My latest exercise passion is the kettlebell. It's pretty basic--an iron ball with a handle attached. There are several reasons why I love it. It goes without saying that it's one of the more macho workouts--very appealing. Another reason to get into kettlebells is that results come fairly quickly. I've only been going to kettlebell class once a week for about a month, and I can already feel a difference in my quads, glutes, and hamstrings.
Although looking at them, you might assume that kettlebells developing more upper-body strength, they're really more of an all-over exercise, and really tend to blast your butt and abs, if you're doing it right. Take the kettlebell swing, one of the fundamental exercises. Basically, you're repeatedly squatting and powering up with a weighted iron ball in your hand--by the time you finish a few sets of swings, your legs will feel shaky.
Most women start with an 8 kg. kettlebell (about 18 pounds). The interesting thing is that my kettlebell class is at a relatively new studio. The smallest kbell they have is 16 kg. (35 pounds). I don't really recommend that others start out at this weight, but I have to say, muscling around a 35 pound kettlebell does make me feel super-strong. If I keep working out with the 16 kg., when I get my hands on an 8 kg. one, I'll probably be able to do this.
Pretty soon here I'm going to buy a 12 kg. to work out with at home. The only sticking point is that kettlebells seem expensive for big hunks of iron--$40 and up. Still, I think it might be ill-advised to do it yourself.