create from swings and snatches. For me, it took a ton of concentration – which was a fun challenge. And luckily, we followed up all of the exercises with stretching to make sure we didn’t pull anything. See below for pictures of Kelly rolling around on the floor “stretching.”

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My favorite part of Delaine’s conditioning method is that it’s a “functional” workout. That means it works your muscles in the same way as when you do everyday activities, like lugging a huge carryon from one end of the Atlanta airport to the other, carrying your laptop bag or lugging a heavy grocery bag full of wine.

However, there are other benefits listed on the Condition Kettlebell Gym website as well:

  • It develops strength and lean muscles
  • It requires a minimal time investment – 3 times a week for 45 minutes is ideal for most people
  • It’s about well-rounded strength, cardio, and mobility – all at the same time – so you not only look better, but move and feel better as well!

One thing to keep in mind is this class has a higher “form” learning curve than most others we have been to. You can’t just come into class cold turkey and be ready to rock out – you need to learn the exercises and understand the range of movements before you begin. For some this is a super exciting opportunity to make sure they are getting the most out of their workout that they possibly can – for others it might be frustrating. I think it’s well worth the time if you are committed to the practice and the awesome benefits it delivers.

PLUS – when we put an Instagram photo of ourselves at Condition we got several responses from addicts who feverishly  praised the workout, and the instructors, which is a GREAT sign.

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The studio itself is in a very cool part of town – Studioplex – right near Lotta Frutta. If you’ve never been to that area it’s worth a trip. It’s a low frills, factory loft atmosphere – but honestly it’s perfect for the workout. It’s kind of a haul for Kelly and me, as there is no easy way to make it across town, especially on weekdays, but we have a bunch of friends who live in that area and the location is PERFECT for them.

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Location: 6 – This is a totally unfair Buckhead biased number. Inman Park is pretty far from our hood – so it’s not the easiest commute. But ask our ViHi or Inman friends and they are going to give it a 10. But they don’t write this blog…

Instructor: 9 – Totally awesome, chill, STRONG woman who doesn’t mind slowing down the pace of her class so everyone is able to get the best possible workout.

Workout: Honestly, we aren’t sure YET. The class was just an intro – not a full blown workout – but from what we’ve seen it’s going to kick your butt and help you shoot a cannonball from a canoe, which is a critical skill.

Ambiance: 7 – I really liked the vibe. Not a ton of frills, but it got the job done.

Will we be back? Heck yes! Next time we are in Inman Park in our running shorts Condition is going to be our first stop.

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