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Best New Exercise Regime:

“Kettlebells for Everyday Life” at Results
(various locations)
Ed Ingebretsen had to fight for the kettlebell. “It’s like anything—try giving your child yogurt for the first time, and he’s like, ‘ew,’” says Ingebretsen. So it went with the introduction of the centuries-old Russian weightlifting device to Results’ rows of sleek weightlifting machinery. “I got them into the club, really, over the objections of the management,” he says. Gym brass thought the device—which looks like a cannonball with a handle on top—would be too intimidating to catch on among Results’ clientele. “A lot of people still associate them with the old carnival acts, the ‘strongest man’ competitions,” says Ingebretsen. “People thought they were just for muscleheads. But I’ve found that all people really need is a little bit of education.” Ingebretsen, also an English and American Studies professor at Georgetown University, has been educating exercisers to “liberate themselves from the machines” since he started training clients at Results in 2003. Now, kettlebells, which build strength from the neck through the hips, are finally catching on (once just at the Dupont Circle gym, they’re at all four locations). “You see people carrying them to the gym, doing all kinds of thing with them,” he says. Like the “Farmer’s Walk”: A move where the exerciser holds a kettlebell in each hand…and walks with them. To Ingebretsen, an overemphasis on machine work hasn’t helped strengthen our bodies’ most basic functions. “Most people lift wrong, walk wrong, and sit wrong,” he says. “We need the strength to hold our bodies up, the muscles in the chest and the back that will power us through the day. Carrying away two bags of groceries from Safeway is a skill one needs.”
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